Technophobia – The Excessive Fear of General Technology
Do you suffer from the fear of technology or anything highly technical?
Does using a smartphone or complicated remote control make you panic?
Are you afraid that machines will take over the world? Do you refuse to adopt new tech and view them with suspicion?
If you answered yes, you may have Technophobia. It’s common to be nervous about using unfamiliar technology. While it is okay to be flustered, some people have more extreme reactions like panic attacks or severe anxiety. You do not have to live with a constant dread of using new technology. There’s always a way to cope with a phobia. Find out how to overcome Technophobia and why you have this condition.
What Is Technophobia?
You may ask yourself, why am I afraid of technology? Technophobia is the fear of advanced technology or complex gadgets. This fear of technology is more widespread than you’d think. Technophobia is common since technology is constantly changing. Not everyone can learn new instructions and processes change differently, triggering this phobia. It’s not surprising since using the latest gadgets and apps can be quite bewildering. That confusion can inspire fear. After all, there can be serious consequences when you don’t use technology properly. Some are afraid of losing face-to-face interaction with people due to the ensuing digital era. This lack of personal connection can be quite disturbing. Technophobes have abnormal anxiety about the effects of technology. The fear can be related to anything that seems to be scientifically advanced. You can see this depicted in movies, where Skynet or evil robots kill off humanity. Anything newfangled can cause a technophobic person to panic or worry. It can be robots, computers, AI, weapons, smartphones, cloud technology, mobile applications, coding, the internet, and so on.Is Technophobia a mental illness? No, it is not officially recognized as a mental illness. People with Technophobia also do not experience disgust toward technology.
What Causes Technophobia?
If you’re curious about the origins of this phobia, we’ve listed them here for you.
Wariness of the Unknown
Technophobia comes from a person’s strong sense of stability and cultural norms. We are all hardwired to fear the unusual and unfamiliar. When anything new comes our way, this is our natural response. When a person likes being in control of a situation, a new gadget may challenge their norms and instill fear.
It can also stem from the risk of misuse of the technology. You can see plenty of evidence for this in the news and historical accounts. From there, it’s not a stretch to think of technology as the reason behind apocalyptic scenarios.
The fear can be triggered by anything. It can be that robots will lead to doomsday or that EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attacks will halt society. Some technophobes are certain that technology will be used to invade our privacy.
Technophobia also develops when we fear social exclusion for lacking the skills to adapt to new technologies. If you are not competent in dealing with new gadgets, your self-esteem will take a hit. In a bid to preserve your dignity, you may become reluctant to use these devices.
Age is said to be an indicator, although Technophobia is not limited to any particular generation. While older people are afraid of not understanding tech, younger people are afraid of technology taking over their jobs. This has happened before. In the early 1800s, farmers and laborers protested the use of machinery. These Luddites were afraid that they would lose their jobs, which eventually came true during the Industrial Age.
What Are the Symptoms of Technophobia?
Now that you know the top Technophobia causes, let’s see how it manifests. The symptoms of Technophobia vary in different people. The fear becomes a phobia when you take extreme measures to avoid situations where you come across technology or refuse to use it.
A Technophobe may resort to:
● Refusing to learn or update your knowledge of devices
● Criticizing new technology
● Rationalizing the aversion
● Feeling overwhelmed when confronted with complex instructions
Here are other physical and psychological symptoms that indicate one is a Technophobe:
● Heart palpitations
● Tingling sensations or numbness
● Fear of losing control
● Fuzzy thoughts
● Fear of being left out
● Fear of change
Technophobes go to great lengths to avoid technology. They often depend on others to use technologically advanced devices.
Self-Help Guide to Coping with Technophobia
So how do you treat Technophobia? You can take professional guidance to treat Technophobia, or you can start taking initiatives on a personal level.
Technophobia treatment starts the day you start acknowledging your phobia and stop rationalizing the resistance. If you accept that it is irrational and treatable, then you are already a few steps ahead.
Getting to the root of your phobia will help you make positive life changes.
Cardio workouts decrease your anxiety. The rush of feel-good chemicals while doing physical activity eases up stress. Consider adding biking, jogging, or swimming to your daily routine.
You also learn to deal with anxiety by distracting your thoughts and focusing on something else. That’s what makes deep breathing, yoga, and meditation so effective. Take your time, you do not necessarily have to keep up with the pace technology is moving ahead. Don’t add on to the stress you are already going through. Give yourself time to adapt to the technology.
Seeking Professional Help
If self-help techniques fail to make a difference, getting professional help is your next step. Your Technophobia may have some deep-rooted issues that need resolving. Your psychologist can help you identify these. During the process, you’ll gain perspective and understand yourself better. Psychologists use certain techniques to reduce the anxiety associated with the object or situation of fear. They may use cognitive behavior therapy or psychodynamic therapy to treat your Technophobia.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
CBT teaches you to face your fear with rationality. It allows you to take time and let go of the negative feelings. With time, you learn not to respond to technology with aversion or fear.
Psychodynamic therapy has you exploring your childhood issues and traumas that may have triggered your Technophobia.
It exposes you to the object of fear little by little until you are desensitized.
Other therapies your psychologist may use are.
● Talk Therapy
● Dialectical Behavior Techniques (DBT)
● Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
These therapies have a lasting effect, but they do take time. It’s important to be patient when it comes to dealing with phobias.
How to Cope with Technophobia
Avoiding technology provides a temporary sense of relief. However, the phobia will only grow stronger the more you do this. This phobia can be so severe that it affects your career. After all, technology is now being used in a lot of jobs. Getting that promotion or even staying employed may depend on your ability to learn new tech, fast. If you live in a city, it’s nigh impossible to avoid technology. From public transportation to shopping, you are expected to handle these tools.
What can you do?
You do not have to go through this unpleasantness all your life. Keep these in mind:
● Tell yourself that there is nothing wrong with technology.
● The more you use an item, the more comfortable you become with it.
● Make it your everyday task to use a little form of technology
Your goal is not to become tech-savvy but to live with technology harmoniously.
New technology usually inspires excitement or technology. After all, they promise easier, faster, and better ways of doing things. However, someone with Technophobia will view these with suspicion. They are wary of the impact these advancements have on their way of life. With time and effort, Technophobia can be overcome. You may not become an early adopter, but you should be comfortable with using new gadgets and apps. Don’t lose hope. Eventually, you can lead a normal life in the age of technology.