My laptop is dying. It keeps freezing up and doing strange things. The good news is that it gave me some warning so I have a new one on the way while it is still working (barely).
It has been a few years since I bought a computer so I jumped into research mode. I searched Google for articles on what to look for, brand comparisons, and features I might want. And then, it was off to Amazon to check what was available and read all of the reviews on laptops I might consider.
It was important to me to have one easy to return if there was a problem and with a protection plan that was fairly priced. So, I checked Walmart, Target, and Best Buy online as well, once again spending time on reviews and reading what people had to say.
I narrowed my search down to 2 models, but at that point it became confusing. The features and number of stars in reviews were pretty much the same. I began to dig deeper into the reviews, hanging on every word. When 2 out of a hundred people mentioned poor screen quality on one I was considering, I felt I needed to see it for myself. This resulted in a drive to the local “big” city (45 minutes each way), only to find that stores had very few laptops in my price range on display and I couldn’t get the answers I wanted.
Eventually, I decided that I couldn’t make a wrong decision and just went with the one that was $50 cheaper.
I don’t know how many hours I spent researching new computers but it was a lot. And, that doesn’t even include the time my brain was spinning on the subject while I was trying to get other things done.
It’s like I was possessed for awhile.
And now, I’m wondering:
- Is it possible that having too many choices is a detriment to our lives?
- Do we waste too much of our life energy researching to get the perfect item? Or, the best deal?
- Does this desire to get it right cause unnecessary anxiety and shopping insecurity?
- Is our new culture of technology and information stealing our time and energy away?
After this experience, I think so. In the past I would go to a store and make a decision based on what they had available in just minutes, not analyze the options for days.
And, while I find reviews and gold stars somewhat helpful, do they really matter? Laptops with good ratings on one site would have poor reviews on another. In the end, they seemed to cancel each other out. Some people just seemed negative, others were comparing the products to gaming computers not in the same price range. And, ultimately, it was all pretty confusing.
This experience has been a lesson for me in limiting how deep I go into the abyss of shopping research. The time and energy spent were out of alignment with my intentions and commitment to living a simple life.
I got caught up in wanting to get it right and to get the best deal. But, in the end, the best deal was not giving away so much of my life energy to this decision.
In the future, I will be more thoughtful about how much research is needed before I make shopping decisions and put a higher value on my time and energy.
What about you? Am I the only one that gets caught up in the vortex of too many choices? I would love to hear your thoughts, experiences, and strategies around this. You can share in the comment section below.