Technophobia, as per Wikipedia is defined as the fear or dislike of advanced technology or complex devices, especially computers. So if there are people afraid to touch computers, how can they possibly enter the world of social media? Nowadays, in a broader sense, almost everything is a computer, or has a computer in it. Imagine a technophobic parent getting invited to live in a fully-automated home by one of their kids with their new-fangled NEST thermostat and automated lighting controlled by some invisible girl called Alexa in the living room.
While it’s true that people can offer technology for technophobes to enter social media, like Amazon’s Echo for example or an Amazon Screen in the kitchen, in our opinion, there is no real social media platform for the technophobic, even if any of them have marketed themselves as such.
Most social media platforms are designed to be easy to use that even an inquisitive three-year old can probably get into. Most social media platforms are designed to be accessible by anyone, except maybe for Facebook where you have to muck around with tons of settings. The point is, they’re easy to use, even Facebook once you get the hang of it. My mother was once a technophobe but now, for better she’s using Facebook Messenger to check in from time to time and for worse, she keeps forwarding chain mails and fake news. Donald Trump is on Twitter all the time and so is self-confessed technophobe former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Now for the hard part that any technophobe must face in case they want to engage in social media or unavoidably have to. They’ll need to sign up. To sign up you’ll have to have an email address. To get an email address they’ll have to much around Yahoo or Google or maybe given one by an ISP (which is probably the most convenient). And to finally get into Facebook, Twitter or anything else, you’ll have to access your email provider to confirm your registration. If alone, technophobes will have to force themselves to use their device or email for that. Fortunately, there’ always someone like the kids, the neighbor, the friend, and the tech support. If you’re a technophobe and a hermit living in the woods, there’s not much help for you. We envy your ignorant bliss.
But if there are social media platforms for the non-technical, it would be the following. There’s YouTube which at the base level can be used to simply watch videos at random. There’s Twitter, which is probably the simplest engaging social media platform. It even tried to fight for its simplicity to keep 144 character tweets but had to give in to more due to demand. And then there’s Pinterest to which there’s really not much need to engage after signing up. All there is to it is browsing and browsing for countless hours of interesting images. And there’s also Ello which has niched itself to the creative and artistic folk.
So basically, social media is for everyone, including technophobes. Everyone’s bound to the same requirements such as signing up, getting the devices we need and maybe even surrender a piece of our privacy. Devices like the iPad makes social media engagement a piece of cake with apps designed to be as simple as possible, at least some of them. So, social media for technophobes is a myth and will soon be legend in a couple of generations.