Sociology Index


Technophobia and Technofear arise from Technophobe, a person who fears technology. Technophobia is related to another fear cyberphobia which is expressed as "an irrational fear of or aversion to computers." Technophobia is the fear or dislike of advanced technology or complex devices. Though technophobia is not a recognized mental illness, it is an extreme and irrational fear of technology. Technophobia is also the reason why many organizations are technologically lagging, as business leaders exhibit cognitive technophobia.  The term Geriatric Technophobia suggests that this phobia is more likely to be found in older adults than adolescents.

Technophile enjoys the positive benefits from technology. The idea of technophilia as used in the critical theory of society describes the enthusiasm for new technologies. The term technophilia is contrasted with technophobia. Interpretations and definitions of technophobia will become more complex as technology evolves. Discomgoogolation is a new phobia for loss of internet connectivity.

History Of Technophobia

First recognized during the Industrial Revolution, technophobia has been observed to affect various societies and communities throughout the world. Technophobia continued to grow, catalyzed by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Corporate production of war technologies such as napalm, explosives, and gases during the Vietnam War further increased in technology's worth and purpose creating more technophobes. Several societal groups like the Luddites are considered technophobic.

Many technophobic groups revolt against modern technology because they believe that these technologies are threatening their livelihoods. The Luddites were a social movement of British artisans in the 19th century who organized in opposition to technological advances in the textile industry.

Technophobia In Arts

An early example of technophobia in fiction and popular culture is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It has been a staple of science fiction ever since. Technophobia achieved commercial success in the 1980s with the movie The Terminator, in which a computer becomes self-aware, and decides to kill all humans. Virtuosity, a 1995 American science fiction action film speaks of a virtual serial killer who manages to escape to the real world. He goes on a rampage before he is stopped. A true technophobic movie in that its main plot is about technology gone wrong.

Technophobia Abstracts

Technophobia vs. Technomania - Chamberlin, Leslie J. 
Abstract: There must be more emphasis on computers in education so that students can function in a sophisticated society and not fall prey to technophobia or technomania.

Technology and Technophobia: Methods for Overcoming

How technology can lead to the development of technophobia and how individuals can be helped to overcome their technophobia. - Schwartz, J., Gibson, G., Wilkinson, L., Buboltz, W. & Seemann, E. (2002). In C. Crawford et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference 2002. Chesapeake, VA: AACE. 

Rx for Technophobia - Kassner, Kirk.

Abstract: States that teachers' fear of using computers and electronic technology in music education may prevent students from reaching their full potential. Includes suggestions for diagnosis and cure of "technophobia."

An investigation of framing and scaling as confounding variables in information outcomes: The case of technophobia. - Appa Rao Korukonda and Seth Finnb.

Technophobia has been an enduring problem in industrial economies over the last 20 years. Though explanatory models have been proposed to explain the prevalence of technophobia, these efforts have been diffuse, contradictory, and lacking in integration and explanatory and predictive utility. Using technophobia as the background variable, this research examines the role of scaling and framing in organizational research. It is argued that these particular issues, though endemic to research in other areas of social sciences as well, are worthy of exploration in the context of technophobia particularly in light of contradictory findings.

Technophobia then and now - Edgerton, David 
Nature, Volume 376, Issue 6542, pp. 653-654 (1995).