“Why too much choice is stressing us out”

“But the idea that choice is bad for us flies in the face of what we’ve been told for decades. The standard line is that choice is good for us, that it confers on us freedom, personal responsibility, self-determination, autonomy and lots of other things that don’t help when you’re standing before a towering aisle of water bottles, paralysed and increasingly dehydrated, unable to choose. That wasn’t how endless choice was supposed to work, argues American psychologist and professor of social theory Barry Schwartz in his book The Paradox of Choice. “If we’re rational, [social scientists] tell us, added options can only make us better off as a society. This view is logically compelling, but empirically it isn’t true…
Which of us, really, feels competent to choose between 156 varieties of pension plan? Who wouldn’t rather choose to lie in a bath of biscuits playing Minecraft? And yet, at the same time, we are certain that making a decision about our workplace pensions is an important one to get right. But instead of making that choice, Schwartz says, many defer it endlessly…
Increased choice, then, can make us miserable because of regret, self-blame and opportunity costs. Worse, increased choice has created a new problem: the escalation in expectations…the ideology of choice makes us forget that some things shouldn’t be bought and sold, and they are the most important things of all.”

Real! Decision anxiety, constantly… It’s that thing where you are paying to have the choices taken away and made by someone else. I think this is why food/clothing/etc… subscription services are so popular right now.

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