Matthew Gates 19m 4,673 #fear
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
The Fear of the Fears We Do Not Speak Of
It is normal and very likely, out of human nature, to fear something. Having phobias has kept most of us alive, throughout our history on Earth, from not touching fire and avoiding it at all costs, to not messing around with snarling animals with big sharp teeth, to even avoiding people who might look dangerous. We cannot help it, from the time we are children, thinking their might be a monster in the closet, a clown, or a scary movie, to having greater fears as adults, such as failing a test, debt, losing a house, or a loved one.
There are people who have probable cause to fear what they fear, while others must have had a traumatic experience to cause them to fear what they fear. The Maury Povich Show used to run episodes on people who fears weird objects and things, such as people fearing balloons, pickles, peaches, or even shaking someone’s hand. For everything that exists in the nature, physical and metaphysical, there is someone who fears it.
There are plenty of ways to get over fears and people often accomplish defeating their fears by facing them and realizing they are making their fears a bigger deal when there is no big deal to make. Unfortunately, there are many other people who go their entire lives fearing something, avoiding it at all costs, and feel as if they will fight to the death in order to not face their fear.
These may not be listed anywhere or even a case that anyone has been made aware of but they are certainly phobias that people probably do have. However, in the modern age of technology, with access to Internet, news, information, and a 24/7 world that never stops, there are plenty of fears that have arisen based on the Internet or just the awareness of a particular topic.
Fear of giving out personal information
Having to sign and hand over any personal information, whether it is offline or online, in the form of a signature, an address, phone number, or a credit card, there are millions of stories of people having their identities stolen, their information stole, someone posing as them, living as them, or anything else that could possibly lead to fraud of identity, is a great fear that most of us must ignore and live with everyday.
We enter in personal information into our computers, speak over the phone with personal information, give our social security numbers to our doctors and dentists without a second thought, all without knowing how secure that information really is.
Fear of registering or signing up for accounts
This also relates to giving out personal information. Whenever you must register or sign up for an account, you are creating another piece of information that contains information about yourself. How much of you and your personal identity do you want online? Registering or signing up for an account means handing over a name, an email, and a password, sometimes even more information. What happens with this information? Who is using it? And why do they need it?
Fear of giving out email address
Giving out your personal or professional email is handing over a big piece of your identity: the very personal way of communicating with you. Whether you are giving your email to a website you just purchased something from or whether you signed up for a social media account, you are giving away the means to get in touch with you. While this may not be a problem for everyone, maybe your email is now targeted for spam, or listed somewhere publicly for others to find.
Fear of giving out money
The fear of giving out money stems from the fact that many people know you when they don’t have money, but once they have it, they don’t care to know you. Or pay you back. Fear of giving out money means you may or may not be paid back. Money has destroyed families, led to murderous situations, and could be said to be the root of all evil. When people have money, they change. When people don’t, they change. When people take your hard-earned money without any second thought about paying you back or even attempting, friendships, relationships, and even family ties could be severely severed.
Fear of becoming rich
The majority of people dream about becoming and being rich. What most of us would do if we just had a million dollars. What might we do if that million was a billion? It is hard to imagine what it would be like to win the lottery, but most of us would finally be able to buy whatever we wanted, maybe have a chance at discovering happiness, and never have to worry about money ever again. Unfortunately, there’s also a catch to coming into a lot of money: Those who barely know you are now your best friend. Family and friends who barely spoke to you now love you and “have always been there for you.” Friends and family are also coming up with great ideas and are looking for an investor who happens to be you. Acquaintances who didn’t even give you the time of day except for a “Happy Birthday” on Facebook now become your best friends. Strangers, along with scammers and fraudsters are also after your money when your rich. Many people who have won the lottery, even twice winners, are broken, or worse. Best of all, the government along with every charity in existence will have their hand out before you even get a chance to get familiar with being rich.
We will just say: We all dream of being rich, but most of us can hardly imagine the reality of being rich with worry. When it comes to money, as wonderful as being rich sounds, it never comes without its share of problems.
Fear of being poor
Most of us can relate to this, just one or two paychecks away from broke, and the car won’t start, the washer is broken, the cable bill is due, ramen noodles are what is for dinner, and many other problems that most people who have experienced being poor can relate to.
The fear doesn’t necessarily stem from currently being poor, but rich people suddenly losing all of their money, or the poor never escaping their financial status. What if you were rich or at least comfortable with your lifestyle, and then the day came where you lost your job, you were denied by unemployment, and you have no paycheck coming in to pay the overdue bills. The poor have the fear of always being in their current situation, no money to ever better themselves or their lives, no money to educate themselves and go to college, but to be stuck in a rut which they may have to come to terms that it could be for life.
