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The Growing Concern of Technophobia

Technology continues to progress all over the world, helping societies and communities grow economically. With different gadgets and computers, we can explore various interesting things that keep us entertained. Moreover, with the help of technology and the internet, we can also create, communicate, and learn almost everything.

Besides all the positive contributions of technology to our world, it also causes people to be worried about the unknown and uncertainties that might be dangerous. Some of us feel anxious that there might be someone secretly watching our every move or every click and tap on our gadgets. The question is, should we worry about these kinds of paranoia? Should we do something about it? Is there something that we can do to ease our anxiety?

Top fears related to technology all over the world

  • UK – What is a computer virus?
  • France – How to delete Facebook search history?
  • Spain – How to stop someone from monitoring my computer?
  • Germany – How to stop an addiction to the internet?
  • China – How can I stop someone from tracking my mobile phone?
  • Japan – How to stop phones from overheating?
  • India – How to delete internet history?
  • Australia – How to stop your phone from listening to you?
  • New Zealand – How to stop hackers on Facebook?
  • USA – Can someone hack my phone?
  • Canada – How to make Facebook private?
  • Mexico – How can you stop your computer from being hacked?
  • Brazil – Will AI replace humans?

The uneasy or doubtful feeling towards technology is also known as technophobia. Surprisingly, this is not a rare condition since numerous people experience this fear. Some experts assert that there is at least a small amount of nervousness every time someone encounters a brand new technology. However, technophobia is not an actual disorder, as it was not recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Despite that, it is estimated that that one-third of the population is affected by this fear.

Technophobia by country

The US stands at the top of the list, as it has 34,420 searches every month based on the top 30 technology paranoias studied. The UK has 13,660 searches per month, followed by India at 9,360 searches. Japan is the least technophobic country, as it has 410 searches each month for the top 30 technology anxiety.

Security, privacy, and misinformation play a significant role in North America and the UK’s fear of technology. Canada and the UK are facing similar fears of technology:

  • “How to make Facebook private” – 14,880 searches every month
  • “Can someone hack my phone” – 8,320 people asking per month

Privacy and safety

There has been a level of technophobia of netizens and the use of their data. People are concerned that their data is sold to other people, and employers secretly watch their personal lives. Additionally, this contributes to the fear of being cyberbullied as the issue is concerned with data privacy.

One of the significant global concerns of technology is Facebook; the discovery of its use of data has created massive concern for users. There are still numerous concerns and issues about the platform that makes people worry. Those concerns include monitoring, hackers, targeted advertisements, and search history privacy. These are the monthly searches of the top three countries concerned about Facebook:

  • US – 14,450 searches
  • India – 2,860 searches
  • Mexico – 2,520 searches

Their top Facebook anxiety are:

  • “How to make Facebook private” – 22,530 searches per month
  • “How to stop Facebook listening” – 770 searches per month

Meanwhile, the wide use of TikTok has caused parents to be concerned for the safety of their children. Since the social media platform is prevalent among Gen Z, this creates a significant concern for the parents. They are worried about its content, appropriateness, and safety for kids.

The countries that have the most searches about TikTok are:

  • US – 710 per month
  • India – 400 per month
  • UK – 280 per month

These are their top worries:

  • “Is TikTok for kids” – 1,030 monthly searches
  • “How safe is TikTok” – 500 monthly searches

Ethics and safety on AI

When talking about technophobia, you can’t take AI out of the conversation. The idea that robots will take control of our world has become a genuine concern for a significant amount of people. AI has helped humans perform complex mathematical problems. However, some people fear that it will become smart enough to take over humanity.

Here are the countries that are most concerned with AI:

  • US – 640 monthly searches
  • India – 510 monthly searches
  • UK – 280 monthly searches

Among these concerns, the most searched concerns are:

  • “Will AI take over the world” – 880 searches each month
  • “Will AI replace humans” – 720 searches each month

Issues with hacking, viruses, and more with mobile

From being concerned with social media platforms to direct problems on devices, countless people are worried about the involvement of these devices in our lives. A significant part of our day relies on the utilization of these devices. Even though it helped us in various ways, it can also create major distractions daily.

Most concerned countries regarding devices are:

  • US – 15,930 searches every month
  • UK – 9,370 searches every month
  • India – 5,240 searches every month

Not surprisingly, the number one concern is “can someone hack my phone” at 10,660 monthly searches.

Adapting to technological change

The answer relies on how we utilize these innovations. Technology was created to make our easier, and we should be cautious in operating these tools to avoid complications. The progression of technology is inevitable; we should adapt to the changes in how the economy revolves. Everyone has the right to data privacy and control their data. We must take precautions before connecting our lives to these trends.

Photo credit: The feature image has been taken by Sol Vázquez.
Sources: Lisa Fritscher (Verywell Mind) / Joonggyu Ha, Tom Page, and Gisli Thorsteinsson (ResearchGate) / MiQ / Casey Newton (The Verge) / Maressa Brown (Parents)

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Pauline Nicole Sael
Tech Journalist

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