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



24 thoughts on “Why Do We Have So Many Choices?

  1. Love this. The number of choices we have really are overwhelming. And I want a few pairs of those flats in your picture. I can’t decide which, though. Haha.

  2. This is such a good post and a great perspective to have on our society — think of all the choices we have for social media too — Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. It’s too much to handle sometimes!

  3. Agreed, we have way too many choices and it makes life more difficult. Even picking out a husband! hahaha That’s why i’ trying to learn the minimalist lifestyle, to simplify my life and appreciate that less is more.

    1. Ha! Ha! Glad you had a lot of choices in the men dept, sadly there are none that I can find…not that I want another husband…LOL.

  4. I still look for my favorite lipstick every time I go into a different store, knowing that it will not be there! I agree that I do not need so many choices. I do not like a restaurant with multiple pages! Make a few items well!

    1. OMgosh Alice, I agree with the menu thing…I hate wen they have like 20 pages to go through…really? Do they need that many…

  5. I only have one thought…..why is it that in a superstore, the size of Walmart, and during the one month out of the year when candy is KING, is there not one bag of black licorice to be found ANYWHERE in that store???? I had to settle for a bag of Good and Plenty! Guess this was an example of not the correct choices……for me!!! Loved your blog by the way, Hellion!!!

  6. I agree with this! I think that sometimes having such a large number of choices can impact our productivity and take away so much time from our day for things that shouldn’t take long.

    1. So true..and as we age we don’t need to spend so much of our time on trying to decide which item to pick….we need to live our lives and do fun things! thanks for commenting..

  7. ps I think my dream clothing store would be one that had at least one section where they always had the same things, so that when I wear out, say, the old pair of charcoal wool office slacks with a waist that actually sits at the waist instead of three inches south of the navel, I could just go buy a new pair. Any Talbot’s reps in the readership here? I’m talkin’ to you, Talbots.

  8. I live in NYC where the stores are smaller. I still have to laugh about this one time when I’d gone to see a friend in the ‘burbs and realized that I’d forgotten a key personal hygiene item. She took me to this GIGANTIC PLACE where I actually froze up for a moment after we found the right section. OMG. HOW CAN THERE BE SO MANY TOOTHBRUSHES I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO AGGGH!

  9. I think many of us are overwhelmed by choice. But would we, just as one example, really want to go back to the supermarket of the 1950’s? Not too sure of that.

    1. yes, too many choices are overwhelming…and the 50’s and 60’s weren’t too bad…yes, I’d take them again..

  10. I grew up with only 4 channels too and I can totally relate to all the corn choices! Haha However, isn’t true that as soon as you make a choice and find a favorite, they discontinue it! This actually happens to my daughter all the time. She’s kind of picky with food choices and, no sooner, when she gets attached to a favorite…it’s gone.

    1. Yes! I am so tired of that, I can’t be the only person that likes that lipstick or whatever..why does that happen…

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