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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Technophobia: The Fear of Technology

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Technology is the incorporation of scientific knowledge to create a design that handles specific tasks to make our lives easier.

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Despite having numerous disadvantages, technology is a lifesaver, but some people are more concerned about the disadvantages. Some of them get too concerned that they developed a condition known as technophobia.

Technophobia is the irrational and extreme fear of technology; especially, when it is a new and advanced technology. Technophobia may be as a result of certain factors such as traumatic experience, presence of other phobias or ill information about technology.

Technophobia is not a severe problem, but it becomes one when it is not handled correctly. This is when it tends to hinder your day-to-day way of living.

However, it is very much treatable, even at this stage. Technophobia is the exaggerated fear and irrational aversion towards technology, especially new and advanced technology.

We all know that science and technology are known to evolve continuously. First, we started using stones, sticks, and bones as tools to accomplish tasks. As time goes on, technology and tools become more advanced to solve problems better.

Certain people, especially older adults, usually feel overwhelmed at how fast technology is growing, and they feel the need to keep up.

Although technophobia is not recognized officially as a mental illness, this condition can be severe and may affect a person’s livelihood.

Diagnosing technophobia

There are diagnostic criteria used to determine if someone has technophobia, and they may include;

  • Consistent fear at the sight or thought of technology or advanced technological devices
  • Arousal or panic attack due to exposure to technology or advanced technological device
  • The realization that this fear is extreme and irrational
  • If the person experiences symptoms of technophobia for more than six months
  • Consciously and carefully avoiding technology or advanced devices.

Causes

Similar to other phobias, technophobia has no specific cause, but experts believe that the phobia occur as a result of predisposing factors, and they may include;

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Social and cultural factors

From the olden days to this modern time, teens and young adults have always been more accepting of new and advanced products of technology than older adults.

Beliefs get in the way of being accepting. Specific works of technology may be useful to humanity, but because some people do not take it as morally right, they hate it.

“Assisted Reproductive Technology” has helped many couples and single individuals have children, but because some people do not find it ethically right, they detest it.

They may also peddle wrong information about it to keep their young ones from adopting it.

Gender differences also play a role in technophobia. Specific people believe that anything relating to technology is masculine and that females are not capable of handling them.

Even though we have females in the technology world, this stereotype still exists. That is why women that believe this fear to embrace technology.

Doomsday scenario

Our popular culture portrays doomsday scenarios in movies, books, articles, blogs and social media posts, and TV shows. These doomsday scenarios are alarming possibilities of how technology is likely to destroy humankind as a whole.

These scenarios include;

  • A war between humanity and robots
  • World War III between countries and how the war will destroy the earth
  • Dinosaurs attack because they were brought back to life using technology
  • The dangers of cloning and other assisted reproductive technologies

Ill information about technology

While we have credible and reliable information about many things, there are also wrong information out there.

Incorrect information can do more harm than good, and when some people see false information about a particular product of technology, they may react negatively to them. The more they read or listen to this unreliable information, the more threatened they get.

Presence of other phobias

The presence of other phobias such as fear of robots, fear of chaos, fear of death relatively gives rise to the development of fear of technology.

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Traumatic experience

This is a common factor in phobias and a person who must have experienced a tragic event such as an explosion or fire outbreak caused by electricity or any accident caused by any technical product will have them believing that technology is harmful.

This belief causes them to fear, and eventually, this fear may be irrational. People like this are likely to have this condition.

Treatment

Individuals with technophobia may feel threatened even at the thought of anything relating to technology. This fear may be irrational, and they know it, but they cannot stop feeling that way.

Technophobia can affect a person’s life so severely that it can temper with the person’s social life, academics, and career. However, technophobia is treatable using several methods including;

Self-help

Self-help is an approach you take by yourself first. Self-help techniques may include the following;

  • Reading up reliable information about technology and focusing on the good it does to humanity and the world at large, instead of the disadvantages
  • Trying out the new technology. You do not need to be scared to try out something new
  • Reading books, listening to music, watching videos, documentaries, or tutorials and accepting the fact that technology has made things easier for everybody.
  • Practising mindful meditation to calm your nerves and channel your mind to positive thinking

By following the techniques mentioned above, you are likely to overcome your fears.

Counselling

Consulting a therapist is the next step to take if self-help does not work. Trained therapists possess the skill to help you overcome your fears.

Talking to your therapist about your problem within a comfortable environment will make it easy to have your situation addressed.

By evaluating your situation, the negative thought patterns that you have about technology are identified. This makes it easier for your therapists to help you see the positive aspect of technology, thereby replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones.

More so, your therapist may teach you coping skills you can adopt to overcome these fears.

Support groups

Joining support groups, which are available both online and offline, is another approach that can help you recover. This allows you to connect with people who are going through or must have gone through what you are experiencing.

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This gives you the homely feeling that you are not alone, and with their support, you can learn to overcome your fears of technology.

Exposure therapy

When counselling or joining support groups do not help you, you may consult a professional psychologist. Your psychologist may adopt exposure therapy to help you. This is a technique where you are gradually exposed to your object of fear.

This is done to help you feel less threatened at each exposure until you do not feel any fear even when faced with your source of anxiety. This is likely to worsen the condition, and so should be carried out by a well-trained therapist only.

Sources;

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