Fear of news
No news is good news. Whether from news on the Internet or on television, almost all media is the same: reporting the same things with the same headlines by different authors, covering the same exact story. The endless stories of everyday current events are usually negative or boring. Fear of the news stems from just wanting to avoid it altogether, and live life without knowing worrying about what is going on in the world, or seeing the headlines filled with unfortunate heinous events.
Fear of information
With so much information technology spread throughout the world via radio communications, television, and Internet, it can be easy for anyone to get overwhelmed by the amount of information on the Internet. The information Google has collected is in the petabytes (1 Petabyte = 1000 Terabytes). In our lifetimes, it is likely we will see what an Exabyte looks like. No matter what you want to know, there is a website that has probably talked about it, covered it, and wants to share the information with the world.
There is just so much information that most of it can barely be retained and always leads to wanting to know more. Not only is this information available on the Internet, but there are millions of books being written every year, so the amount of information that exists in the world today could not be covered in a lifetime. However, a thousand or two thousand years ago, even 500 years ago, though the vast amount of information didn’t exist, any books in existence then could have been in a lifetime.
Fear of giving to charity
Always a hand out, never a hand willing to help out. Charities have existed for as long as we can all remember. They are designed for the purpose of giving money and other charitable donations to people and causes that need it most, to try and help, treat, or cure whatever the cause is. Governments can only pour so much into charitable causes, but it is barely enough for anything. Having a charitable donation go to a charitable cause usually helps boost the function of the charitable organization to do what it can to help its cause, whether it be for research and development into the disease, helping those with the disease live a more comfortable life, or paying for the treatments of the disease for the patients.
The fear of charity comes from the recent rise lately of many charities being fake or contribution less than 10% of total donations to the cause of the charity. When the CEO or founder of the charity is making enough money to be rich, with no other income, than the obvious income is from the so-called charity. Unfortunately, the only one who is getting charity are the ones who are getting the most money from the charity.
Many charities are completely legit with money going to the right places, people getting helped, and lives being saved. If you have a favorite charity and have done your research on where every dollar you contribute goes, than continue donating each year to the charitable organization. Donate to those charities that are reputable.
Unfortunately, it is those few charities that ruin it for the majority that make some people fear handing over any amount of money to charitable organizations, for fear that there money is being stolen, and not actually going to any cause.
Fear of committing to anything
Making plans, setting dates, having a schedule leads to fear because plans can get cancelled, things can come up, dates can change, and trying to set up a schedule may not always keep us on track. Committing to anything, whether on the calendar, to an event, or even to a person can be scary. Whether you have to cancel plans or someone else cancels plans, there is just a fear of doing anything that might deviate from a schedule.
Fear of trusting people
Something most of us have trouble with is trusting people, especially new people we meet. We are confiding that this human being, a stranger to us, is genuinely a good person and a good human who cares about you and wants to get to know you. The fear of trusting people stems from an event that led to mistrust in the past. Whether you confided in someone or there was betrayal, trust issues can ruin relationships or prevent them from even starting. It takes many years to build trust and gain the trust of people, but trusting in someone means you must make yourself vulnerable in some way, and putting your complete faith in them that they will be good to you.
Fear of making friends
Just like with the fear of trust, making new friends invites new drama into your life, and having to get to know new people means having to put your trust in a complete stranger. You hope that you are befriending genuinely good human being who cares about you as a person. It seems, however, that the more people you know, the more potential problems you could have, whereas keeping to yourself only afford you your own problems. While having a few good friends is a wonderful blessing, having too many just doesn’t make sense. This is why we don’t have friend. Fortunately, if you have ever lived life, matured, and are a bit older, you have already learned that friends come and go. It’s the annoying ones who stay with you forever. Just kidding, but as you get older, there are only a few close friends that you keep.
Fear of being an extrovert
A good percentage of the population suffers from social anxiety, where going out in public, speaking in public, being the center of attention, or being the focus is a fate greater than death. Being an extrovert means that you are a social creature, which humans have evolved to be. We prefer to remain as our introvert selves and stay home, avoid people, avoid talking to people, and enjoy the comfort of our cats, dogs, Netflix, and computers. Unfortunately, this may have a lot to do with early childhood issues of distrusting people and society, and carries into adulthood of just wanting to avoid people and public places altogether, so the fear of being an extrovert prevents us from going outside in daylight to popular areas, waiting until the “traffic” settles down, and while we tolerate people being in places, we prefer to just not have too many people around.
