Options

Remuera, Auckland NZ, 2011 (photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

Our freedom of choice is a paralyzing gift.

Crippled with decision fatigue, from what pair of jeans we should buy to whether or not we respond via email, phone call, or Insta DM. We nurture our anxieties through fear of making the wrong choices in an overcrowded marketplace of choice.

After finishing High School, the choices I had were pretty straightforward. I could select from any of the 4 channels on TV, including the music channel. I could choose from the 5 main CD stores to get my albums from, and if I wanted to see a new movie I could decide which of the 5 cinema venues I could see it in. I felt spoiled for choice.

Fast forward 17 years.

YouTube has 1.9 Billion people watching 1 Billion hours of daily videos. Instagram has 1 Billion monthly active users, Facebook has 1.59 Billion daily active users, and Starbucks claims to offer 80,000 different coffee combinations.

What happened to us?

In light of these statistics, it’s not difficult to assume why we are not merely spoiled for choice, but now developing a real FOMO because we don’t know that we will ever make the right choice even when we do.

We are struggling to find satisfaction in a limitless world of choice. It may be wise to start setting our own constraints, in order to find some happiness within them.

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