How to Handle Internet Indecision

There are 6,245 restaurants on Seamless in New York City. Sometimes deciding between a roast beef sandwich and a pepperoni pizza is an impossible choice. But this is not an isolated dilemma—the question of what to watch, what to eat, and what to click is indicative of an issue that plagues the whole internet.

Unfortunately Seamless is just one website, and one service. The internet is a land of options. This is of course the first worldiest of first world problems, but sometimes it's too much. Do you eat sushi or cobb salad? Do you watch Portlandia or American Psycho? I don't know, I don't know, I do not know. We have all been there: in the anxiety-filled limbo of internet indecision.


So what do you do? There are a few courses of action. None of them are perfect, but what can you do? Hopefully you'll be able to choose one.

1) Pick a fail safe:

Doesn't matter if you're deciding what to watch or what to eat. It can be the Penne Vodka from Grandma Rose's (that's mine for food) or Dumb and Dumber for the millionth time (also mine). Just pick something that you can fall back on when you can't pick.

2) Make a list of old favorites you can always go back to:

On Seamless, for example, you can go back into your account and look at your order history. Go back and bookmark the places and dishes you like the most. If you already know they're good, there's less of a chance they'll let you down in your time of need and strap you with long wait times and cold unsatisfying food.


Same deal on the TV front. With Amazon, add titles you find interesting to your Watchlist. Or with Netflix, add titles to My List. Sometimes you will go back and look at your list and wonder how high you were when you added the complete collection of Ken Burns' National Parks: America's Best Idea documentaries, but at least you'll have narrowed down your options.


3) Just pick something arbitrarily:

Sorry, you're in dire straights if you've made it this far. If you nixed routes one or two, you're going to hit the I-Can't-Take-It-Anymore Point. You've spent nearly the length of an episode of Breaking Bad deciding which episode of Breaking Bad to watch, and you're an inch away from losing it. Or you've gone back and forth between the two Indian restaurants you're vetting for dinner, that your coffee table is starting to look appetizing.


Just click something. Anything. Flip a coin. Close your eyes and spin around. Roll some dice. Develop a random-chance mechanism of your choosing. You might start watching a movie you don't end up liking, or your order might not get there as fast as expected, but at least you've accomplished something, and one bad choice isn't the end of the world.

4) If all else fails, do something else.

Get up from the computer, put your smartphone down, throw your iPad down a well, etc. etc. because all this stress will eventually kill you. You probably have leftovers in the fridge anyway. Or you could just pop over to the hole-in-the-wall burger place down the street and get something, anything, for sustenance. You know, what people used to do in olden days.


Maybe read a book. Try a crossword! You were a Spanish minor in college and now it's going to waste, isn't it? A little practice in lieu of your eyes rotting out of your head while you scroll infinitely through Netflix will do you good. So turn off Hulu, abandon all hope in HBO GO, and pick a different activity, lest you spend the rest of your life in the overwhelmingly option-rife internet.

Sometimes running away is really your best option.


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