Fear of being an introvert
On the opposite end, there are some people who cannot fathom the idea of not being known, of not having friends, and who need be surrounded by people all the time, doing something all the time, or be kept busy all the time. They fear being alone, they fear silence, and they fear an empty house. Silence scares them silly and they think that every noise could be a ghost. If they aren’t talking to people or people aren’t around them, they think there is a problem with themselves and they may attempt to win the approval of others. They dream about being famous, popular, and busy all the time. Staying at home on a weekend by themselves, even with Netflix, is not on their to-do list.
Fear of nonexistence
In reality, we actually are in nonexistence far longer than we exist. The odds are mostly against us, from the time we are genetic sperm to the time we are fertilized in the egg, we are all at odds with coming into existence. We exist for only about 75 to 90 years, or more if we are lucky, and then we die. Whether you believe in a soul or not, our bodies are not animated, completely dead, when we die.
The fear of nonexistence stems from the fear of death, in which we are no longer alive, no longer living, and no longer have a presence in this world. This comes about when we lose loved ones, especially at an early age, or we lose close friends who were simply there one day, and now gone forever, with only the memories they left behind for others to know. For us, they are just a memory, but for the world itself, the majority of people do not make enough impact to be remember in human history, thus once they are buried, they are gone forever.
Time fades their memory until all those that knew them are dead as well, and they too, are forgotten. Our fear is that while we must acknowledge the death of others, it is very hard for us to fathom our own deaths, our own nonexistence, but we too, will eventually succumb to the fate that awaits all living creatures.
Fear of dying
Just like the fear of nonexistence, the fear of death comes from the amount of ways we can die. Our own bodies have the opportunity to kill us at any moment and the fact that we wake up everyday is a miracle. Other people and everyday circumstances can also kill us. There is a show called 1000 Ways To Die, although it has certainly covered many more ways. With the advancement of society and technology, the chances of dying are pretty high. The fear of dying may come from additional thoughts on how we are going to die, maybe by accidentally stepping in front of a bus (which I did once in Downtown Chicago and managed to get back on the curb mere seconds before getting hit), drowning in a pool, or overdosing on cold medicine by accident. Anything and everything can kill us, from just about any object, to the ones we love and trust, to complete strangers.
About 150,000 people die on an ordinary day, with the number sometimes being higher when natural disasters or terrorist attacks occur. Legends in Celebrity Death, and that we remain living and alive for a long time. If you are a parent, the fear of death does not just become a worry for yourself, but the fear of losing your children as well.
Fear of social media disappearing
Once upon a time, the world was not connected as it is today. Social media did not exist, and the best form of communication was through email or an instant message chat. Nowadays, there are at least a hundred popular social media websites for the entire world to join and stay connected to friends, family, and acquaintances. Social media is powerful that we can even directly communicate with celebrities.
Imagine a day where you wake up and none of this exists anymore. For some of us, this could be a blessing in disguise. For others, the fear of having a social media account deleted or deactivated is prominent fear that may affect everyday life. These people need to be logged in and connected almost 24/7. Whenever they have access to a computer, they are checking their social media networks, not for anything specifically, but just to feel like they are connected with the world.
A day without Internet brings about boredom, anxiety, and a general feeling of lost hope because a person cannot communicate with their friends, family, or stay up to date with the latest events of whatever is currently trending. Social media is a far better day than hiking, camping, or even going outside.
Fear of social media
On the other hand, there is the fear of social media. The fact that whenever we sign up for an account, register our information, post things on our wall, like or tweet things, we are giving a little bit more information about ourselves each time. While most of the things we “like” or “tweet” are unimportant and usually things that we just come across, a person who specializes in stealing identities and personal information could easily have a field day with the amount of information we give out for free. This extends to companies who prefer to do things legally and consume as much information about us as they possibly can, so they can cater to our needs through advertisements and products, where we willingly pay them to give us the things we want.
Whether we fear signing up for social media accounts because at any moment, a government agency could subpoena the company, and get any information they want, or our entire identity is online, for anyone to discover, there is a great fear of having a social media account. The fear is so great that hundreds of people a year decide to delete their accounts and “go dark” for many years. Unfortunately, it is a catch-22 situation, because if family and friends are on social media and that is the easiest way to communicate with them, than not having an account means you are completely disconnected and out of the loop.
Nothing is actually free in the world, but the fact that social media is free, and we wonder how they keep it free: The exchange of personal information is extremely valuable to those who use that information to make money. Whether online or offline, we are all dollar symbols in the eyes of a business.
Fear of becoming popular or famous
Some people dream of being popular or famous, fantasize about it, idolize people who are famous or celebrities, but there are plenty of others who fear even having their name mentioned or being given credit for anything, preferring to remain in the shadows and the background, helping out with things, and moving them along. They fear that becoming famous or popular will expose them to the public, where they will no longer have any privacy, and be recognized everywhere they go.
