Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Choose your own adventure

Newsweek has an interesting piece called "The science of making decisions" -- though it probably should be retitled "The science of indecision."

Short summary: Sometimes, sources like Twitter and Facebook offer a depth of knowledge that helps us make more informed decisions.

But other times, those avenues provide too many pros and cons to weigh -- in turn paralyzing our decision-making skills. An excerpt:

The research should give pause to anyone addicted to incoming texts and tweets. The booming science of decision making has shown that more information can lead to objectively poorer choices, and to choices that people come to regret.

I've certainly seen this "info-paralysis" extend to the dating world. Even at a relationship's earliest stages, people have a tendency to pose their romantic quandaries to all their Twitter followers and Facebook friends.

It's nearly impossible to find any sort of coherent consensus, leading the dater to either make a poor decision or (more often) second-guess the relationship entirely.

If there's any lesson to learn from all this, it's that perhaps we should occasionally make decisions without soliciting additional opinions from the Internet.

You know, the old-fashioned way.