Fear of Technology

I try to imagine a world without technology and I am amazed at how blank my mind becomes. Without technology, our modern world would likely collapse. Would our lives be perceived as boring without technology? I cannot imagine not having the ability to watch Game of Thrones every week; I cannot speculate traveling the long distance in order to buy goods in another country and how difficult communication would be. Technology has brought such advancements in our lives that I can barely get a picture of life without it and yet we still have individuals who fear technology. Most technophobia seems to stem from incomplete ideas and baseless fears which draw a picture of how humans may one day suffer due to technological advancements and creations as a result of technology.

The Internet is at the forefront as one of the most feared aspects of modernity by technophobic individuals. Talk to anyone that fears the advancement of technology, and they will tell you of how immoral the Internet is and that it has brought more harm than good. For instance, an aunt of mine blames the Internet for ruining her son’s life, who is unfortunately a porn addict. She therefore has banned all her children from accessing the Internet. I have tried countless times to explain to her that watching porn is a choice just like choosing to drink beer or to smoke cigarettes and that she should have been more watchful of what material her son was accessing over the Internet – but all has been in vain. The Internet has a lot of benefits, ranging from research, communication, socializing, running a business, to common shopping. How one would think of it as solely destructive is an issue I am yet to fully comprehend.

Another aspect of technology that people fear is cloning, as well as gene therapy. Most religious groups condemn cloning and say it should be banned since man is trying to ‘play God’. I remember an argument that arose at a local park where a stern follower of the Christian religion was asking people to sign a petition and vow to join him in the fight against cloning. I recall him giving an example where he said that the government might conspire to eliminate someone and create a clone to replace the individual. I thought he had solid argument that yes, it can be used for ill purposes. We cannot ignore the fact, though, that it we may be able to eliminate hereditary diseases and also allow us to choose what traits our offspring will have. Can you imagine a world without hereditary diseases? For instance, let us assume that you suffer from sickle cell anemia and someone tells you that there is a possibility they can prevent your unborn son from inheriting the disease, would you not take the opportunity? My view is that most people that do not see the benefit of such technology have little or no information about genetic issues that could solved by scientific technology.

Most modern day Luddites resist technology because of the fear of losing their jobs. A single machine can replace the workload that would have been done by nearly twenty people. This is a clear fact seen in many companies, but the broad view is that of the twenty jobs lost, twenty or more are created. For instance, my dad lost his job because a machine replaced him and five other colleagues of his, but on the other hand, my much younger brother who is an IT genius got paid quite handsomely for helping invent the machine with a team. Machines are often faster and more efficient than humans at completing menial tasks. Why not increase the productivity of our workforce and create new jobs?

I came to the conclusion that most technophobic people would not fear technology if it benefited them personally. They only see technologies’ maladies, as they have yet to experience the advantages that technology offers in their daily lives.