too many choices

Why Do We Have So Many Choices?

except in politics, but that’s another story….

too many choices

too many choices, I just can’t make a decision

I am really not just talking about shoes, although I may have a slight problem choosing the right ones especially when I go into one of those huge shoe stores. I’m talking about having just too many choices these days. I had a conversation with a friend this past weekend about music and groups and how when we were growing up we knew the names of all the groups and musicians. Now when we watch the awards shows on tv, 90% of the time we don’t know any of the nominees. I don’t think it’s because we are older, I think there are just so many of them that we don’t know who they all are. Speaking of tv, when we were young we had maybe 4 channels on the tv to choose from and that was enough, now I have several hundred and can’t find anything worth watching. I have channels I never even knew I had, nor do I know what is on them. Nor do I want to.

And it isn’t just tv or shoes. I go to the grocery store and am looking for a can of corn. I think there used to be maybe 2 or 3 kinds of corn. Del Monte and Green Giant quickly come to mind. Now there are rows and rows of corn to pick from. Some have salt, some don’t, some are organic, some aren’t, some aren’t even yellow. Some I don’t even know what kind of corn it is because I don’t understand what the label says. I looked and looked and until I finally just wanted to scream, “I just want a freakin can of corn.” I thought I was just thinking this in my head but maybe I really said it out loud because the woman next to me shielded her baby and zoomed off to the next aisle.

If you go to the beauty counter to get a red nail polish, there are 500 red nail polishes(that may be a slight exaggeration). Reddish brown, reddish purple, reddish red, red with a hint of black, red with a hint of gold. I just want to pick a bottle up and read the label and it says…”RED.” Is that too much to ask? Don’t even get me started on hair care products. Hair conditioners, mousse, shampoo and hair sprays. I can’t decide which one to use for my kind of hair. There is one for curly, there is one for dry hair, there is one for older women…well no there really isn’t but I’m surprised and then there is one for color treated(oops, now you know this blonde isn’t real). So which one should I pick? I stand there staring at them until my eyes get blurry and my head hurts and then I just get the same old one I always get. The one for curly hair. Maybe thats why my hair is so much more curly now.

Then there is clothing. And the color of the clothing. Recently, I needed a navy top to go under a sweater I bought that was white with navy stripes. Every navy top I got was the wrong shade of navy. How many shades of navy can there be you ask? Well the answer to that is at least 5 because I am now the proud owner of 5 different navy tops. And no, not one of them match my sweater. Why do we need so many shades of each color? We don’t need all these choices! And even with all the choices we have it is really hard to find just a plain ordinary beige top. Off white, cream colored. I needed this color as well as the navy one for under something and could not find one anywhere. Oh there were plenty of cream tops, racks of them in fact but they had a pocket or something lacy hanging out of the bottom or worse, had dolman sleeves..which doesn’t work too well under a jacket or sweater.

Do you know all the brands of cars there are today? I just saw a commercial for a new car and it was called Genesis. I thought, wow I never heard of that. I looked it up and it is Hyundai’s new luxury car. Wait, Hyundai has a luxury car…But seriously, when I was growing up, we basically had Chevys, Fords, Oldsmobile and Plymouths. Also there were a few cool sports cars. But I knew them all. When I would see one I could name it. Now I have no idea what car I am seeing in front of me on the road until I look at the name and even then I don’t know what it is.

When did all of this start? This “having so many choices” thing.. Do we really need all of these choices or does having too many of them just make us want more? Or does it make us throw up our hands and decide to not get anything at all? I don’t know the answer to those questions, but I do know this, if I finally do find a lipstick color or hair spray I love after the many hours and weeks of searching and trying one after another of them till I find it, someone somewhere in an office far away makes a decision that I shouldn’t use that color or hair spray anymore because they decide to discontinue it. Then the never ending search through the aisles and aisles of lipstick and hair spray begins anew. So I guess when all is said and done it really doesn’t matter how many choices we have.

What do you think? Do we have to many choices these days?

Here are a couple quotes about choices.

“Too many choices can overwhelm us and cause us to not choose at all. For businesses, this means that if they offer us too many choices, we may not buy anything.” ~ Sheena lyengar, Author of “The Art of Choosing.”

And I really like this one, and it can pertain to anything in life.

“We are our choices.” ~ J.P. Sartre