businessman scared of computer mice

Why are technophobes afraid of technology?

To get to the bottom of technophobia, we have to go back in time…

Why are technophobes afraid of technology?

businessman scared of computer mice

Technology is everywhere – in our homes, at work, at the supermarket, in schools. 

In fact, according to Ofcom, the average adult in the UK spends over 9 hours a day using online media and communication - overtaking time spent sleeping or doing any other tasks. As you're reading this article online, you're probably guilty of this, but there are still some (often more senior) members of society who object to technology, or are even afraid of it. But why?

To get to the bottom of technophobia, we have to go back in time. Ever since computers were invented, people have been afraid of them. Not because they were a physical threat or scary to look at, but because they represented the unknown. People didn't know what they did, how to use them, or how they worked, and became afraid of the technology itself. These people are called technophobes.   

What is technophobia?

Like other phobias, technophobes suffer from an irrational fear of technology that can hinder their everyday lives. Technophobes may not own a mobile phone, refuse to use ATMs, or avoid computers – they live their lives without any form of modern technology.

Why are people afraid?

People tend to fear things they're dependent on, but have little control over – and that's almost a perfect description of technology.  

You can't go 24 hours these days without using technology, but we don’t have a clue how any of our gadgets work.  

Lower levels of fear can be beneficial, and help people make better choices. For example, if you're worried about identity fraud, you won't set your password to 'password'. This is a healthy choice to make, but it's still borne out of low levels of technophobia.  

However, extreme technophobia can be very detrimental. Technophobes will try to avoid technology at all costs, but if they do come into contact, they could experience physical symptoms, like anxiety, sweating or shortness of breath. 

These symptoms only happen in extreme cases of technophobia, but even people who are mildly affected will find it difficult to use new software or high-tech devices. So what can they do – apart from smashing their laptop and moving to the woods?

How to make technophobes feel at ease

It's all about information. Like we said before, most technophobes are only afraid of technology because they don't know how it works. So the solution is simple – choose a user-friendly software or device and explain how it works.  

This is easy to do if you have a technophobic friend or relative, but can be a challenge if you're teaching a whole team of technophobes. Everyone has different IT skills, so you'll need to take the time to train each member of staff and help them feel comfortable with the system.

How can OneFile help?  

At OneFile, we've designed our learning software to be as easy to use as possible. Plus, we offer comprehensive on-site training for all new users so you can really get your head around the system before you start using it.  

To take a look around the software, download our free brochure.

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This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.