Created By: ShivaFang on May 29, 2011 Last Edited By: Basara-kun on December 30, 2016
Troped

Technophobia

Characters or groups with a fear, hatred, or aversion towards technology.

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Characters or groups who are afraid of technology and the evils that can arise from their use. Sometimes this arises from an event that happened in a person or nation's past, but often is just a result of fear of the unknown. Sometimes, these individuals or groups are concerned for the future if these advances go unchecked, leading Ludd Was Right.

This trope can also be brought on as a result of religious teachings (As is the case of Final Fantasy X's Yevonite religion or the real world Luddites), or as a result of a dichotomy such as Magic vs Technology (The Darksword Trilogy) or Nature vs Technology (FernGully or Avatar).

Evil Luddite is an extreme example of this trope. This is a lot milder, and often applies to some of the protagonists to create tension. Can be related to New Technology Is Evil and Science Is Bad.

This trope covers technology in general as the primary motivator. Aversion of a specific type of technology (such as Doesn't Like Guns) might be Sub-Tropes.


Examples

Film
  • Cobra-La in G.I. Joe. All their "technology" including weapons and vehicles are entirely organic and they consider the human civilization and technology an abomination.
  • In Surrogates, there are "dread reservations" which consist of communities that strongly oppose the use of surrogate robots, which are use by the vast majority of the world's population to live their daily lives risk free, which they consider them abominations and will attack surrogates if they come into their communities.
  • In I, Robot, there's Del Spooner, a Chicago police detective that hates and distrusts robots because one of them rescued him from a car crash, leaving a young girl to die because her survival was statistically less likely than his.
  • Star Wars Legends: The Yuuzhan Vong are a race that utilize engineered organic creatures where other races would use mechanical devices or droids. They see any mechanical technology as an affront to their gods and seek to destroy it and those who use it wherever they are found.
  • Star Trek: Insurrection: The Ba'ku were once a warp-faring people, but after they settled in the Briar Patch they gave up all their technology in favor of a simpler lifestyle of farming. Sojef in particular is rather antagonistic towards it, seemingly trying to shield his son from any contact with it.

Literature
  • The remaining human population in The Chrysalids, which is basically a Post Apocalyptic version of the Amish, living in some of the few places hospitable to human habitation, albeit very pre-industrial.
  • In the Anita Blake series, it's mentioned by Anita that really old vampires can be technophobes. They just aren't used to, don't trust and don't understand new technology.
  • Honor Harrington: The Church of Humanity Unchained started out this way. After landing on Grayson, the church split between the mainstream Graysons who saw technology as a tool (and an essential one if they wanted to survive) and the Faithful who still called for the destruction of the colony's technology.

Live Action TV
  • In the American version of Being Human, some of the ancient vampires awake to pay a visit on the Chicago district. They are notably wary of all the technological advancements, and frequently make remarks about how the old ways were better.

Video Games
  • Final Fantasy
    • Final Fantasy X: The religion of Yevon teaches that technology (Machina, as they call it) resulted in the destruction of their once-great civilization and the emergence of the creature known as Sin as their penance for their pride, which puts them at odds with the highly-mechanized Al-bhed. Of course, this is a case of "do as we say, not as we do", as the party finds the Yevon headquarters to be quite technologically advanced, which causes major issues for devout Yevonites, like Wakka. Even more so when Measter Seymore just says, "Pretend you don't see them".
    • The Vierra of Ivalice (Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy XII) choose to remain in their forests sheltered from the outside world, thereby shunning technological advances that could harm nature.
  • The Lord's Believers faction in Sid Meierís Alpha Centauri are Christian Fundamentalists who are suspicious of secular science and fear the progress of technology drawing people away from faith in God. This manifests in-game as a penalty to their research stat.
  • The majority of the characters in SaGa Frontier 2, except Gustav and his army who use it and Iron Armour to make up for their lack of magic.
  • In the Age of Wonders games, Technophobia is a negative trait that be attached to Wizards at creation. It lowers that Wizard's production points in all cities.
  • In Stellaris, the Spiritualist ethos is this. They are oposed to the Materialist focus which boosts research. They also dislike it if you allow the construction of Robotics and the enhancement of leaders. Funny enough, Robotics themself can get the Spiritualist ethos, leading to Synthetics demanding their own extinction. This was later patched to Spiritualistic Synthetics accepting themself.
  • Arcanum:
    • Because Magick and Technology are seen to be mutually exclusive and cannot be safely mixed without interfering with one another, mages generally embrace a technophobic mindset and see technology as a threat to the "established order". Technologists, on the other hand, see magic as a relic of ancient times and a barrier to progress.
    • Custom characters can be given the "Technophobia" trait during character creation. Being raised in a backwater potato farm means that they have never encountered technology before, and are too afraid of technological items to risk touching them or picking them up.