Fear of getting out of bed or leaving the house
Everyone has to do it, but there are plenty of people who would prefer to take a day off and stay in bed. Hardly do any of us ever get to do that. There are, however, some people who fear even leaving the house because something bad may happen or harm could be brought to them by exposing themselves to the world, so they choose not to leave the house. The Internet has also made it possible for anyone to live completely inside and never actually have to leave the house ever.
Fear of losing
Plenty of people love to win, but for every winner, there must be a loser. People on the losing end must take the defeat, accept it, move on, and hope for the best next time, or practice to become better so that they can try to win next time. There are plenty of people, however, who fear losing to the point where they will not accept any challenges, play any games, or do anything that even resembles competition, for fear that they could lose, and the embarrassment of losing is far scarier to them than the possible chance of winning.
Fear that we are alone in the universe
Humans crave communication and companionship, mostly with each other, because that is all we have. We normally crave the affection, attention, and love of our families and friends, but there is something within many of us that goes even further: desiring to know or communicate with those that are not of the same species or of this planet. Humans have been trying to communicate with aliens for decades now, with our advanced technology, and although we have learned plenty of new information, we have yet to receive any contact from any other aliens, or at least, this contact has never been made available to the general public.
Fear that we are not alone in the universe
On the other hand of the fear of being alone in the universe, there is also the fear that we are not alone. With billions of galaxies and possibly trillions of planets in the known universe, the potential for alien life is enormous. The fact that we exist must mean that other sentient species certainly do exist. With the fear of not being alone in the universe, and the potential existence of aliens, it also means that there may be hostile aliens species, who are, or are capable of being as violent as human beings. Thus, some people may live constantly with the fear that we might make contact with an alien species one day, and it may not be as pleasant as we imagine it could be.
After all, human history reveals that our own contacts and discovery of other human beings on this planet has rarely ever been peaceful. The possibility of an alien species visiting this planet and being similar to us, wanting our natural resources and destroying human beings to get them, is the potential risk we face if we ever do make contact with an alien species.
Fear of black holes
Black holes, however much we have already studied, still remain one of the most mysterious object in the universe to us, and our scientist. We know that black holes are so dense and heavy that any light that goes into them never escapes. Anything a black hole is near gets swallowed in and destroyed. This is usually observed when a black hole pulls in entire suns, rips them apart, and may spew some of the energy of that star back out.
It is kind of insane to think that at any moment, with infinite possibilities in the universe, that we could actually die from a black hole. It seems impossible, but since the universe is constantly in motion, it is very probable that it can and will happen someday, probably long after we are extinct, that our planet, and our solar system will eventually be swallowed into a black hole.
Since black hole gravity is so dense, it would crush a human beyond anything they could ever know. A black hole coming into our solar system would crush Earth before we even knew what killed us. All of human life would be gone in an instant. Anything within the solar system would disappear as if it never existed. Luckily, we are likely not near any black hole, and are safe from its grips, but the possibility always exists. There are plenty of fears of the unknown, especially the mysteries that lie within a black hole.
Fear of browser history discovery
Many people are extremely paranoid about surfing the Internet, having their browser history recorded, and others being able to see or monitor such information. There have even been jokes about people saying, on their death beds, or right before their last breath, “delete my browser history.” In order to deal with this situation, most people just simply have the browser delete its history when they log out, or they might browser the Internet in Incognito or Private mode. However, for those that may forget to delete their browser history, it may be a constant fear that they have left personal information on their private computer or a public computer, exposing them for others to see.
Fear of having children
For most people, having children is inevitable, whether they wanted to have children or not, and had them, while there are plenty of other couples who have tried for children, and have been unable to have children. When a woman or a couple has a child, they usually accept it, bringing about the responsibility of becoming a parent, or foregoing the responsibilities and having foregoing the child by abortion, or giving up the child for adoption.
The fear in some may be so great that they have vasectomies, tubes tied, or use protection every single time. They may not want the responsibilities that come with being a parent and having a child, because they may be forced to give up the life they are used to, and anyone knows that once you have a child and accept the responsibility of that child: you can never go back and your life will never be the same again.
Fear of not having children
On the other hand of people fearing to have children, there are also plenty who fear not having children. There is something about the power we are given as human beings with the ability to find a mate, exchange DNA with that person, and create another living soul. That is a very powerful force that almost all humans possess and do not think twice about having that type of power. It is a great power to have, as two individual humans, male and female, could populate an entire planet.
There are plenty of people who are unable to have children despite years of trying, have not met the person they want to have children with yet, or circumstances have rendered them childless. The fear of children is very great that they may adopt, use surrogates, or extend the power into the hands of the scientific community, through vitro or other scientific methods.