Which of the following phrases describes your attitude toward technology?
You can’t stop progress .
Get with the program.
Adapt or die.
Variety is the spice of life!
Stop this train, I wanna get off!
Today’s topic is change , more specifically ,dealing with changes in the world that affect our lives.
I have spent years resisting change and also frequently seeking out change when I get bored. It’s the human way. We’re not meant to stay the same forever , but we need to stay safe and sane so we need to be smart about how we relate to changes in our lives.
Accept that change is part of life and find ways to benefit from it
There are very few places on earth where technology has not brought extreme changes to how people live. That’s a simple truth . Satellites and wireless communication and solar power and internet access have brought new ways of living to even the most primitive and poor societies. This inevitable spread of technology to every person on earth has both good and harmful results. Now those people can buy products and get life changing information to improve their lives. They can also be exploited and enslaved to corrupt government officials who now hold new power over their lives. Hopefully the good outweighs the bad in the long run .
Whether you are an early adopter of new technology or still use a flip phone, you have been affected by technological advances. Daily activities such as banking , shopping , travel, work and education now involve using technology such as computers, scanners, hand held devices , tablets and more. Modern medicine has incorporated digital records , computerized diagnostic tests and surgery and even making appointments and sending messages via apps and now ,thanks to Covid , telemedicine is becoming the norm rather than an exception.
Yeah, so? Technology, can’t live with it , can’t live without it.
Just try forgetting your phone at home when you go on a trip. Chaos! Or forget your password to a website that holds important information that you need. Argh! Or let your computer get a virus and become inaccessible. Suddenly you realize how dependent you really are. Hours or even days can be spent trying to get back into your computer. Just imagine the extent of disruption that a worldwide cyberattack would have . Billions of dollars are spent trying to limit cybercrime but it still happens regularly.
Thriving and growing requires learning new things
There’s no going back to life without the benefits and complications of using technology. Instead we must educate and prepare people so that they can use it and not be a victim of it , especially children and people who have more to lose. If all you own is one smartphone and everything about your life is in or connected to that phone and you lose it or break it, will you know how to recover that information? Do you understand where that information is stored and how to get it back ? If you’ve never saved your photos or documents anywhere off that device or set up any recovery methods you can be in big trouble .
Educate yourself with all that free information
Learning about the risks of technology often comes the hard way, by losing everything. For example, a long time ago Yahoo had a feature called Geocities. It was a type of early social media and you could create your own website for free with photos and pages of information. I spent many months building a site about my daughter with links and photos . Then one day it disappeared. Geocities erased my site. Gone forever . No way to get it back . If I had known that was a possibility, I might have tried to download it or something. Thankfully that was not my business or other super important information but it was still a very big loss. It would be like your blog being deleted without any warning! All your posts just gone forever . I really need to check into what the WordPress terms and conditions say about that .
Protect Yourself and Your kids
While losing access to important information can be frustrating and even expensive , the damage done to individual lives and relationships by easy access to harmful and addicting porn, gaming, social media and shopping websites presents a much more alarming danger to the wellbeing of societies. Progress and innovation never fails to bring with it opportunities to exploit and profit from people’s natural weaknesses. And it is not in the best interest of the exploiters to warn their victims.
Like most things, there are good and bad sides to progress . Educate your kids about the dangers of the internet . Teach them how to stay safe and also protect them with parental controls. Don’t allow them early access . Babies do not need to learn their ABC s on your phone . Give them real toys. Moderate your own use. Protect your data. Have backups and multiple ways to access your information. Save your passwords, use good ones, change them regularly, keep a written copy .
How rapid change affects us emotionally
As much as some people seek out constant stimulation and novelty , others resist it to the point that it can cause anxiety and depression. Feeling unable to cope with the rapid uncontrollable changes happening in the world can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as escaping into our minds, projecting anger onto perceived enemies, self-harm , cynicism, and addictions that numb our feelings of helplessness and fear of being left out of the world because we don’t understand how it works.
Becoming more aware of our feelings about change is the first step in being less controlled by them. Constantly seeking new things can be just as harmful as avoiding them. As in most situations, seek a healthy balance by being content with what you have , but also being willing to let go of it when you have to . Thankfully if you realize you have been using technology in an unhealthy way there is help available on the very source that caused the problem. There are free and paid apps for mental health and plenty of videos and websites that can help you address your fears and help you find better ways of living . There’s no excuse to stay miserable or live in fear . Admit you need help and seek it out!
Educate yourself before you purchase new technology that could impact your life.
The technology adapter spectrum runs from people living in treehouses without electricity to people living nearly 100% virtual lives . Most of us live somewhere in the middle. We don’t have to fear change or let it take over our lives. It’s a TOOL to be used for our benefit as long we stay aware of the dangers. We have to check in with our mental health and our kids to see if we have let ourselves move to one extreme or the other. Be aware that buying your child a video game console can have long lasting effects.
I feel like people are detoxing from the past year’s social media induced election and covid stress , but we must be careful not to let that ramp up again. Delete apps from your phone that bring net stress into your life . Do you really need to know what a bunch of millionaire celebrities think about politics ? Do you need to know about all the violence in the world that you personally have no ability to stop ? Politics and violence and corruption and oppression have always existed. Becoming more aware of them has not fixed that, it’s only made more people anxious and angry and depressed.
Choose what information you want to put into your mind .
There are plenty of positive , helpful, interesting and educational websites and apps to play with and scroll through. Even better, go outside, read a book, talk to people face to face, cook some food, do volunteer work, take a class, teach a class, serve in your church, call a friend, visit your family, take a trip, clean your house, donate stuff , learn a skill or hobby , listen to music , play an instrument, laugh !
You can impact the world without destroying your peace
You are not a bad or uncaring person if you don’t obsess over oppression that you can’t control. Be a kind and caring person in your own sphere of influence . Work hard , provide for yourself and help others in your community. That’s how we as individuals can fight injustice in a practical way . Most importantly, share your faith and knowledge of our savior Jesus Christ.
 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.