NEW COMPUTER USERS AND FEAR 2
New Computer Users and Fear:
A Review of Some Related Literature
In one of his very first chapters entitled, "Fear and Anxiety on the Internet", Fawcett (1999) observed, "It was my fear of technology that drove me in my early days on the Internet" (p. 23). Later in the same chapter he went on to elaborate at length on his experiences:
My first experiences with the Internet were not pleasant ones. At that time, most Internet users were hooked-up to public networks known as Freenets. These networks may have been pioneering in many ways, but for the average user at the time, they were extremely tedious and frustrating, sporting technology that, by today's standards, was bordering on primitive. A typical Internet evening involved many long and frustrating hours of fumbling around in "cyber-blackness". It
frequently took an entire evening just to check my e-mail! A session was often prefaced by hours of busy signals before finally making a connection. (p. 26)
According to that author, at that time everything was text-based and menu-driven. Typically, the entire purpose of one's online sessions would be just to send and read e-mails. As he underlines, it was not a user-centric environment, "Only the more savvy 'tekkie-types', went beyond that, often spending endless hours exchanging cyber-musings with like-minded propeller heads" (p. 27).