Digitization anxiety: 5 ways to reduce your technology anxiety

Technology anxiety definition is an emotional response to the use or thought of using technology. It varies to the degree to which the concept causes fear and other unfavorable feelings. A part of digital anxiety is technophobia – the dislike for complex devices and advanced technology. 

We can also define it as a feeling of tension or discomfort with the introduction of new technologies. Not only this, but the introduction of such technologies to various aspects of daily life. 

Digitization anxiety is common in our world today. Regardless of the age group, certain people experience feelings of discomfort and tension with the emergence of new technologies. Not only this, but the integration of such technologies into all aspects of their lives. 

Technology-related anxiety contributes to individual and organizational outcomes. For example, it results in work overload, heightened stress level, loss of motivation, fatigue, frustrated users, and dissatisfaction. It can also reduce individual productivity and decrease organizational commitment. While it does seem like a new phenomenon, reports of technology anxiety go way back to as early as the industrial era. In this article, we will discuss the best 5 tips to follow to avoid technology anxiety at work, school, etc.

What causes Digitization anxiety? 

Social and cultural factors, technology overuse, doomsday scenarios, and mass hysteria are responsible for technology anxiety. 

Social and cultural factors: generally, adults are slower to adopt new technologies. While young adults and teens are usually the first to embrace and use new products, some seniors may never embrace them. 

Technology overuse: the misuse and addiction to technology are responsible for a decline in mental health, depression, and anxiety. Anxiety is the brain’s natural response to flight or fight. Technologies have become an extension of our personal lives, and their excessive use causes the brain to expect constant stimulation and trigger anxieties or addiction.

Doomsday scenario: most people that have seen The Terminator or other Doomsday scenarios have come up with a thousand ways the world could come to an end. From rogue robots destroying humans, planting chips in our bodies, or even launching missiles and destroying the earth. All these talks of technology gone wrong have contributed to the fear of new technologies and the ability to stay productive.

Mass hysteria: rumors about what particular technology is capable of can trigger digital anxiety. For example, the Y2K scare and its theory of how technology would shut down as we passed into a new millennium gave a lot of people anxiety. 

Since technologies are part of daily living, it can be challenging to not engage them in our daily activities. You need it in schools, accessing health information, banking, and communication. Below are 5 ways to reduce technology anxiety.

Educate yourself to overcome anxiety 

A basic understanding of the fact that your anxiety is not your fault will help you shift from its crippling effect on your life. Our negative biases are part of the human survival strategies that protect us from danger and keep us alive. Therefore, you must adjust your knowledge to the changing situations and new challenges it brings. For example, you can check out anxiety research paper topics on the internet, paper samples, and discussion forums for stories of people going through the same. There are many reliable online resources where you can find useful information about anxiety.

As we said, there are many cases of digitization anxiety all over the world. It is present at work and even more prominent in the education sector among students and teachers. To see digitization from a different angle, you must be willing to open yourself to a new perspective. Read about other people’s stories and try to find consolation in other people’s stories. 

Don’t try to fix everything at once 

Deliberately prioritize parts of a digital aspect of your life and focus on them first. The reason is that trying to conform over a short period can be confusing and overwhelming. Regardless of the place of implementation, you will face resistance. So, clarify your vision to know which part you want to turn the digital spotlight on first. While at it, don’t overwhelm yourself with unnecessary technology. 

Break the mystery 

The lack of control over most technologies makes us feel afraid and insecure. The majority of the processes are invisible, and we can’t see the gears moving or the wheels spinning. However, once you understand the general process of how the internet works, you can interpret what is happening. For example, if a program does not start, you can troubleshoot the issue without any form of anxiety. 

Turn your anxiety into excitement 

Computers, devices, and the internet are comparable to a car problem. Even if you are not a mechanic, you may feel anxious if your dashboard light suddenly comes on. What do you do? Take your car to a mechanic to assess the problem and learn more in the process. Likewise, you can transform your fear of technology into positive energy and excitement at the opportunity to learn something new. You can learn about the benefits of digitization and how you can keep up with it and expand your potential. 

Instead of fearing or feeling anxious over what you don’t know, you can feed your curious side about how you can conquer your fear and succeed. When you embrace the benefits of technology, the freedom and flexibility it offers will motivate you to move away from the place of fear. 

Forget your age and find a partner

We understand that older people are not as comfortable with digitization as millennials. This can lead to a feeling of intimidation. However, nothing about your age says anything about the ability to successfully learn and use new technology. Understand that you are not the only person in the world with such anxiety. As a result, you can even find a partner that is interested in learning new skills with you. 

Don’t let the fear of technology deprive you of personal and career success. Refuse to let your current knowledge or age dictate your future and affect your personality. Instead, embrace the thoughts of adventure and excitement associated with switching your aversion to technology. Read through the latest tech articles, subscribe to email newsletters, and try to get a sense of how certain technologies can affect your line of work or studies. 

Written by Rob Nelson

Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is the co-creator and director of Untamed Science. His goal is to create videos and content that are entertaining, accurate, and educational. When he's not making science content, he races whitewater kayaks and works on Stone Age Man.

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