How many decisions do you make in a day?
Before scrolling down, how many decisions do you think you make a day on average? Think about it and take a guess. Is it ten? How about twenty? Or perhaps it's as high as fifty or more?
Our lives are full of decisions. And that number is higher than you would probably ever expect. In fact, some internet sources indicate that the average number of decisions an adult makes every day is around 35,000! Sounds overwhelming, right? Fortunately, most of the decisions we make are almost automatic, like when to get out of bed in the morning, or whether or not we should brush our teeth. And although we think of these tasks as things we need to do every day as part of our routine, you could very well decide to stay in bed and not brush your teeth!
There are a huge variety of decisions we make. Many of these revolve around our personal life - what we should do, what we should purchase, what we should wear, etc. When it comes to our careers, decision making comes with much higher stakes – which logo is best? Which design is more appealing? What should our next product be? And finally, there are times when our decisions are better made with consensus from a group, like trying to choose a restaurant that everyone agrees upon, or what activity a social group wants to do for their next outing.
Sometimes these decisions are easy, and at other times we face decisions that stump us a bit. We mull over them, going back and forth on which choice is best. Maybe it’s a new hairstyle. Maybe it’s a change in home decor. We’re unsure if we should take that leap, and so we end up agonizing over these pesky decisions for days or even weeks.
The solution that we often come to in helping us make these decisions? Soliciting our friends, family, or colleagues for their opinions. After all, the more opinions we have from other people, the more confident we will feel about the final decision we make, right? If more people prefer option A versus option B, then that must be the better choice?
And so, you start the process of gathering the opinions of others…. You start calling around. Or maybe it’s by text message or through Messenger, asking as many people as possible what their thoughts are on the matter. Sometimes we even resort to throwing the question on Facebook or Instagram, hoping we will reach a lot of people at the same time. But more often that not, we will get more likes on the post than we get actual feedback. And when people do offer their advice on social media, you then have the task of counting each comment to determine which answer was the most popular.
Soliciting feedback from people you know can be time consuming, frustrating, and sometimes even crippling. Even after we have sought the opinions of everyone we know, we don’t always remember what each person said. Wouldn’t it just be easier if you could just put it to a vote?
There is actually a new technology that can help make this process easier. It’s called ShowDat, and it is a free mobile app that allows you to ask all your connections a question at the same time. Once you ask a question, your connections are prompted to vote on the option they like the best. As votes come in, the app automatically calculates how many people voted for each answer, so you don’t have to do any counting or remembering who said what. And when you get a question from one of your friends, letting them know what you think is easy. You just click on the heart emoticon for the image you like the best, and your vote has been submitted! You don’t have to type out a lengthy response.
The only catch? You need to connect with people you know directly on the app so they can vote. With any new social app, it does take a while to build your connections so that you have an audience. However, there is a feature on ShowDat where you can link your address book and invite your friends to download the app and join you.
Now, even if you put it to a vote, you still have to make a decision! The app will show you the results, but you still have to choose the decision that is right for you in the end. What was the last decision you made where you sought advice from others? Do you think this app would help you make decisions? Let us know in the comments!