Thalpos-Mental Health

When tech phobias become part of our everyday life

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When tech phobias become part of our everyday life

From psychologist of the Rehabilitation Unit "Thalpos Kalamata" Evi Tsikrikikou.

The constantly evolving technology, which has become integral part of our lives, as it was expected has succeeded to add new types of phobias that are not included in the ICD & DSM manuals (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders and International Classification of Diseases), which may sound funny but they are completely real.

Nomophobia: Fear of being out of mobile phone contact. According to Bianchi and Philips (2005), psychological factors are associated with the excessive use of mobile phone. For example, low self-esteem (when people use the mobile phone in inappropriate ways seeking reconfirmation) and extrovert personality (when the individuals use the mobile phone to an excessive extent for social reasons). It is also very likely that the symptoms of this phobia are caused by other deeper and pre-existing mental disorders, such as social phobia, social anxiety and panic disorder.

FOBO (Fear of Being Offline): Fear of lack of internet connection. Of course, it does not concern cases where a person is looking for online connection for business purposes, but it refers to cases of terrible inconvenience and anxiety because the individual cannot connect to his accounts (Facebook, Instagram) or connect to his online games. This usually stems from individual’s constant need to receive new information and the internet’s ability to give him access to these accounts at any time. At the same time, his attention is distracted by a mental function such as the internal dialogue which although is constructive, but sometimes it is painful and therefore avoided.

On the other hand, there is a large number of people who are greatly afraid of the entry of technology into their lives.

Technophobia: It is a general phobia against technology. It is defined as "the feeling of serious anxiety associated with the use of anything technologically advanced". Fear of technology is often caused by cultural or religious beliefs. For example, the religious group of Amish Christians strongly resists technology because of their faith’s beliefs. Similarly, many environmental groups are known to maintain a social attitude against technology. This, of course, may not in itself constitute a phobia, since it is described by the groups themselves as "best practice". The difference of this phobia from the others lies in ignorance and fear of change. These people do not understand the technology, so they fear it and avoid it. They even tend to hate devices, computers and gadgets simply because they are not used to it.

Cyberphobia: This is a concept introduced in 1980, which is described as a specific phobia that is expressed as "irrational fear or aversion to computers" or otherwise an inability to understand new technologies. Some forms of "cyber-bullying" may range from the most passive forms of technophobia that ignore "cyberspace", to extreme reactions involving "anti-technological" paranoia expressed by social movements that are radically opposed to "technological society" and the "New World Order".

Selfiephobia: The fear of taking a photo of yourself. Those who suffer from this phobia cannot even stand to take pictures of themselves.

Telephonophobia: This is the reluctance or fear of calling and making phone calls (literally the "fear of phones"). The sound of the phone can create a series of worries, characterized by thoughts related to the need to talk, perform and chat. Patients may perceive the other person in the line as threatening or intimidating and as a result they feel terrible anxiety.

To deal with these particular phobias occurs with various types of therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy and exposure therapy. However, before anyone gets to the point of seeking expert help, he could first try to get the right information. Knowledge is the best way to overcome these fears. So, he needs to realize that his phobia is neither something that makes him feel a coward or be ashamed of it, nor a disease that reflects his intelligence.


  • Charlie D'Agata Nomophobia: Fear of being without your cell phone. CBS News. April 3, 2008 
  • Adriana Bianchi and James G. Philips (February 2005). "Psychological Predictors of Problem Mobile Phone Use". CyberPsychology & Behavior. 8 (1): 39–51. doi:10.1089/cpb.2005.8.39 
  • Bauer, M. (1997). Resistance to New Technology: Nuclear Power, Information Technology and Biotechnology. Cambridge University Press. pp. 99–100. ISBN 0521599482 
  • Sandywell, B. (2006). "Monsters in cyberspace: cyberphobia and cultural panic in the information age". Information, Communication & Society. 9 (1): 39–61. doi:10.1080/13691180500519407 
  • Marshall, John R. (1995). "Telephone Phobia". Social Phobia: From Shyness to Stage Fright. New York: BasicBooks. ISBN 0-465-07896-6 
  • Scott, Susie (2007). Shyness and Society: the illusion of competence. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 105–9. ISBN 9781403996039 
  • Scott, Susie (2007). Shyness and Society: the illusion of competence. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 105–9. ISBN 9781403996039