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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Averse to Change? You May Want to Use That.

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A tech writer who used the DuckDuckGo search engine (instead of Google) for an extended period reports that the former is "good enough for regular use." I agree, and his experience is quite similar to my own, particularly the bit about searching for things by name.

So you might want to go through the piece, especially if you have been frustrated by Google -- or its YouTube subsidiary -- lately.

Having said that, I found another take-home in the piece when the author mentioned in passing why he ended up doing the experiment in the first place:

change.jpg
Will magic follow after you deal with the change? (Image by Annie Spratt, via Unsplash, license.)
I experienced change aversion when I tried the redesign [in the way Google formatted search results]. Change aversion is a simple idea: users react negatively to new experiences, but they stop caring as new experiences become normal. Anyways, looking at the Google redesign gave me change aversion. I knew that I wouldn't care about it within a few days. But I decided to put it to good use: I would try DuckDuckGo. If it was time for Google to experiment, then it was time for me to experiment. I had wanted to try it for a while. This finally gave me the activation energy to switch. [link in original]
We all sometimes end up in circumstances or relationships (with people or technology) that work just well enough that it is not clear that the effort to make a change (or explore doing so) is really worth it. So we tolerate the status quo, sometimes until it simply ceases to be the status quo.

"If it was time for Google to experiment, then it was time for me to experiment." Jake Voytko puts this very well. Whether one is talking about someone else unilaterally changing things or a piece of equipment breaking, his formulation reminds us that we own part of any mildly annoying state of affairs and have the power to evaluate it and at least discover if there are better alternatives.

At the worst, one will learn that the closest approximation to the old status quo really is the best current alternative, and why. I have experienced that, too, and found such knowledge at least left me less annoyed than I had been before.

-- CAV

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