Technophobia is the irrational fear of technology. There are individuals who swear they can’t understand technology or that they “dislike” it but it’s really about being afraid of technology. There are stress management strategies however that can help those who have this irrational fear, and no it doesn’t mean being locked in a closet with Bill Gates and a window called, Vista.
A technophobe will not admit that they are scared of handling a computer mouse, instead, this type of individual will probably dismiss the fear and announce something like: “I just am not the techie type”.
What makes it even more painful for the technophobe is that they are confronted with technology every day. People everywhere carry cell phones; lap top computers; Iphones and Ipods. Even kids are now expected to know how to download games into their PSPs. E-books are a trend and huge book encyclopedia collections that used to fill a whole bookshelf are OUT.
There are ways however to teach a technophobe NOT to freak out. Stress management techniques such as exposing the technophobe to the convenience of technology may work. For instance, if the technophobe loves music, start with giving them an Ipod loaded with their favorite songs. Baby steps do work to battle the stress suffered by one who goes into a nervy mode brought about by “too much technology”. Thus, do not expose the technophobe to heavy hands-on excel or word document materials right away. Instead, have them watch a soothing relaxing YOU TUBE video or maybe ask Steve Jobs to give them a back rub.
Talk to the technophobe with honesty and patience about their problem. Explain that life today means having to accept that there will always be technology. Use humor and logic – ask questions like: “Do you still believe that an hourglass is safer than a wrist watch?”. Remind the technophobe that they are no longer living in the medieval ages. Remember though, that there is a difference between humor and sarcasm, even though you show up for dinner at their house dressed as King Arthur or Maid Marianne.
Most of those afraid of technology will learn to fight their fears by rational thinking. Remind them that when the first man first discovered fire, he probably panicked wondering what it was. But later he learned that his fears were unfounded and that it was a service to his community (and later to the human race) to have discovered fire. Just as long as he wasn’t a pyromanic. Remember to keep your tone always light, sensible and humorous and soon the technophobe will learn to realize that their fears about technology are all baseless. And then you can address them as Mr. Edison.
Sure it may be difficult helping a technophobe at first. They are types who have a penchant for resisting change so expect them to initially resist all your arguments, however logical they may seem.
Humor and logic help the technophobe more than forcing them to hold a computer mouse. Stress reduction techniques like creative visualization are also effective. Tell your technophobe friend to close their eyes for a moment and imagine that all is alright with the world as they see themselves making millions in their new online business! And then quietly tip-toe out of their and spend a good two hours surfing all by yourself, because by this time all the stress that you got them to reduce is now all on you!