Paradox of Choice

Introduction

Paradox of choice - why more is less is a book by american psychologist Barry Schawtz where he argues that eliminating consumers choices can greatly reduce indecisiveness and stress for shoppers. The linux community is vast, with numerous options (distros) to choose from, whichy leads to the paradox of choice. When faced with too many choices, new linux users tend to make either bad desicions or make fine desicions and feel disappointed about the results.

choosing distro

Distro hopping

Everyone starts with ubuntu, then one starts to find a reason to switch to another distro (because their redditor friend told then ubuntu is for noobs and pros use arch) but in reality there is no noobie distro and no perfect distro. This is where the distro hoping starts, constantly switching from one distro to another in search of the “perfect one”. This search often leads to disappointment and frustration.

How to avoid paradox of choice

The best way to avoid the paradox of choice is to focus on purpose of using linux. One should realize that he is here to get things done and not get caught up in endless searches for the perfect distro and that there is no perfect distro . Each distro has its strengths and weaknesses.

Lets say if a person is using ubuntu and he does not like the default unity desktop environment. there is no need to switch to another distro and learn about a whole new package manager. You can just remove the defautlt DE and install a new one like KDE, mate, xfce. There is no need to switch unless you find something that your current distro cannot do that you need.

Another common example why many users switch is because they want a more efficient system. “Oh! im gonna install arch linux becuase its more minimal then i can save 2.6969 seconds of boot time. Faster boot time is not a significant advantage for most users and the learning curve of arch may not be worth the stitch for many users. Its important to consider the actual benifits of a distro before making a switch, rather than getting caught up in the hype of minor differences.

average arch user