I love the internet. I learned how to use make up, cook a mean Bolognese, shoot outfits, order at a restaurant in Italian and many other useful things here. But here’s something I, and millions of other people struggle with: choices.
I was listening to Aziz Ansari’s “Modern Romance” audiobook the other day (which is a hilarious and sweet study of dating in the digital era), and one part stood out to me.
“This kind of rigor goes into a lot of my decision making. Whether it’s where I’m eating, where I’m traveling, or, god forbid, something I’m buying, I feel compelled to do a lot of research to make sure I’m getting the best.
At certain times, though, this “I need the best” mentality can be debilitating. I wish I could just eat somewhere that looks good and be happy with my choice. But I can’t. The problem is that I know somewhere there is a perfect meal for me and I have to do however much research I can to find it.
That’s the thing about the Internet: It doesn’t simply help us find the best thing out there; it has helped to produce the idea that there is a best thing and, if we search hard enough, we can find it. And in turn there are a whole bunch of inferior things that we’d be foolish to choose.”
Is the endless array of choices diminishing our ability to actually choose one thing? In today’s world, uninformed and spontaneous decisions are becoming less and less likely.
Going to the cinema? Better check out trailers, ratings, reviews and cast interviews. Booking a hotel? Travel blogs, booking.com, tripadvisor, hotel’s websites and social media. Ordering pizza? Google foodie blogs for top pizza delivery round ups, read reviews, study the place’s hashtag to see how the pie looks irl. Shopping for culottes online? Don’t even get me started.
How many times have you ordered pizza because you spent hours pinning mouthwatering recipes and were already too hungry to cook anything? Or worse, ate peanuts and old cheese you found at the back of the fridge because you got too overwhelmed by the countless delivery options?
I legitimately cry every time I have to book vacations. Do you settle for good enough or do you drive yourself up the wall researching every single accommodation and attraction?
I hope some day to find a healthy balance in my relationship with the internet. Some day having all of the world’s information at my fingertips won’t prompt me to watch cat videos for hours. But not today. Surely not today.
Photos and editing by Natalia Karpova
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Do you suffer from the paradox of choice? What is the most ridiculous thing you researched for too long? Mine’s a toothbrush I hunted on eBay for hours, I like it sleek and see-through.