Tech Talk: What those dreaded technology upgrades can teach us about life's changes

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tech talk redesign

Recently I posted on my beasone.org blog about big changes coming to my site (I have totally revamped it with a fresh new look and lots of extras). Even as I was gushing on and on in my post about how “this will translate into a more enjoyable experience for you,” I thought about how much I dislike website upgrades.

I could hear myself grumbling: “Why change it; I like it just the way it is!” “I can’t find my favorite posts!” “Where is the contact information; I want to complain!”

tech upgrades

An ungracious response

ipodI remember a few Christmases ago when I had asked for a new iPod, specifically telling my husband that I did not want the then-new touchscreen technology. I just wanted something that played music and held more of it. When I unwrapped the box on Christmas morning I saw an iPod. With touchscreen technology. I did not react with grace and you know you’re being a jerk when your own kids call you out on it! Yet within a week (after profusely apologizing) I was hooked, having discovered apps.

My new best friend …

iphoneSwitching from the iPhone 4 to the 5S was a BIG change; the IOS upgrade transformed the look and feel. It took days to get used to it, and all the while, I grumbled. Until I discovered Siri. Why, I could dictate email, texts, Facebook and Twitter posts! I could ask her in the middle of traffic for directions and get them! I love Siri.

… and losing another dear friend

tabletI didn’t think I could possibly love a tablet as much as my Nook HD+; I had written my book, River of Grace, on it! But then I put the charger through the wash and could not replace it. When presented with the opportunity of a free Android LG G tablet with my phone upgrade, I went for it. I didn’t think I could adjust to the 7 inch screen (versus 9 inch for the Nook) but I fell in love immediately as I started using it.

Not always a good thing

Technological changes are hard and not always good for everyone. I recall my elderly mother, overwhelmed with all the buttons on the remote, needing assistance just to watch her favorite shows on TV. I think of my mother-in-law who refuses to learn the computer and is therefore left out of family Facebook conversations and photos.

What can we learn from technological change?

Change is hard, especially when it is forced upon us. But it can also be invigorating. We can learn about ourselves by observing how we respond to technological advances:

  • How are we changed as a result?
  • How resistant are we to the change?
  • What is the usual result of the change?
  • And how does this translate into our every day lives?

Surprises

nook-with-keyboardWhat has been the result for me? In thinking back over all the technology upgrades I’ve “endured,” the result has always been the same: A more enjoyable user experience. The most striking example was how I struggled over learning my Nook only to discover a tool that helped me to write my book away from the distractions of email and social media.

Learning from changes in our lives

Life can be like that too. Especially when we live a life of adventure with our God who is deep inside of us and all around us. Life can force unpleasant changes upon us but when we align ourselves with the God who loves us beyond reason, such change can transform our lives.

Times of loss

Going through a long season of loss (as I did, losing my parents and then my singing voice for a time) brings tremendous and unwelcome change. We can choose to resist, grumble, cry, even rail through it, or just push it away (I am ashamed to admit I’ve done all of that with technology!) or we can struggle with it, process it and work through it.

On the other side is a life transformed by change. Especially if we allow God to guide us.

Change that is amazing

As much as I loved my old technology, the new stuff is pretty cool. And as much as I loved my old life and long to have my parents back with me again, the new life that God has given me as a result of the changes is pretty amazing.

I’ll have to remember that as I contemplate upgrading from Windows 7 to 10!

river of grace susan baileyYou can read more about life transformation with God at the helm in Susan’s new book, River of Grace: Creative Passages Through Difficult Times, available for pre-order on Amazon.

Read more of our Tech Talk columns.

Copyright 2015 by Susan W. Bailey. All photos by Susan W. Bailey. River of Grace image courtesy of Ave Maria Press.

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About Author

Susan Bailey is an writer, speaker and musician. She is the author of River of Grace Creative Passages Through Difficult Times, published by Ave Maria Press, and Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message, part of the Literary Portals to Prayer series published by ACTA Publications. Along with her own blogs Be As One and Louisa May Alcott is My Passion), Susan frequently contributes to CatholicMom.com and the Association of Catholic Women Bloggers. She has also contributed to Catholic.net and Catholic Online. Susan writes articles and a monthly column known as Be as One for the Diocese of Worcester newspaper, The Catholic Free Press. Bailey, who works as a marketing/advertising assistant for a local real estate firm, is an associate member of the Commission for Women of the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, where previously she served as chair and secretary, helping to organize the biennial “Gather Us In” women’s conference, one of the first major Catholic women’s conferences in the country. As part of her duties she wrote the monthly column for The Catholic Free Press known as “Concerning Women” and appeared on CatholicTV’s “This is the Day” to promote the conference. A professional musician and graphic artist, Bailey released four CDs, performed on EWTN, CatholicTV and World Youth Day 2002, and worked as a cantor in her parish of St. Luke the Evangelist for fifteen years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (with concentrations in US History and Music) from Bridgewater State University. She and her husband, Rich, have two grown children and live in North Grafton, Massachusetts. Susan invites you to join her email list where you will receive updates on exciting professional developments and speaking engagements. Email subscribers also receive special giveaways and previews of new projects. Susan loves a good conversation and looks forward to corresponding with you! Join here.

4 Comments

  1. Oh, I see so much of myself in this…I am a reluctant adopter of the new, improved version of things. I kept my old iPhone 4 for a very, very long time because “it works fine” and I’m always the last in our family to add needed updates to my devices and software. My dad points out that I might be leaving myself vulnerable to viruses or other issues if I don’t accept the changes, but it’s hard to adjust to new things sometimes. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your perspective!

  2. Susan, I am the same way. 🙂 I didn’t have a smartphone until last year, and was *very* averse to touchscreen *anything* for a long time. Before I got the smartphone, I had to adjust to a touchscreen ipod, and it was not an easy transition. 🙂 But I made it, and now I would never go back. It just takes time!

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