Understanding Cyberphobia – The Fear of Computer Technology
Do you find yourself running in the opposite direction when someone asks you to send a simple email or even sit at a computer? Are you afraid that the internet will defraud you no matter how many precautions you take, or that it will get into your soul? If you have a high fear of the internet and all things computer related, you may have cyberphobia.
It’s probably difficult for you to explain to your family and friends about the stark fear you feel when you’re handed an electronic gadget. At times, even making a simple phone call may seem taxing, because you’re afraid to operate the phone.
Living with this fear can be difficult and has probably become the bane of your existence. You may feel unsure about yourself as everyone around you can use these electronic gadgets so freely, yet you are hesitant to do so yourself.
However, there is no need for you to lose hope. There are ways to overcome your fears, but first you need to identify the root cause of it.
What Causes Cyberphobia?
Cyberphobia, like all other phobias, is an irrational fear. It is the fear of or the aversion to computers or any new technology. It is often seen in older people who either missed the revolution of technology or those who are still struggling to adapt to the new age of technology. It is also common for people to have cyberphobia who have low self-confidence. They may feel prone to making mistakes and fear judgment for that.
There are various ways in which you could experience cyberphobia. For example, teachers may experience a form of cyberphobia if they are forced to change their teaching methods. Cyberphobia may leave them feeling incompetent, especially if they lack the skills required in this new age of technology.
Cyberphobia may also occur if one has had negative experiences with technology or computers. For example, if your computer was hacked in the past, you might fear the same happening again.
While some may find cyberphobia ridiculous or silly, those with this phobia can relate to the depth of fear associated with it.
Symptoms of Cyberphobia
Like all other phobias, cyberphobia is a mental disorder and manifests various symptoms in those who suffer from it.
These symptoms can be both mental/emotional and physical.
The symptoms of cyberphobia are generally subconscious and uncontrollable. They take over your thoughts, leading you to take extreme measures to avoid your object of fear, in this case, computers. This is known as safety or avoidance behavior.
You may notice that you have trouble concentrating or find it difficult to relax. When the phobia is triggered, you may find yourself sweating excessively.
The physical symptoms of cyberphobia include panic attacks, fatigue, aches, and pains. You may also begin to feel breathless when in contact with computers or other similar electronic gadgets. Headaches may also occur. When confronted with a computer, you may even find yourself getting dizzy.
If you notice that cyberphobia is hindering or interfering with your life’s normal functioning, it’s time to do something about it. You might consider self-help or professional therapy. But keep in mind, there’s not just one particular treatment for cyberphobia. There are various treatment methods you can try.
Self-Help – What Can You Do to Help Yourself?
Before you consider other treatment options, you may want to consider trying to help yourself. You can begin by trying to calm yourself when you are faced with your fear. Try to reassure yourself that your fears are nothing more than a manifestation of your mind.
Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises and meditation can go a long way in calming down the chaotic mind.
Another way to overcome cyberphobia is to expose yourself to that which terrifies you, in this case, computers and other electronic gadgets. You may find that if you are persistent enough, your fears will slowly begin to diminish.
You can start by learning new technologies and software that are most comfortable for you. Along with that, any of the above-mentioned techniques can help you overcome your fears.
Professional Help for Cyberphobia
For many years, even psychologists have ignored the fact that our minds are capable of producing real biological reactions to any given situation or stimuli. That means that, to you, computers appear to pose a threat that feels very real.
The majority of people who have cyberphobia know that their fear is irrational, but still they continue to feel it. That’s when professional therapy may be the best option.
When considering professional therapy, it’s important to seek a mental health specialist. Treatment methods may vary from person to person, depending on symptoms.
Learning to Cope with Cyberphobia
All of the above-mentioned methods, both self-help and professional, can in no way guarantee a full recovery from your phobia. However, they will help you gain some control over it, making sure you’re no longer at the mercy of the phobia. You may not feel the same level of fear, and you’ll be able to better manage the situation if it were to present itself.
Learning to overcome cyberphobia can go a long way in living a normal life. In today’s modern world, you can’t escape electronics, which makes it even more important to have control over your fear of technology.
If you are faced with a situation where you have to use a computer or any new technology, now you can. Remember to assure yourself that you’re okay and that your fears are just temporary. With a little practice, you could be on the path to competing with some of the IT professionals of the world.