I Want Less Choice
This idea stemmed from my time this week as my wife is out of town, leaving me home alone for 9 days. Clearly, I’ve had plenty of time to myself, to do pretty much whatever I want. And in that time alone I’ve realized that I am prone to boredom, which is ridiculous and I’ll bet a very modern phenomenon.
I think boredom is inherently linked to my ability to choose from seemingly limitless options.
What do I want to eat? I only have to choose between every restaurant and grocery store in the KC metro area.
What do I want to watch? I only have to choose between what’s currently on, what’s on my DVR, what’s On Demand, what’s on Netflix, what’s on Amazon Prime Instant Video, what’s online, what’s at Redbox, what’s available to purchase, or what I already own. Then I have to choose what I want to watch it on…
What do I want to read? I only have to choose between everything on Amazon, my local library, what is available through Kindle or iBooks, what’s on the blogosphere, what’s on Twitter, or what I already own (which is a lot).
What activity do I want to do? I only have to choose between…this is getting stupid. Hopefully you see what I'm getting at.
I don’t want to have to sort through hundreds of thousands of choices everyday, it’s exhausting. And I think the feeling I equate to boredom is actually sensory overload. I have so much to choose from that I often wind up choosing what is easy. And I don’t like that.
I like to think that in a simpler world, one where I have fewer choices, I’d be more prone to do what is better than what is easy. That I wouldn’t choose to binge watch (seriously, when did this become a thing) a crappy TV show over exercising, learning a new skill, studying scripture, writing, sharing stories, building things, gardening. These are all things that I want to do, and believe that I should be doing, yet I find myself on season 4 of White Collar.
Maybe I’m just lazy and I’m taking it out on technology and convenience. Or maybe I’m correct in saying that I’d be better off with fewer choices. Or, and perhaps most likely, it’s a little bit of both.
It was only a matter of time before having access to the entire world from my pocket became an anchor.
I think it’s time that I start evaluating what I really believe to be worth my time and then removing the things that have prevented me in the past from pursuing those worthwhile endeavors. This certainly means disconnecting from superfluous things in my life but it also means looking in the mirror, admitting that I’m the one to blame for this reality, and consciously making a change in what I allow myself to do. In other words, self discipline.