Western Animation
  • Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends: The Banshees are a tribe of aliens that arrived on Earth and settled in the wilds of Ireland. Their society is close to the earth and nature, which makes them distrustful to downright homicidal when machines are involved. Sh'lainn is the only known exception, having a more progressive attitude toward technology (she was in favor of steam engines), but even she is frequently hear exclaiming, "I hate technology, I hate it!"

Real Life
  • In general people who came from different eras with the time became uncomfortable with the new (or actual) technology, staying the the old one they used instead to embrace the new one. The example transforms into Ludd Was Right with some extremist groups like Luddites (who are against technology) and Amish (who reject it).
  • Almost all (if not all) aboriginal tribes around the world aren't (and won't) be fond of technology in general, not necessarily modern tech, and usually try to avoid it.
Community Feedback Replies: 28
  • May 29, 2011
    heyassbutt
    Does this trope still count if the fear is justiied, like in Stephen King's Cell where cell phones = zombification?
  • May 29, 2011
    ShivaFang
    Good question, and I'm divided on that. I'm leaning towards this covering technology in general rather than a specific application of it (as in Cell, where it's specifically cell phones)

    Otherwise, if the fear is justified then it fits.
  • May 29, 2011
    Fearmonger
  • May 29, 2011
    Koncur
    • In the Age Of Wonders games, Technophobe is a negative trait that be attached to Wizards at creation. It lowers that Wizard's production points in all cities.
  • May 29, 2011
    ginsengaddict
    If this isn't Ludd Was Right, it's certainly related.
  • May 29, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    • In the Anita Blake series, it's mentioned by Anita that really old vampires can be technophobes. They just aren't used to, don't trust and don't understand new technology.
  • May 29, 2011
    ShivaFang
    Good call on Ludd Was Right, definitely an example of what characters could be afraid of. The Anita Blake series gave me a reminder of a situation in the American Being Human
  • May 29, 2011
    Bisected8
  • May 29, 2011
    Darthcaliber
    Cobra-La in G.I.JOE the movie. All their "technology" including weapons and vehicles are entirely organic and they consider the human civilization and technology an abomination.
  • May 30, 2011
    ShivaFang
    Given we already have New Technology is Evil and Science is bad (How did I miss those when searching?) I'm thinking of adjusting this to be 'fear of machines'. Discuss.
  • May 30, 2011
    Bisected8
    I think that's tropable. May be a trait of the Obsolete Mentor.
  • May 30, 2011
    Fearmonger
  • May 30, 2011
    Bisected8
    "most tropes are named after an inside joke of some kind."

