Well, the good news is that you’re not alone and there is a cure.
But first, what is a “fear of computers”, really? There’s actually a big, fancy word for it:
Officially (or maybe not so officially), it’s defined as “the fear of computers. The origin of the word log is Greek (meaning talk or word), machano is Greek (meaning machine) and phobia is Greek (meaning fear).”
Other terms including “cyberphobia” and “technophobia” essentially mean the same thing: computers are big, ugly scary machines that are going to take over the world. Well, that’s what some people thought back in the 1980’s when computers were really just starting to become popular. They were expensive and frightening and misunderstood. Now they’re really small, scary machines disguised as phones that look more like miniature TV screens.
The great news is that the world hasn’t become an episode of “The Jetsons” or like the movie “I Robot”. Computers have not taken over the world, and while many, especially millennials, may feel like the world has ended if their smartphone crashes or their battery dies, we are all still living, breathing beings able to run our own lives and make our own meals.
So, how do you get over or through your fear of computers? What does your fear feel like? Are you embarrassed by your fear? Are you afraid you’ll do something wrong and cause permanent damage? Are you afraid of the unknown? Do you wonder what the big deal is and why can’t we just use a typewriter or, horrors, pen and paper?
Here are some tips that might help you manage your fear:
- Engage in a little positive self-talk. Prepare mentally for the challenge.
- Take it one step at a time – admittedly this is often easier said than done, but it will get easier with time and commitment.
- Knowledge is power – do a little research to understand why you have this fear. However, don’t dwell on it. Learn a bit to get more comfortable and move on.
- Take some classes. They don’t have to be long but try to find a program, such as at your local library, that has short sessions with an instructor who will help you feel comfortable and safe.
- Surround yourself with positive people who understand, or at least appreciate, your feelings.
Now, take a deep breath and dive in. I promise it will be okay and may even be a little fun!