In the 1970s and 1980s, IBM built a near-monopoly selling large business computers. Known as “mainframes” these huge and expensive IBM computers could be found in almost every large and medium-sized corporation in North America and Western Europe. Many companies built “IBM rooms” encased in glass to show off their high-tech systems to visitors and employees.
Even though their products were often better and cheaper than those sold by IBM, IBM’s competitors had great difficulty selling their products to corporate IT managers. It seems computer system purchasers around the country shared one core belief: “no one ever gets fired for buying IBM.” IBM’s salesmen (yes, virtually all the sales teams were male) just had to whisper something like “what if the Brand X computer doesn’t work?” or “You’ll never get hired with another company if you don’t maintain your familiarity with IBM’s systems!” or “We’ll blacklist you. You’ll never work for another IT department again.”
They called it “FUD” — fear, uncertainty and doubt, and it was an effective tactic. At least until personal computers became so powerful that they de-throned IBM’s mainframes and disrupted the entire tech ecosystem.
I’m convinced that Satan still uses FUD today. He whispers “what if COVID causes [insert your worst fear here.] “2022 is an election year. What if [insert name of your favorite political party] loses the election?” “Who knows what’s going to happen with Houston’s energy industry over the coming decade.” “I can’t believe you decided to [go back to college] or [change jobs] or [stay at your current job] or [try to have a baby] or [sell your house].”
The Evil One’s opportunities for introducing FUD into our minds are almost endless. So, as the new year begins, how can you build your defenses against it?