Welcome to the 1st Part of a 2-part series on Technophobia and managing the fear of technology.
Just to give you, my perspective. I have been working with technology for over 30 years in the military, as a cybercrime investigator and working for major technology companies. In my career, I have had to work with a number of new technologies that have caused me concern and sometimes even discomfort. Somes these feelings were about me and sometimes there were legitimate concerns about the quality of the technology and how it might impact people. And these feelings are normal and sometimes even appropriate. In this Blog we will understand more about technophobia and the fear of technology.
In our society, we are seeing an increased concern with technology and technological devices. This concern can range from mild discomfort or anxiety about using certain technologies to an intense deep fear or even avoidance of all things technological. These feelings can affect people of all ages and groups.
It's important to note that while technophobia is a real and valid fear for many, it's also necessary to recognize that technology is an integral part of modern life. Finding this balance between embracing technology and managing one’s fears and legitimate concerns is critical for one’s personal and professional development. Support and guidance from friends, family, and mental health professionals can be valuable in addressing this anxiety around some technologies.
Fear of technology can be caused by many things including:
Lack of familiarity with certain technology and feeling overwhelmed by technological change: People who have had limited exposure to technology or who have not had the opportunity to work with technology extensively may sometimes feel anxious or fearful about working with unfamiliar devices or software.
Past negative experiences with technology: Incidents such as being a victim of cybercrime and cyberbullying can contribute to technophobia. These experiences can create a sense of fear or mistrust towards technology.
Fear that technology might cause harm in the future; This is especially common with radically new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence.
Information overload: The rapid advancement of technology and the overwhelming amount of information we are being exposed to can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed or just unable to keep up.
Media portrayal: Media depictions of technology, particularly in science fiction, can contribute to technophobia by portraying technology as dangerous or threatening.
Fear of change: Technophobia can stem from a fear of change or a preference for traditional methods. Some people may resist adopting new technologies due to concerns about losing control, privacy, or job security.
Cultural or generational factors: Cultural or generational differences often influence attitudes towards technology. People who may have grown up without widespread technology may feel less comfortable with the newer technologies.
Cyberbullying: Social media and online platforms can be a source of fear when they have experienced cyberbullying, harassment, or online abuse. Victims of such online attacks may experience emotional and psychological trauma.
Online Content: Exposure to traumatic content online, such as violent videos or graphic images, can lead to trauma or increase existing trauma.
Technophobia can manifest itself in multiple ways:
Experiencing anxiety or panic when using new technology.
Going to great lengths to avoid using technology, even when it may be necessary.
Physically with symptoms such as sweating, trembling, or increased heart rate.
Preoccupation with thoughts of being forced to use technology.
Avoidance of new computers or phone.
Resistance to upgrading a device’s software or using automatic processes like automatic bill paying.
Fear of technology can significantly impact one’s life with:
Professional and Personal Limitations: Technophobia can limit current and future job opportunities and personal growth in a world where technology is a critical part of life.
Isolation: Fear of tech can lead to social isolation as people avoid online communications and interactions, news as well as social media.
Inefficiency: Avoiding technology can make life more difficult by stopping people from using beneficial tools to improve one’s life.
Increasingly working with technology is a requirement for personal and professional survival. Whether we are checking email, applying for jobs, looking for information or filling out forms online, there is no avoiding technology. Even buying food in the supermarket or talking to people on the phone requires significant interaction with technology. Recognizing one’s discomfort with the rapidly changing technological world is the 1st step in being comfortable with current and new hardware devices and software. In the my next Blog post, we will look at options for dealing with technophobia as well as legitimate concerns about how technology affects us all.
If you have any questions or concerns about how technology makes you feel or how your interaction with technology is impacting your life, you can talk with a mental health professional, counselor, psychologists or a hypnotherapist.
Stay tuned for part II of this blog on Technophobia.