Resistant to change

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Not to simplify the issue, but in general people are resistant to change, especially imposed change, regardless of whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent. And the older one gets, in general the more resistant. Why? Because as we get older, we’ve found ways of doing things that suit us, we’ve been doing them for a long time, and that builds up inertia. This is a direct application of Newton’s 1st law. Yes, they apply to people as well. If you’re going along, minding your own business, and someone or something tries to change your direction or the way you’re going, they or it needs to exert greater force than for someone who is younger. As we age, we develop more inertia or resisting power.

Ever notice that a child can often pick up something faster than you can? Here’s an example. My 5 year old grandson handles the TV box remote like a pro. He knows how to find his TV shows in the list of recorded TV shows and how to start and stop them. He got that with minimal instruction by watching his father and because it was something he wanted. How long did it take you to understand yours? Probably longer because you had to read the manual and then assimilate the information. Now what happened if you changed remotes. A great many people wouldn’t bother changing because there’s not enough gain.

New technologies usually take root in younger generations. They may or may not be accepted by older generations, but it doesn’t matter, because eventually, the younger generations will replace the older, and that once new technology will be just the way things are. And the cycle will repeat.

Bob

7 thoughts on “Resistant to change

  1. Yeah, I remember way back in like 2006- noticing kids seeming much more comfortable with UIs that didn’t even look like UIs to me – I do like buttons to have certain affordances (visual cues) but kids are much more flexible, for semi-obvious reasons.

    Well, I mean some of those are positive, but also there’s the scar tissue us old fogies have, that newer and shinier isn’t always better

    To quote Douglas Adams:
    “I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
    1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
    2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
    3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”

  2. Oh, interesting – earlier I quoted that as
    1. everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal;
    2. anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;
    3. anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.

    huh

  3. Yup, Adams nailed it. Because I’m like that, I looked up the quote. Here’s what I found in a number of places.

    1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
    2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
    3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

    I would argue that the “35” gets higher since we live longer and healthier. And it also depends on what you do. If you’re in a technology field, it may take until you retire. On the other hand, you might readily adopt something new at work but resist it at home.

    As for number 3, I like Kirk’s extension and, although it doesn’t apply to everyone, I’ve seen it in action with my parents.

    1. What? You mean the source of a quote, like the person who actually said it, is the correct version?

      I definitely sit corrected.

  4. thinking back to the original topic-
    as a coder, sometimes I’ve painted myself into odd corners by being a little conservative w/ what technologies I try to master. I stuck with Perl as my go to for too long, because some of the newer alternatives either weren’t as developed (very early PHP was very bad) or they just didn’t offer enough new that I can do – I always prefer tech that unlocks new things, not just new ways of doing old things. Similarly, I wish I was more adept at say, Sketch, but because I can get done many similar things in Processing, my gumption to master it has never been high. Or even more so- my blog is all homebrew stuff from the early 2000s. I probably would be better of as a tumblr … though I like having control of my own stuff from a file level (for backup purpsoes, who knows where tumblr will be in 10 years) and tumblr is slow to do a “this day in my history” feature that I love on my site, and that facebook has started doing for its stuff…

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