Ron Colone: Using technology to conquer fear | Columnists

Ron Colone: Using technology to conquer fear | Columnists

I’m thinking if they can get you over your fear of heights, then why not every other fear, too? I can certainly see how such an app would be just as successful in helping with claustrophobia (fear of tight spaces), ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), aviophobia (fear of flying) and gephyrophobia (fear of crossing over bridges), but the real question is, what about the more fundamental fears?

Could such an app keep us from spending our time and energy worrying about what might or might not happen, or what we might not have or might not get, or what we might lose? Can it help us roll with the changes, and not feel powerless in the face of uncertainty? Is it able to identify our tension, or put the brakes on a runaway imagination? Can it anchor us more firmly into the here and now, and erase the clouds of anxiety that block out the light of awareness and understanding?

I sometimes complain about technology, and how impersonal it is, and how it closes us off and folds us in and makes everything a little bit colder and less alive, even while expanding our reach and offering us greater connectivity, but if the emerging tools and methods are going to serve functions as important and non-specific as exposing and reducing our fear, then count me among the ones tooting a horn on their behalf.

Of course, we’ve always had the technology, or at least for as long as there’s been wisdom. We know full well that fear gets in the way of us having fun and feeling free and fully alive. We know, too, that there’s no running or driving or flying away from our fear; all we can do is acknowledge it, face it, look at it, see it, and see ourselves, and as it comes into view and we become more aware of it, we find that it becomes less.

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