You might not be alone if you’ve ever been hesitant to use your child’s smartphone or wondered how to use a computer on your own. Many people find it difficult to use technology and are afraid of gadgets. Psychologists may refer to some people as “technophobic, ” which is a serious issue.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not list “technophobia” as a clinical diagnosis (DSM-5). However, given the recent expansion of technology, some medical professionals approach technophobia as a serious condition. Irrational fears of a particular situation, object, or animal are known as phobias. The level of worry is out of proportion to the threat.
Technophobia: What Is It?
The fear or dislike of evolved technology or complex devices, particularly computers, is called technophobia. Teenagers and young adults are traditionally the first to embrace new technology and become proficient with them, followed by younger children. Adults are slower at adopting new technologies than children, and some seniors may never embrace them. Hence, adults are more prone to technophobia.
As the gap between generations with varying levels of advanced technology widens, the economy shifts to favor those with more technical skills. The gap between those familiar with technology and those unaware is widening. Technology can arouse strong emotions in some people, such as panic, anxiety, terror, or dread.
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Who may experience technophobia?
Anyone can be hesitant or fearful of using new technology. Technophobia may be present when the fear significantly affects your life.
Technophobia is more likely to develop in adults, especially senior citizens. Additionally, you are more likely to have technophobia if you already have a mental health diagnosis, such as an anxiety disorder.
How widespread is technophobia?
Experts are unsure of the precise number of individuals having technophobia. But it affects older adults more frequently.
As they get older, many people reject using technology. According to a study, older adults who use the Internet include:
- 60% of adults between the ages of 55 and 59.
- 40% of adults between the ages of 60 and 64.
- 25% of adults between the ages of 65 and 74.
- 6 % of adults aged 74 and older.
What are the signs of technophobia?
Technophobia is the fear of using technology, which can make a person anxious. They may:
- Not buy a new phone or computer.
- Make fun of innovations or alterations.
- Refuse to use card readers, computers, or ATMs.
- Not change a device’s software.
- Avoid using any automatic systems, such as withdrawals made automatically to pay bills.
People living with specific phobias occasionally exhibit severe physical symptoms of anxiety. These indicators could be:
- Shortness of breath or breathlessness (dyspnea).
- Fainting (syncope).
- Sweating or flushed skin.
- Heart palpitations or a racing heart.
- Sickness or vomiting
How can you lower your risk of technophobia?
There is no guaranteed way to ward off technological phobia. It’s common to struggle with technical fear.
Seek treatment if you have a mental health diagnosis or are naturally anxious. Your risk of developing technophobia may be lower if you receive treatment for underlying conditions.
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Make learning new technology a goal, but keep your attention narrow to prevent overload. For instance, learning how to use a computer would help someone who is technophobic. They may then learn the skills necessary to visit websites using a web browser. They might then pick up cell phone usage skills.
The secret is gradually moving from one technology to the next and getting accustomed to each before moving on to the next. People may gradually lose their fear of experimenting with new digital tools as their skills and confidence grow.
Now that you know the answer to the question “is technophobia a mental illness or not,” let us take you to another commonly misunderstood disorder. To find out if an anxiety disorder is a mental illness or not, click here.
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