Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Paradox of choice

I keep meaning to read this book, called The Paradox of Choice.

Until I moved to the city, I never really was overwhelmed by my choices for...anything. Let's face if, if you want Italian or Mexican, or Thai, or Indian, most decent sized towns have one good place for each. Forget it if you want Ethiopian or something specialized.

Now I have more choices than I know what to do with. Granted, we tend to stay in a certain area, so if we want Mexican, we have a favorite local place (though there is one a couple dozen blocks north that is really good- we just don't go there because it seems so far away). So yes, we have our favorites, but the choices are overwhelming. Sometimes we just order in- intimidated by the very prospect of selecting a place. Recently Seemless web expanded so that now when we want to order in, we have virtually the same number of choices.

The same goes for doctors. Of course, pre NYC I was military and I didn't have choices there. But I imagine that you have a small selection of choices if you live in a decent sized town. Here, I hardly know where to begin. Thankfully my insurance has a list to start from, though that too has more choices than I know what to do with.

The amount of choice available means that you must spend more time doing comparisons (looking through customer ratings, etc). It also means that sometimes you'll pick a place where the food isn't grand, or pick a doctor you wont bother to see a second time.

Most of the time though, getting through all the choices is the hard part.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Theresa,

    Your post caught my eye. The overwhelming number of choices, decisions, websites, etc. is something I sympathize with in a big way. It's the inspiration for a new service a friend and I built to help people make decisions by reaching out to friends.

    We turned it on recently, and I'd love to get your feedback on it. It's at

    Feel free to email me with comments or questions as well by using the feedback link on the site.

    Thanks a lot for the help!



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