Technophobia Essay, Research Paper
An Impediment to Personal Development
With the onslaught of new technology emerging since the late Nineteen
Seventies, and its subsequent divergence throughout the Eighties and Nineties,
there has been little time to adjust to the impact of newer technologies nor the
sky-rocketing popularity in both personal and professional lives. Most have
adapted, many sing it’s praises, however, for those that have not embraced, nor
welcomed for that matter, such things as the personal computer, the Internet,
and a host of telecommunication innovation, a fear based resistance coined
Technophobia, is quickly becoming a serious impediment to personal development.
Hardly a new concept, fear based resistance to technology is well documented
in history during times of innovation. "Get A Horse!" was commonly
screamed at those who drove the first automobiles and riots broke out often
during the industrial revolution. The Wall Street Journal claimed electric
lighting would be forgotten in less than a week and fifty years ago, the concept
of space travel was laughable. As common then as it is now, resistance to change
is almost tradition.
Technophobia today presents with a slight variation on the theme. Innovation
is replaced by inundation. The problem is not changing, it’s adapting fast
enough to keep pace with the changes. It is not influencing just one aspect of
our lives, it is affecting every aspect of our lives. To quote Michelle M. Weil,
a clinical psychologist from Orange, California who has spent more than fifteen
years studying technology and its effect on people, (Co-author of the book,
Techno-Stress: Coping with technology @work@home@play. Due out this October),
"Technophobia is a direct result of people not having the choice to opt out
of using new technology. All of a sudden you have to weigh your own fruit at the
supermarket. You buy gasoline by paying at the pump
with electronic fund transfers; there’s voice mail – it’s an indication of
how little choice we have now. Technology isn’t going away. We’re very much in a
technological era 1".
One of the largest contributors to Technophobia may be the personal computer.
From Apple’s introduction of the first all-purpose desktop computer in 1977, to
the plethora of low cost systems and financing options available today, concepts
such as student’s using computers has evolved from a novelty to necessity. In
the work place computer skills advance from "a plus" to "a
must" and at home, the personal computer is being utilized as commonly as
one would utilize kitchen appliances or a stereo.
Not only is new technology pervasive, it seems to change exponentially,
creating even more anxiety and stress on those that have not kept pace with the
times. Taking for example the afore mentioned computer. The rule of thumb for
computer shopping once stated that if you bought the most computer you could
afford, a new system would remain current for about five years. Today, the
duration has decreased to one, maybe, two years and by 2003, it is expected to
drop to as little as four to six months. So what’s the point in learning about
technology today if it’s only going to change? The salient point being that
anything you learn today can be applied toward tomorrow and in the quest for
excellence, no skill is ever wasted.
The inertia of changing technology seems well in motion and it is unlikely
that the trend will end anytime soon. Thus, for those seeking to excel and
succeed in school, work or their personal life, it becomes clear that hesitation
to learn about new technology will only hinder them and thus Technophobia
becomes a serious impediment to their personal development.
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