With technology being a main staple of the modern world, it is important to try to adapt to it as quickly as possible. This can be easier for some than others, in particular those that suffer from technophobia. If you do, then congratulations on reading this article since it is a step to conquering your fear. If you do not suffer from technophobia, but know someone who does then we hope this article can help you help them. Keep in mind that we are not experts, and it is best to do further research on this topic and read more on what technophobia is.
Breaking the word up gives away its definition of it at first glance. “Tech” as in technology and “phobia” as in a deep fear or dislike. Hence, technophobia is fear or extreme dislike of technology. It is actually a common phobia in this ever-changing world so much so that it is estimated that one-third of the world is affected by it to a certain extent.
This is not too surprising since much of the time when a new update or form of technology comes out, there is a bit of nervousness from people about it. And, these are the ones that do not have technophobia. But, in some cases, it can be a serious issue for those that do. Do not worry they are not alone.
Distress is a major symptom of technophobia, certainly when people have to learn to handle a new form of technology. However, if this phobia is severe enough it can become a type of anxiety disorder. Which can lead people to experience the following symptoms:
With the above symptoms of technophobia, it is not a wonder that people would avoid coming into contact with technology. Even the thought of it can be triggering. And, this includes the basics of the modern world such as ATMs, computers, mobile devices, etc. As you can see it can limit the functionality of their lives since technology is everywhere.
When it comes to any type of phobia there is often not a singular cause that brings it about. It is often a collection of different factors that may have come together to make this phobia come to life. These factors could be:
Social and cultural ones such as how often a person uses technology. For example, younger generations are more comfortable with technology since they grew up with it. While older generations can be a bit slower to adapt to it, some people may never embrace it at all.
Another factor could be, what is known as, “Doomsday scenarios”. This can be, arguably, linked to the media such as television shows, movies, novels, etc. showing how “technology can go wrong.” It is the idea of the unknown that is triggering to many people. Furthermore, there are many different forms of technology that can be difficult to wrap your head around. From some people, yours truly included, it can be the dark web or even Linux operating system.
Not to fear since there are treatments for those people where the technophobia impacts their daily life and ability to function. The point of treatment is to reduce the anxiety and fear of new or even outdated technology. However, speak to a doctor before starting anything. There are two types of treatments such as:
CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). This is a treatment where the patient identifies the negative thoughts that link to technophobia. When they are identified, the patient, with their therapist's help, can start to change the thinking behind the thoughts. A therapist can aid people in learning what thoughts are irrational so that these can be replaced with more pleasant ones.
The second type is called Exposure Therapy. As the name suggests this is when the patient is exposed to the items that they fear. It is done so that the feeling of fear and anxiety decreases with time. Each type of treatment can be a long process, but all forms of therapy are. And, remember no one is not alone, many people have technophobia, even if it is just a little.
Furthermore, there are also medications that people can take, after they talk to their doctor and therapist, to help with anxiety symptoms. It would be best to use medication with a form of treatment to get the best result.
Outside of therapy, there are other ways to cope with fear of technology. But, therapy should be a first go-to if it is that severe, or you can gently mention it to your friend or family member if you know they suffer from technophobia. One of the ways that people can cope with technology anxiety is to try to understand it. Anxiety and fear are often linked to the unknown and a little bit of research can be a great start.
Even speaking to someone about technology can put it in a better light. Another method is to ask for help on how to use it. This can make the technology less intimidating which can result in stress being lowered, while also making people used to using technology more.
A coping method can also be to take a class on the subject. A community education one can be just the ticket since it covers what technology is, with the help of other people to lead the way instead of doing it by themselves. It is here where people can learn how to use technology and even about the different types there are.
Furthermore, it is also a good idea to set personal goals whereby they can focus on one aspect of technology at a time. This is so they do not feel overwhelmed. Break it down into small parts such as how to use the basics of a computer, then when they are ready how to visit other websites, etc.
Setting personal goals is all about going at their pace and not rushing the process. Some days can be easier than others, but the idea is to keep trying while taking it slow. When they are ready to move on to the next step they will. A little every day does go a long way.
Plus, there are also support groups where people can gather to talk about their fears. But, mostly to share and discuss ways to learn to cope with technophobia. They should try support groups out since the point is not to judge but to help.
While the process of overcoming any type of phobia can be a challenge it can be done. As mentioned, speak to a doctor and a therapist about it to get information as well to start. There is therapy, support groups, coping methods, etc. Plus, if you are someone who has it, asking for help is not wrong since a lot of people have it too. And, some people are there to help.
Not only in support groups and with professionals like doctors and therapists, but also with family and friends. Give yourself time, and go at your own pace. There is no hurry. If you know of someone who suffers from technophobia badly, advise them about therapy, support groups etc. Also, be patient with them since they are trying. And, good luck to both types of parties.
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