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Captain Fanzone: This is why I hate machines!
Prowl: No need to be such a technophobe, Captain.
Captain Fanzone: A technophobe is someone who fears technology. (smashing his phone between breaths) TO YOU?!
Prowl: Um… my mistake.

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. Technologically Blind Elders is a subtrope.


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    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin's dad repeatedly makes his disdain for modern technology clear, especially where television and computers are involved. Note that he's a patent attorney.
    Hobbes: Your dad's going into the future kicking and screaming, isn't he?

    Film — Animated 
  • Cobra-La in G.I. Joe: The Movie. All their "technology", including weapons and vehicles, are entirely organic, and they consider human civilization and technology an abomination.

    Film — Live Action 
  • In I, Robot, there's Del Spooner, a Chicago police detective who 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 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.
  • In Surrogates, there are "dread reservations" which consist of communities that strongly oppose the use of surrogate robots, which are used by the vast majority of the world's population to live their daily lives risk-free, while they consider them abominations and will attack surrogates if they come into their communities.
  • Umma: Amanda's farm relies on wind power for electricity and she does not have a phone due to a sensitivity to electronics. The farm has a sign that reads "No motorized vehicles beyond this point". When Amanda's business partner drives in to pick up cases of her honey, he parks by the sign and leaves his phone and wristwatch in the car behind. In contrast, her uncle from Korea completely disregards the sign and drives in just feet from front door.

  • In the Anita Blake series, it's mentioned by Anita that really old vampires can be technophobes. They just aren't used to it and don't trust or understand new technology.
  • Peter Dickinson's trilogy The Changes has British people suddenly becoming violently technophobic under what turns out to be a malevolent extra-terrestrial influence.
  • 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 City Who Fought, inhabitants of Bethel are Space Amish who believe their world is a holy site and barely trade with outsiders. They do have some technology but shun the advancements which had been embraced by The Federation even back when they established their colony on Bethel - in particular, shellpeople are regarded as abominations at best. A less conservative social movement led by Amos, who had regular contact with Guiynon, the shellperson Space Station in orbit over Bethel, was coming into its own when Space Pirates came. More devout Bethelites took as punishment for the movement and "offered their throats to the knife". Guiynon took Amos and some of his followers to escape in a rickety, decaying generation ship. The stress of the situation Amos consider Guiynon in a more traditional light, as an inhuman thing, but he chastised himself for ingratitude and only sometimes flinched when spoken to.
  • 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.
  • Industrial Society and Its Future: This was Kaczynski's reason for condemning all modern technology, arguing it was now damaging human beings since it's so different from the environment we evolved in originally, and was gradually enslaving us. He thought that if not stopped, we might end up in a dystopia like Nineteen Eighty-Four or Brave New World because of emerging technology such as artificial intelligence or bio engineering.
  • 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.
  • Victoria: The Confederation restricts, or at least strongly discourages, the use of electronics and most modern technologies developed since the 1930s. But they don't object to new scientific discoveries; in fact, they're the world leader in the development of Super Science.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the American version of Being Human (US), some of the ancient vampires awake to pay a visit to the Chicago district. They are notably wary of all the technological advancements, and frequently make remarks about how the old ways were better.
  • In the first episode of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, piously-Catholic Dot refuses to touch electric appliances because her priest warned that putting electricity through wires was unnatural and that "sooner or later, it'll come in contact with the molten centre of the earth and will blow up the whole world." She fights her fear at the end of the episode, using the telephone to call the police when Phryne doesn't return home from her mission.
  • Played for laughs in That Mitchell and Webb Look, in which a stone-age axe-chipper and the guy who ties his axes to sticks are confronted with the encroaching forces of (pre)modernity when their tribe chief makes them listen to a lecture from a gentleman representing a tribe who have discovered bronze smelting, which among other things makes much stronger axes. On learning that his axe-chipping skills are facing redundancy, the chipper is less than thrilled by the (slightly) shiny future-to-come.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In "Rule of Law", Judge Joshua Finch left Earth and took up the assignment of Fifth Circuit judge on the relatively isolated colony planet Daedalus because he hates anything to do with modern technology. For example, he eschews modern laser guns for an old-fashioned pistol.
    • In "Lithia", the all-female society opposes most post-Industrial Revolution technology as a result of the earlier war destroying civilization with biological and nuclear weapons. For coordination, they allow a kind of video phone. This is the source of the conflict when Major Mercer tries to reintroduce an electrical mill in the community.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "A Thing About Machines", Bartlett Finchley despises all machines, even more than he hates people, and destroys his appliances if he can't get them to work. For instance, he kicked in the screen of his television and threw his radio down the stairs.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Quarantine", the survivors of World War III in 2043 came to distrust and despise technology because nuclear weapons had wiped out 80% of the world's population. They abandoned machines in favor of improving humanity through genetic engineering and achieving harmony with the natural world.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer Fantasy: Dwarves aren't so much afraid of technology (they invented steam engines and guns, after all) as they are distrustful of tech that hasn't been extensively tested for hundreds of years due to their long lifespans. And even then you still have dwarves who complain about people using this newfangled "gunpowder" when they have perfectly functional crossbows.