    No. No they're not. If it's not a widely known quote or reference, don't even think about it.
  • December 6, 2016
    Basara-kun
    Up For Grabs. Yeah, I'm taking back this since I found this as a potential trope, especially now there're more examples to be added than in 2011. Any help here is welcome, as well hats if you find this as interesting as I do ;)
  • December 6, 2016
    timtom15
    does this fit: In the film Surrogates, there are "dread reservations" which consist of communities that strongly oppose the use of surrogate robots, which are use by the vast majority of the world's population to live their daily lives risk free, which they consider them abominations and will attack surrogates if they come into their communities.
  • December 7, 2016
    Antigone3
    Honor Harrington: The Church of Humanity Unchained started out this way. After landing on Grayson, the church split between the mainstream Graysons who saw technology as a tool (and an essential one if they wanted to survive) and the Faithful who still called for the destruction of the colony's technology.
  • December 25, 2016
    Martine34
    I'm not sure. But it does show up. Like in the movie Brazil. I think I will give you a hat.
  • December 25, 2016
    Tallens
    • Roswell Conspiracies: The Banshees are a tribe of aliens that arrived on Earth and settled in the wilds of Ireland. Their society is close to the earth and nature, which makes them distrustful to downright homicidal when machines are involved. Sh'lainn is the only known exception, having a more progressive attitude toward technology (she was in favor of steam engines), but even she is frequently hear exclaiming, "I hate technology, I hate it!"

    Expanding:
    • Final Fantasy X: The religion of Yevon teaches that technology (Machina, as they call it) resulted in the destruction of their once-great civilization and the emergence of the creature known as Sin as their penance for their pride, which puts them at odds with the highly-mechanized Al-bhed. Of course, this is a case of "do as we say, not as we do", as the party finds the Yevon headquarters to be quite technologically advanced, which causes major issues for devout Yevonites, like Wakka. Even more so when Measter Seymore just says, "Pretend you don't see them".
  • December 27, 2016
    Basara-kun
    ^Thanks, added the new and updated examples and I added one about people who stays with the technology of its age instead embrace the new one in Real Life. Also I need some other updates for the ZCE examples
  • December 27, 2016
    Malady
    I remember some Walking Techbane from some tabletop game had their techbane powered fuelled by this, or something...
  • December 27, 2016
    Tallens
    • Star Wars Legends: The Yuuzhan Vong are a race that utilize engineered organic creatures where other races would use mechanical devices or droids. They see any mechanical technology as an affront to their gods and seek to destroy it and those who use it wherever they are found.
  • December 28, 2016
    CactusFace
    • In Stellaris the Spiritualist ethos is this. They are oposed to the Materialist focus which boosts research. They also dislike it if you allow the construction of Robotics and the enhancement of leaders. Funny enough, Robotics themself can get the Spiritualist ethos, leading to Synthetics demanding their own extinction. This was later patched to Spiritualistic Synthetics accepting themself.
  • December 28, 2016
    Basara-kun
    ^Added both examples and improvising one for The Crysalids just reading the main thread, probably I'll have to improve the ZCE with something like that. Also, thanks for the hats! :D
  • December 28, 2016
    Tallens
    • Star Trek Insurrection: The Ba'ku were once a warp-faring people, but after they settled in the Briar Patch they gave up all their technology in favor of a simpler lifestyle of farming. Sojef in particular is rather antagonistic towards it, seemingly trying to shield his son from any contact with it.
  • December 28, 2016
    Basara-kun
    ^Added this and one more real life example about aborigins in general. Seeing how to change the ZCE to the few examples it left. Any cooperation is welcome
  • December 29, 2016
    Astaroth

    A bit more context for the Alpha Centauri example:
    • The Lord's Believers faction in Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri are Christian Fundamentalists who are suspicious of secular science and fear the progress of technology drawing people away from faith in God. This manifests in-game as a penalty to their research stat.
  • December 29, 2016
    Malady
    Genius The Transgression: Clockstoppers, Evil Luddites who think Science Is Bad and whose beliefs gives their Walking Techbane powers, or the other way around?

    How is this not Evil Luddite but The Same But Less Specific, expanding it to all anti-technology feelings? ... I guess that's the point though, with Evil Luddite as a subtrope, specifically on hate...
  • December 30, 2016
    Basara-kun
    ^As the author says, this is a mild version of Evil Luddite, since the character(s) is/are not fond or even afraid of technology, but not to the point of going against it. This is more like a Sub Trope of Ludd Was Right, but again, a milder version
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=qt1t4aaksqjvted727efpxh3