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Social Network Prostitution: FOMO drives Millennials to “Inboxing”

In my previous article entitled “Jamaica’s Low Net Penetration – Broadband Internet A Universal Right” I pointed out that in order to achieve parity with our Developed World cousins, we need to make Broadband Access a Universal Right akin to Light, Water and Human Rights.

Ultimately, making the Internet a Free Lunch seems to be the deal in the works, with the Government of Jamaica Islandwide Fiber Optic Network being built out by LIME and Digital Cable Provider FLOW over the next five (5) years.

But I also should have pointed out no matter how low the price of computers may drop, the 23.9% who are idc (I don’t care) in the two thousand two hundred (2,200) cohort who I will assume in Dr. Hopeton Dunn-led Caribbean ICT Indicators and Broadband Survey are High School and University Students is worrying.

This as it represents a portion of Generation Y [ages 15 to 34], also called the Millennials [born between 1980 and 2000] in which the future of the country supposedly lies and is fertile ground for entrepreneurial ideas.

Instead, the same Survey goes on to reveal that only 25% of them have a home computer, ostensibly because of cost. But of the 38% who use the Internet at least once a day, their majority activity online is using Social Networking websites, which heralds at a whopping 71%, with 65% using the Internet for scholarly research. Entrepreneurial pursuits are flying in very low on their Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

How does one convince Millennials that they should care and must have a “need” the Internet as much as Light, Food, Shelter and Human Rights to ensure its widespread proliferation and thus boost our international standing?

Getting past the “bling” stereotype of smartphones, Netbooks and Laptops that act as the dividing rule and define the Social pecking order among Generation Y’ers on our prestigious High Schools and equally higher brow Local Universities is going to be difficult. Students with Laptops do not necessarily use them for work, resorting mainly to using them as portable Movie and Music jukeboxes.

Not to mention spurring piracy of Digital content. Very little entrepreneurial interest there I am afraid. Not even the following ideas have I ever encountered on Campus that could be designed by students, especially with the prevalence of smartphones, Netbooks, Laptops and Tablets (yes spotted on UWI Campus!):

  1. Setting up a website to allow students to rent each other pages out of books by scanning them into an e-pub format for others to download from an online Digital locker
  2. Music streaming service, allowing your “peeps” to stream music but not for sharing or downloading from a server, with the songs selected via SMS voting, effectively a Streaming clone of Last.FM Radio Station
  3. A Geo-location App or website that allows students to know which classrooms are empty Campus wide so that they can go there to get some down time
  4. Party Notification website that can be used by students promoting parties to make registered members aware of upcoming events via SMS, email or via an app invite!
  5. Apps that allows students to locate their groups of friends on Campus, much like FourSquare but using local mapping information specific to the Campus

No surprise why.

Social Networking is not just about hanging out on FaceBook, Twitter and MySpace, the Big Three (3) in Social Networking space in terms of number of visits per month. It allows the young un’s to meet and make connections in real life as well as avoid the FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out!

So says a MTV funded study which discovered among other things that among Social Networking-savvy Millennials:

  1. 66% of study participants agreed that they found it “exhausting to always be ‘on’.”
  2. 58% of study participants agreed that “when I’m unplugged, I worry that I’m missing out on something.” i.e. FOMO

    FaceBook and Geo-Location Sites like FourSquare are a great way to communicate to a mass audience your ideas. It is also a way to make secret liaisons with a male or female of interest while at College. Hence the 71% on Social Networks and 65% doing scholarly work, a clear indication of who constituted this target demographic in Dr. Hopeton Dunn’s Study: High School Students and College Undergrad and Post Grads.

    If you have FaceBook or any Geo-Location based Social Network on your smartphone, you can avoid the FOMO. This now the latest trend on Social Networks!

    Not just flashing that smartphone to show you’re a part of the “in” crowd, but using the mobile version of your Social Network on your smartphone to always be in the loop, thus avoiding the FOMO.

    But there is a nascent trend which I myself have observed emerging on FaceBook.

    This is where females of High Standing from Abroad i.e. Corporate Executives, Managers, etc, often traveling to attend conferences in Jamaica, make arrangements to meet with a prospective male of interest – via Facebook.

    Officially, according to the slang and language of the young people on FaceBook, it is called “Inboxing”.

    Here’s how it works, as I have observed it in action on FaceBook and explained herein via a simple scenario!

    Having met, spoken and video chatted with an amor of interest online after accepting an online invite via their Social Network and chatting for a while in private via their “inbox”, the female of High Standing from Abroad alerts the prospective male via their Inbox i.e. “inboxes” him, that she will soon be in Jamaica.

    All done via her smartphone!

