Technology is the collective term for all the knowledge, skills, techniques, and procedures utilized in the creation of goods and services or in the achievement of specific goals, including scientific experimentation. Technological change is often a by-product of human creativity. The underlying principle is that the best innovations are those born of an intuitive understanding of how to best use existing technologies. A good example of a technological development is the invention of the telephone. Without the need for the stereotypic utility function of the phone, the telephone was invented.
Technophobia has a very real cause and effect in our society. There are those who feel threatened by the idea of technology, believing it to be an albatross straining the attention of human beings from their mundane chores. They may worry about losing the more mundane aspects of life, or about a computer replacing the need for a household assistant. These worries are valid, though not necessarily rooted in fear of losing control of society.
The real issue is not so much technophobia as it is an irrational fear of losing control of society. There is a tension between people who want more things and people who want less things. It’s like the tension between farmers who wanted more acreage and those who wanted less. The need for greater quantities of food is understandable, though not necessarily irrational. But a society which gives priority to technological innovation rather than the needs of the people may meet with disaster.
Technophobia can also have a psychological basis. People who are particularly gifted in one area tend to be especially fearful of the unknown. The path along which one person leads may suddenly become very difficult. A gifted musician who is poised to be a leader may find herself unable to perform in front of an audience. This doesn’t necessarily make her a bad leader but it does highlight the danger of advancing technology without proper supervision.
Technophobia can also be rooted in a specific instance. The computer virus scare of recent decades is a good example. The fear of computers spreading viruses has been widespread among many business professionals. While it is true that technology can bring great opportunities, the dangers of putting even too much technology into the hands of too many people is also a real danger.
Technophobia is often an irrational fear. It usually stems from past experiences where the individuals feared the unknown. Modern society is still in its infancy, and those with strong technophobia have not lived through anything truly dangerous yet. This doesn’t mean that they won’t experience some sort of danger along the road, but it does mean that rational fears about the unknown should be tempered by realistic expectations about the ability of modern society to protect itself.