June 26, 2020

Too much choice

So the other day, I sat down to watch something on Netflix.

First I had to choose the profile

  • Mine
  • My Wife
  • The kids

Then came the categories

  • Popular on Netflix
  • Continue Watching
  • Trending Now
  • Exciting Criminal Investigation TV Shows
  • Award-Winning TV Shows
  • Suspenseful TV Shows
  • Golden Globe Award-Winning TV Shows
  • Exciting TV Shows
  • Gritty TV Shows
  • Top 10 in the U.S. Today
  • Crime Movies
  • Action Movies
  • Netflix Originals
  • Comedies
  • Irreverent TV Shows
  • Critically Acclaimed Films
  • Because you watched Minority Report
  • Criminal Investigation TV Shows - wait I thought I already saw this category, never mind, that was 'Exciting' Criminal  Investigation TV Shows
  • Bollywood Movies
  • Because you watched Manhunt - don't remember watching Manhunt, should have been my dear wife
  • Documentaries
  • Critically Acclaimed TV Shows
  • TV War and Politics
  • Indian Movies
  • Because you watched Forensic
  • Exciting TV Action and Adventure
  • New Releases
  • Crime TV ShowsTV Action & Adventure
  • Dramas
  • Action TV
  • TV Shows Based on Books
  • Bingeworthy Suspenseful TV Shows
  • Ensemble TV Shows

By the time, I was done perusing the categories, I not only lost half an hour but I was also stressed and irritated because I couldn't decide.

It's like going to a restaurant when you are hungry and want to enjoy a good meal and you are handed a giant menu card with a never-ending list of items.

The mind has to process all this information first before making a choice and in the process it just shuts down due to the overwhelm. 

Too many choices - too many dumb, stupid and meaningless choices.

Choices that just create the illusion of freedom and empowerment, when all they do is confuse and stress you out.

What's really annoying is while Netflix has over 8,000 movies and TV shows, they still don't have the ones I want to watch. 

And even when I eventually settle down to watch a movie or a TV show - at the back of my mind, I keep wondering if I made the right choice and whether I should have selected another movie or TV show.

Ridiculous when you think about it because it takes less than 5 seconds to switch to another movie or TV show but the entire experience is ruined because you just want to relax and chill and NOT think of the annoying what-ifs.

Here is the takeaway: simplify your life by deliberately and intentionally cutting down on the number of choices.

You may feel you are missing out by narrowing your options but you won't or at least not as much as you think you will.

On the up side, minimizing your choices will free up your mind to focus on more important things.

If you wondered what I ended up watching, I watched Fritz Lang's movie 'Scarlett Street' on YouTube and I didn't regret making this choice one bit.

About the author 


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