    Often via First Class Flight, these females, who may be white women, often to do their seminars in the daytime.

    On retiring for their night to their Hotels or staying at friends, usually a Gated Community in Kingston (preferred), then slip out incognito via rented car or taxi for their midnight rendezvous with their amor.

    People, sex tourism is alive and well, a la FaceBook.

    The reverse may be true, based on anecdotal evidence supplied to me by friends of friends who work in High Flight Jobs in Entertainment, Marketing, Embassies or even at Airlines that have them traveling abroad. Often having to endure some lengthy alone time. So again they also make arrangements to meet their special someone via “Inboxing” on Social Networking websites on their smartphones.

    And yes he may be white too!

    In like manner to a foreigner traveling to Jamaica, Local Jamaicans flying abroad too make the connection prior via “inboxing” their amor on the Social Networking websites. Reverse the sex roles as to who “inboxes” whom and possibly males do the same thing as well!

    Shhh! Privacy guaranteed as the amorous lover decides to, while on business, “Jim Screechy” to where you live so she can “tief piece gi’ you”!

    The Mile High Club just went Social, folks!

    Interestingly, a similar trend of “inboxing” also exists among High School students, who are now using FaceBook and FourSquare on the smartphones, as my online sources tell me, to go on amorous trysts with males often ten (10) years their senior.

    Makes finding that needle [older mature males!] needs in a High Society haystack that much easier for Midnight trysts.

    Cougar-ism and Lolita relationships powered by Social Networking!

    However, as with all things social, it’s a lot more complex than it appears at first glance, as some of these liaisons often involve monetary transactions, be it in cash or kind in exchange for the lover’s embrace – and silence, or no more midnight trysts with nookie, clothes, gifts and tickets to Reggae Sumfest!

    It also looks like FaceBook may even be a source of prostitution, based on whisperings on FaceBook. Urban legends abound of young raven haired femme fetales females foist for favours from local or foreign males via Social Networking!

    It seems that on FaceBook, females seeking the adoration of Males, as would happen in real life, may actually be using their FaceBook pages to “hook up” with prospective males of interest. Females are also more aggressive on FaceBook when it comes to displaying their interest in males, often inviting “inboxing” if the target male is:

    1. Older,
    2. Has handsome “swagged”-out pictures
    3. Give them lots of “likes” or comments on their beauty
    4. Has lots of money

    Much as is the case in real life, I’m afraid!

    Truly, Art imitates Life in this the oldest Profession!

    Please note this is my theory. As part of my disclaimer, I have never knowingly “inboxed” any of these sexually aggressive High Class Mile High Club females or even local young un’s still in High School via my FaceBook page.

    Talk dirty yes, I’ll freely admit to being guilty. Generation Y’ers  love it, I find, possibly because they are such an unruly yet less privacy concerned bunch, as FaceBook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asserts!

    But amorous relationships are the stuff of Myth and Legend in my case I am afraid.

    I am just too “verbose”, “nerdy”, “geeky” and “techie” (quotes lifted from my FB Profile!) to be part of the “inbox” crowd on FB, spending most of my time posting news, personal blog article and Geezam Blog articles to be seen as “cool” by the naughty Generation Y’ers.

    However, evidence of the anecdotal information above, this time of the scientific kind, is supplied by a Columbia University Professor, Dr. Sudhir Venkatesh, who suggests that since CraigsList made prostitutes persona non grata since they shut down the Adult Services Section on September 2010, the Ladies of the Night have take up residence on FaceBook and other Geo-Location enabled Social Networking sites to ply their Business.

    Please note that this is in the US of A! The good Doctor goes on to estimate that 83% of prostitutes already have a FaceBook page and probably 25% of their clientele already was coming from FaceBook as far back as 2008, with Craigslist contributing a measly 3%.

    Well Du-uh.

    Craigslist is slowly losing its Advertising edge despite being so popular in terms of newspaper styled Classifieds. A good portion of FaceBook’s revenue is from advertising. So it would only be rational that everyone had been migrating to FaceBook due to its popularity.

    Truly, this knee-jerk action by CraigsList due to a sex offender scare is unwarranted and may lose then the little 3% of revenue they gain from prostitution.

    With the trend of “inboxing” an indication as to the mechanism of how prostitution can work on FaceBook, FourSquare and other Social Networks, Dr. Sudhir Venkatesh predicts that by the Fourth Quarter of 2011, FaceBook “will be the leading online recruitment space”.

    Especially as the Bordello Women “can control their image, set their prices, and sidestep some of the pimps, madams, and other intermediaries who once took a share of the revenue”!

    Do I hear the call of menagie a trios?

