ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Not All Change Is Good

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

Photo by Chris Lawton

New Coke, Amazon’s Fire Phone, McDonald’s Arch Deluxe, Betamax, that second or third spouse…the list goes on. In today’s world, we are constantly hearing about change. But—as you may have noticed in the list above—not all change is good.

Yet it doesn’t take much for us to become enamored with that shiny new penny. Don’t get me wrong, some change is good: as our technology has developed, we have created iPhones, Bluetooth, and countless lifesaving technologies. Our personal growth and professional development depends on embracing change.

But, as with any big changes, it’s worth considering the potential cost of these technological achievements.

For example, with a smartphone in your pocket, you can get directions to anywhere at any time. Everyone you could ever want to contact is all right there at your fingertips. But if your fancy iPhone runs out of battery, you won’t be able to call ahead and tell your business partner you’re going to be late, or warn your spouse about the construction on their route home from work.

We used to memorize our friends’ phone numbers as a matter of course; now that everything is digitized, those brain-strengthening memory exercises were a thing of the past. Even more alarming, our smartphones could be impacting our brains in troubling ways: according to Business Insider, constant notifications keep our brains hovering in a “near constant state of stress and fear,” causing our prefrontal cortex to freak out in ways that drastically reduce our higher cognitive functioning power.

Yikes.

But while change has the potential to take us away from our core values and bring us further from who we really are, it can also make us more efficient, more well-rounded, and better connected to people around the world. Change is like anything else: in some ways, it’s is good; in others, it can put us at risk.

Don’t just change because it’s convenient or because that’s the way the winds are blowing. Sometimes the status quo, the old way, is just fine. A handwritten letter will always mean more than an email, and nothing beats a homemade loaf of bread. Some change is good, just be thoughtful and vigilant before accepting it into your life (and try turning off the technology every once in a while).

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