Understanding Age Differences in Technophobia: A South African Case Study





Over the years, technology has become an essential part of our lives, with technological advancement presenting on-going opportunities. However, technology creates negative emotions, anxiety and fear among some people due to an established set of norms and individual behaviour patterns. Such fear, anxiety and apprehension has been described as technophobia, which constrains individuals’ ability to use technology and thus puts them at a disadvantage. The continuous emergence of new technologies has given rise to increased technophobia, which is now believed to affect a third of every population. This article examines age differences in the level of technophobia as well as the personal characteristics that positively influence it. A quantitative methodology was employed, and 384 questionnaires were distributed to participants in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The findings show that technophobia occurs within all age groups (the young, middle-aged and older). However, young adults with no formal education and employment demonstrated lower levels of technophobia than other age groups. The results also demonstrate a significant relationship between levels of technophobia and the demographic profile of respondents. The article concludes with a discussion on strategies to manage technophobia.






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