    I had long known from anecdotal evidence gleaned while I was an Undergrad resident on Irvine Hall on the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus (2005 to 2006) that some female University Students work as High End Call Girls to make ends meet.

    But the Social Networking puts a clever twist to the whole thing, as theoretically, you could run a Call Girl Service entirely on FaceBook, with the Call Girls being part of a Group with Privacy Settings making them only visible to the initiated – and invited!

    But if FaceBook is going to become the recruitment ground for prostitution as opposed to the Classifieds in the back page of Jamaica Observer, Star or Sunday Gleaner Classifieds, then do not be surprised when the next time you get “inboxed”, she may be highly educated University undergrad or even post-graduate, looking for some cash in exchange for a little Moulin Rouge!

    Certainly may explain, at 71%, the high interest in Social Networking among Jamaicans! The 65% only helps to cement in your mind, based on the age demographic, that it is University Students and High School Students

    It seems that I am wrong about my fellow country women after all. But not quite as I would have expected!

    I would need to do more research to confirm that this trend is actually occurring in Jamaican much in the same way it is occurring in the United States of America, as anecdotal information is not proof, even when documented.

    Then again, it may be applicable anyway, as FaceBook has no genuine means of verifying the identities of the people on FaceBook in the absolute or even that they live where they claim. Especially with a website of the International flair of FaceBook, making his research equally applicable to Jamaica as to almost every other country with Internet Access!

    FaceBook is Borderless but with Faces to “like” on its Book that bares your Soul to the World.

    To wit, I would have to be “inboxed” by an Online Lady of the Night from one of these Private Groups, who, based on the above evidence, may actually be between the age ranges of fifteen (15) to thirty four (34), effectively High School and/or University Students.

    Then I could be more informed, so to speak.

    Jamaicans, like Americans, it appears, do use the Internet for “Business”, as this form of prostitution via “inboxing” on FaceBook, albeit a safer form of prostitution for sexually aggressive females to make money, is now creating a new trend: Social Prostitution.

    A trend driven by High Unemployment and lack of opportunity in the Formal Work Sector here in Jamaica among females had already driven even those on University Campuses to Prostitution to support themselves through the difficult College years.

    With this possibility as postulated above, I fear the Internet’s free expansion, even my suggestion of Broadband as a Right in Jamaica, would be an accelerant of the above.

    This is as if the Economy does not improve to provide jobs for the graduate unemployed, Broadband Internet may encourage not only local Developers to make Apps for various smartphone Platforms such as Blackberry OS, which is part of a larger US$15 billion dollar market set to hit forty four billion (44,000,000,000) app downloads by 2016AD, but also result in an explosion in Social Prostitution.

    As you ponder this possibility of High Class Social Prostitution, Moulin Rouge (2001) Style, gently hum the song with the naughty French words: voulez-vous coucher avec moi !

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    Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.

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    4 Responses to "Social Network Prostitution: FOMO drives Millennials to “Inboxing”"

    1. CS says:

      First, Entrepreneurial opportunities. Numbers two and four can be done, I’d be surprised if a Shoutcast stream hasn’t tried an SMS request system before.

      Second, the whole first section, “In my..” to “.. No surprise why.”, feels unnecessary to this article. Trying to rally Generation Y to living up to their potential doesn’t seem to have anything to do with FOMO or the Facebook Prostitution.

      Third, if you use statistics cite your source as accurately as possible. If you can provide a link to a page with that info even better.

    2. My Criticism of University of the West Indies and University students is valid: Most of them do not engage in Entrepreneurial pursuits using the Internet; it’s mostly Facebook. All the above concepts are possible, including doing Digital animation for advertising (not on the list!!).

      It’s just a matter of mindset!!!

      FOMO is the main reason why students eventually fall into Social Prostitution. Students, often females, are introduced to it via Social Networking because many of them seek an easy solution to their financial problems as opposed going the entrepreneurial route to make money online.

      My “rally”ing of students has everything to do with FOMO, as it I know it is difficult when you are a University student to strike out on your own and do the right thing when your friends tell you that having sex with an older man (females) can earn you top dollar by being part of their online FB Group as opposed to selling herbalife or starting an online trading store.

      Or even fixing computers!!!

      The FOMO drives to do what is social acceptable in the context of facebook a opposed to the right thing; seek financial help from University Councilors when facing financial difficulties instead of giving into the FOMO

      Thus my rallying cry while in my campus days for students to stop using the social networks and use the Internet to make their own mark on the Internet Landscape via the implementation of one or all of the above ideas

      Very easy to give in to the financial pressures of UWI life!

      I know.

      I attended from 2005 to 2009 and was lucky enough to get a job at CLARO when they just started out with my electronics and Chemistry Degree!!!! Especially at 30 years old!!

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