While tech phobias might not be listed in the bible of shrinks everywhere, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM), they are real. Just consider some of these tech phobias.
Technophobia is "the abnormal fear or anxiety about the effects of technology." The word "technophobia" first appeared during the Industrial Revolution (1760 - 1840), when a group of weavers who had been displaced by machines, and calling themselves "The Luddites", began destroying the weaving machines. In 1727, English Parliament made the demolition of machines a capital offense. Today, the term "luddite" refers to anyone who is opposed to new technology or ways of working.
Nomophobia is the fear of being without your cellphone, where "nomo" is short for "no mobile". This phobia was coined in 2010 by the UK Post Office, who were looking at the anxieties suffered by mobile phone users. It turned out that their greatest anxiety was the loss of the mobile phone itself. According to Psychology Today, an increasing number of college students now shower with their cellphones, and adolescents have reported that they would rather lose a pinky-finger than be without their cellphone.
Further aspects of nomophobia are:
* A fear of losing reception - this happens all the time to me, especially on long car trips to unfamiliar places, and it takes the form of the panicked question: "How many bars have you got?"
* Fear of running out of battery power - did you ever notice how at airport departure gates, everyone jostles to connect their devices to one of the pathetically few electrical outlets? Even if all my devices are charged to 100%, I start thinking, "I wish that guy would move away from that outlet so I could top off my charge."
* Losing the phone itself - for most people this is too horrible to contemplate, but since most of my phone calls are from solicitors, it wouldn't really be that bad.
Cyberphobia is a fear of computers. Several years ago, I tried to convince an elderly loved one whose eyesight was failing, that if she used a computer to read, she could blow up text as large as she needed. Unfortunately, her cyberphobia was such that she never touched a computer, and spent her last days on earth not being able to read, which was something she had loved to do.
Telephonophobia is a fear of telephones, but not the phone itself, but rather a fear of answering it then being criticized or appearing foolish. Since most of the people I know are very likely to criticize me or make me appear foolish, I don't think this phobia is out of left field at all.
Selfiephobia is a fear of taking a photograph of oneself, known as a "selfie". I've got this one because every time I take a photo of myself, I expect it to look like Angelia Jolie, and every time, it looks just like me. If Angelia Jolie has selfiephobia, I wonder who she expects her photo to look like.
Expensivetechophobia is the fear of paying for an expensive technology that you have little or no knowledge of. I've definitely got this one since I have no idea how my cellphone operates and haven't taken the time to learn. I remain in awe of anyone who can activate the flashlight feature on their cellphone.
Nointernetophobia is the fear of not having access to the internet. Every time I check into a hotel and get the WiFi password from the desk clerk, I can feel my heart pounding all the way upstairs to the room, until I actually connect to the internet. When our internet drops at home, I panic with not so much: "How will I do my work?" as: "What will I do with myself all day if the internet doesn't come back on?"
Loremophobia is the fear of losing your TV's remote control. Years ago, people had only one remote control. Today, there's a remote that talks to the TV, a remote that talks to the sound system, and a remote that speaks only streaming service.
The late Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, was renowned for his design choices, but what was he thinking with the design of the Apple TV remote? At 4.88 inches (124 mm) high, by 1.5 inches (38 mm) wide, and 0.25 inch (6.3 mm) deep, this tiny remote seems as if it was designed to get lost. Why hasn't anyone designed a remote the size of a toaster? That way, it would be much harder to get lost, and much easier to find.
Drosmartoiphobia is fear of dropping your cellphone down the toilet. While some of us are thrilled to have a couple of minutes away from a screen when nature calls, others insist on bringing their device in with them. If you're at all a butter fingers, I'd say it's better not to take your cellphone into the bathroom with you.
Formaspassphobia is the fear of forgetting your master password. Several years ago, it became apparent that I was I spending an inordinate amount of time resetting passwords that I had forgotten. A relative, who was feeling very superior at the time, insisted that I set up a passwords file containing all my website passwords. Now, I am pleased to report, that I enter each new password into this file, and I feel incredibly superior to you.
Foransequephobia is the fear of forgetting the answer to your secret question. It's ridiculous how many websites now know the name of my first boyfriend, and the name of my first pet. Who comes up with these questions anyway? Does each website have a dedicated person, or is there a bureau somewhere whose only purpose is to think up these kinds of questions?
FOMO or fear of missing out is a big phobia. Social media has made everyone's life an open book, and seeing people's snaps of their vacations, standing knee deep in crystal clear water alongside a sandy beach (Erin, you know who you are), holiday celebrations, and family gatherings, causes a longing in most of us. I'll just go with the assumption that everyone on the planet has a more interesting and exciting life than my own, and leave it at that.
Finally, no article about phobias and fear would be complete without discussing that which famed horror writer Stephen King has described as "The Thing of Evil." After all, this is a man who knows terror. If you have the courage to find out what "The Thing of Evil" is, click here.