Keeping-up With Change and The Uniqueness of Resistance

16 October 2018

Inspired by the workshop “Retail, Technology and Disruption” part of "TANWEEN"


How to Respond to Change in a Disruptive World?

In terms of reactions to modern technology, people can be divided into five groups. First come the explorers, who rush into buying every thing new so they can be the first ones, like those who camp in front of Apple stores to get the latest iPhone. Secondly, initiators, who buy new technologies after learning about them, in spite of people’s suspicions, which they will help eliminate. Then comes the early majority: the first group of buyers who help spread the use of that specific technology and promote its worth. Fourth is the late majority, who start using the technology after it becomes popular and becomes the norm. And finally, there are the resisters, who stick to their suspicions and don’t change their minds until they can’t live without the technology. 

The last group justifies its stance with claiming that new things are just a passing trend. Some of them like to flaunt their difference and standing out. But with time, they find less persuading arguments to support their case, as they see what they rejected become an essential part of peoples’ lives. For example, if you choose not to have a smartphone in this day and age, you are choosing to be disconnected, for your life to be harder, and to miss a lot of chances and opportunities; because life, specially the professional part of it, has become dependent on technology. On the other hand, some people have reasons exceeding stubbornness to resist getting a smartphone, such as avoiding distraction and having more privacy. A key factor in this resistance can also be the culture. Conservative cultures are more prone to reject what’s new than free ones and those with ethnical and religious diversity. Age also plays a role, as youth are more accepting and accompanying of changes, and more enthusiastic to try and experience and acquire new knowledge and connections.

This inflexibility goes beyond technological advancement and includes all of the world’s experiences and variants. Someone might decide to go back to rural life and its simple lifestyle seeking a clarity that cannot be found in the busy life of the city and its changing lifestyles. This person might find alternatives to modern technology and create a new experience for himself. This indicates that what we may consider still, inflexible and rejecting of change might actually be another from of revolutionary disruption. In a changing world, staying still can be a unique event since it opposes the norm. Today, attention is given to finding natural alternatives in industries, and more awareness is apparent in the fight against materialism and the draining of the environment. These cases are fought by corporations whose products are dependent on annual modernization and upgrading. It is also resisted by the regular consumer who is used to this materialistic consumerism and doesn’t think he has the time or the ability to think of the effects this has on his surrounding environment. Hence, it can be said that it is healthy that there are 2 contradicting extreme sides, both for us and for the world, as it would balance our life and our daily choices.