Change For Change Sake

A few months ago I switched from using Google as my default search engine to Bing. I’ve been surprised by the results, and have stuck with it ever since. While I value privacy and advocate for people to have more control over what data is collected from them and in turn used on them, this wasn’t the reason for the switch.

I also fairly recently switched my main email account from Gmail to HEY. Again, privacy was not really a factor here. Gmail worked really well for me and, to be honest, email gave me zero issues or anxiety before switching so Hey, for me, is not really filling any niche I needed filling. So why change it up? Well, I’ve come to realise that I just like change for change sake. I find myself changing from service to service, not for any real perceived value, but just to try something new. Even if that new thing is inferior to the thing I was already using.

Take Hey as an example, seeing as I already brought it up. Have you ever known a set of users of a service to post so many blog posts about why they’re using something or ‘My First Month With Hey’ type posts? These seem to be from like minded people who are using something because it’s new, or different, despite the fact that there really are better options out there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it works amazingly for some people, but I’d be shocked if quite so many people really had the issues with email that Silicon Valley folks think keep us up all night.

Bing is another example. While it works fine, let’s be honest and say Google is just straight up better. But am I using the better option? No I’m using the option that has a different logo and colour scheme just because ... it has a different logo and colour scheme.

I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with this approach and, in fact, it helps to create the very app and services industry that I enjoy playing around in. I just think it’s interesting that I seem to have this addiction for trying new stuff despite the fact what I was using before was good, and in many cases actually superior. I got it right first time yet still carried on looking and trying more things. That’s like buying a Ferrari yet still eyeing up the new Skoda in case the entertainment system in it is slightly more interesting. I can guarantee I’m not alone in this pursuit. The amount of posts about why others are using Hey, or DuckDuckGo or Roam or Obsidian or Drafts is testimony to how many people know they’re just using something else because it’s the new shiny.

While I do appreciate the reasoning, I am going to try and make a concerted effort, in some areas at least, to reduce the amount of change for change sake and shoehorning of new apps and services into a workflow or process that was already perfectly fine. Maybe then I will stop leaving a breadcrumb trail of notes, emails, todo items and dead URLs from long lost blogging services. Perhaps ...