Have you said or heard “maybe” or “I don’t know” a lot when you were with your friends in simple situations such as choosing from a menu? Do you think these situations happen only to you? No, it is not true! Some people feel difficulty when they have to make decisions. From this point on, let’s see what these situations are called!
Hello, Who Are You?
Hamlet said, “To be or not to be, that is the question” in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The Hamlet Syndrome is a new word coming from the main character Hamlet’s conflict of making a decision. It is a new word that reflects that modern people who live in the Age of Information cannot easily make a decision and have a problem with decision making. In the book Generation Maybe by Oliver Jeges, the author referred to “Generation Maybe” as those who spent school days in the 1980s and 1990s and who are much more familiar with cellphones than television and repeating “maybe” instead of “yes” or “no.” There are lots of reasons for Hamlet Syndrome such as personal tendency and background, deluge of information, and loss of identity. Additionally, people who had childhoods relying on parents’ choices and decisions delayed decisions in a deluge of information. Also lots of experts say that regrets follow choices, and Hamlet Syndrome occurs due to these repeated regrets.
Are You Hamlet?
There are lots of self-diagnoses of Hamlet Syndrome on the internet, and below is one of them. However, experts said not to put too much meaning to these tests. Moreover, the so- called Hamlet Syndrome is not classed as a psychiatric disease, so you don’t have to take the result seriously even if your number is quite high. If you have enormous trouble in your daily life, through you need to consult an expert.
1. You cannot shop alone and need a friend who has to make a decision instead of you.
2. It takes you more than half an hour to select from a restaurant menu and you eat the dish that others have chosen a lot of times.
3. You change the channel repeatedly because you can’t decide on the television program.
4. Most of your answers about questions from others are something similar to “well” or “maybe.”
5. You get intensely stressed when you are forced to decide by someone.
6. You have been damaged because of a wrong decision in your daily life.
7. You have posted a trivial question on the internet like “Should I buy this?” or “What should I eat today?.”
If you are experiencing a number of symptoms between zero and two, you have a somewhat indecisive personality but are perfectly in the normal range. If you are experiencing these symptoms at a level between three and five, you are possibly at an early stage of Hamlet Syndrome. Meanwhile, if you are experiencing these symptoms at a level of six or more, you have serious Hamlet Syndrome and cannot make a decision without others.
They Know You Too Well!
In the era of Hamlet Syndrome, curation service becomes a trend that provides individually customized service analyzing a user’s taste and preference beyond simple recommendation. Curation service is being used in various fields such as fashion, book, food, news, and music. Moreover, beyond recommendations, it has expanded into “subscription commerce,” in which users pay costs to providers to deliver selected products. It is a service that users subscribe for deliveries such as newspapers, magazines, and milk, and it has expanded into products such as cosmetics, accessories, and fashion for those that are conscious about trends. Also, advertisement is changing to engage consumers in a method of optimization. They are providing service through exposing contents after understanding consumers by sex, age, and consumption record, utilizing big data. Companies are seeking various measures such as free trial service that can minimize the range of choices and can block results of regret considering characteristics of consumers who avoid hassle and have passive attitudes.
Experts say Hamlet Syndrome is not a disease, but an ingrained habit over a long time. There are some ways of overcoming Hamlet Syndrome. First, solidify the standard. Second, reduce the range of choice. Experts said that to avoid Hamlet Syndrome, people had to know how to give up and also have individual tastes and values. In addition, they advised that the process to make the best results is more important than the agony over the choice.
French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre said, “Life is C(Choice) between B(Birth) and D(Death).” Life is yours and choice is yours no matter how hard the situations that come. We can get advice, but we should not rely on that advice while delaying our choices. Life is a series of choices and we could not count on every moment! Therefore, how about overcoming indecision? Let’s choose it by ourselves little by little!
Lee Su-gyeong, Editor