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Maester Seymore just says, "Pretend you don't see them".
      • The reason for the institutionalized technophobia is later revealed to be because Zanarkand was once at war with a Technologically Advanced Foe and created Sin to beat them. Then they kept Sin around to prevent the tech level from increasing enough to threaten Zanarkand again... even though it's now a ruin. The Al Bhed are mostly safe since they live in a desert... but not from conventional forces.
    • The Viera 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 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.
  • The Lord's Believers faction in Sid Meier's 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.
  • A trait introduced in The Sims 3. Sims who are technophobes generally try to avoid any forms of technology, including television.
  • In Stellaris, the Spiritualist ethos is this. They are opposed 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.
  • The altruist cult from Grand Theft Auto V is this. However, there are several examples of hypocrisy, as they have a website and make use of automobiles.

    Web Original 
  • A joke that goes around online about how the more you know about how technology works, the less you want in your house.
    Tech Enthusiasts:' Everything in my house is wired to the Internet of Things! I control it all from my smartphone! My smart-house is bluetooth enabled and I can give it voice commands via alexa! I love the future!
    Programmers / Engineers: The most recent piece of technology I own is a printer from 2004 and I keep a loaded gun ready to shoot it if it ever makes an unexpected noise.
    Security technicians: [takes a deep swig of whiskey] I wish I had been born in the neolithic.

    Western Animation 
  • Dan Vs.: In the episode "Dan vs Technology", Dan and Chris encounter a hermit named Hiram. He hates technology and can be angered by hearing about it. Hiram threatens to kill Dan and Chris after learning Dan likes television. Later in the episode, it is revealed that Hiram used to be the partner of Omicron CEO Barry Ditmer. Ditmer stole Hiram's ideas and inventions and took full credit for them. He then kicked Hiram out of Omicrom. As the result, Hiram disappeared from society and decided to shun technology.
  • An episode of My Life as a Teenage Robot has it to where Jenny, said teenage robot, gets a crush on a teenage boy who is scared of technology.
  • 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 heard 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 with the old one they used instead of embracing 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, though to different degrees-they have independent communities with varying rules. For example 97 percent used motorized washing machines, but only 6 percent use tractors.)
  • 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.
  • Author Stephen King has a bit of this, particularly with regard to his mistrust of electronic books and e-readers...and since he's Stephen King, he has enough clout to get his way about how and if his books are published in ebook format: one novel, Joyland, was published under the proviso that it never be released as an ebook (though he eventually relented). He hates cell phones and once wrote a whole book where they turn the world into zombies. Another novella, UR, written exclusively for Amazon Kindle, is about a sinister time-travelling Kindle. He's also not the greatest fan of television; in On Writing, he recommends that aspiring writers should blow up their TVs.
  • Cormac McCarthy is a notorious technophobe, to the point that he eschews computers and writes everything on a mechanical typewriter. He avoids television and radio, he allegedly doesn't own a phone, and he refuses to have any sort of official website or social media account. Only in 2016, when rumors began circulating on Twitter that McCarthy had died, did he finally permit his publisher to post a terse statement: "Cormac McCarthy is alive and well and still doesn't care about Twitter."