Straight out of Hollywood: the exploding light switch

February 6, 2017 — by Frederick Kim

Junior confesses to being afraid of light switches

Hit a button and a massive explosion will decimate everything nearby. It’s a common scene in any Hollywood action movie, and it should probably stay confined on a cinema screen. The scene creeps into my mind whenever I press a light switches in the wrong order whenever I turn off the lights.

In my house, there is a room that has two light switches, one a dimmer and another an “actual” light switch. To turn the lights off, I must press the two in the correct order: first the dimmer and then the light switch. If I go out of order, an image of the entire room blowing up immediately pops into my head.

In my imagination, the lights explode from shutting them off too forcefully because I didn’t dim them out first. Or, I fear that the wiring will short circuit and suddenly start a fire.

Of course, the room doesn’t actually explode and my fears are completely irrational. Although I have tried time and time again to calm my phobia, I still feel a tingling sensation whenever I press the switches in the wrong order. Whenever I turn off the lights, I hesitate to press the “actual” light switch first and eventually just choose to press the dimmer before the light switch.

I have no problem when I turn the lights on because I have to press the switches in a specific order or else it will not turn on. In order to turn on the dimmer, the “actual” light switch has to be pressed first.

I don’t even know how my fear began, nor do I know when it started, nor do I know what to call it — lightswitchaphobia perhaps? Sadly, though, I do know that I’m stuck with a stupid fear that is obviously illogical. Does anyone know a good hypnotist?

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