Technophobia as we all know is fear of technology, and young people who grew up in the late 90s’ and early 2000s’ have definitely seen it at play. However, it’s been around way before, even before the invention of computers, mainly because fear is a core component of human beings. To quote Sherlock Holmes – “Fear is wisdom in the face of danger, it is nothing to be ashamed of.” and I really agree with this statement. We cannot imagine our life without fire or electricity today, but at the time of its discovery, people were afraid of it.
Truth be told both fire and electricity are just as deadly today, however, we are not as afraid of them as our ancestors. We simply learned about their characteristics and dangers, and at the same time accepting them into our lives for the sake of advancement and survival. In fact, a lot of us could hardly survive without those two nowadays. The same is true for technology but the topic is more complicated so it warrants a closer examination.
Why do some fear technological advancement?
First of all, I am genuinely excited for tech upgrades, new computers, smartphones, alternative energy sources, and even robotics are all amazing in my opinion. In other words, I might lack the necessary empathy for the topic but still, even if I wasn’t into gadgets I could hardly imagine myself thinking that one day a machine apocalypse will happen, like the one in The Terminator movies. So, I cannot really feel for those who look at technology and see murderous AI in our future.
I can empathize though with people who are concerned with their job security due to technological advancement because I do not know with certainty what my distant future will look like. People who operate machines and drive cars are clearly not afraid to use that technology, but eventually, new devices came into the picture, devices they do not understand that became a new standard. So, I guess I can understand that feeling of anxiety or uncertainty because you might be forced to learn new things, and you have no idea whether you will be good at it.
Is Learning the Answer?
Learning about how new things work is definitely a step in the right direction. In all honesty, I don’t like when people are dismissive towards innovations, either because of their own ego or fear they will be replaced. Still, I cannot say this will completely eliminate the fear of new tech. If as mentioned something becomes a new standard, whoever started to learn about it first clearly has a head start, which means that even if you do make an effort your fear for future was not unjustified, given how the corporate world can function.
Finally, even though I can understand where technophobia is coming from, I cannot side with anyone who would advocate for hindrance of progress. If anything, we have seen that hand made items are still being sold, and skilled craftsmanship will always have a place in our society. Also even if some jobs are replaced with machines new positions or new tasks begin to emerge.