It's Not One or the Other

Photo by Jon Tyson.

I love playing Would You Rather. I essentially did all my adult "growing up" in an office with a best friend who is genius at coming up with them, and so those formative years of 23-34 were spent gleefully answering impossible questions.

More recently, this friend started pointing out at the end of a round of questions that in life you don't actually have to choose between one or the other. Setting aside the fact that most would you rather questions are completely impossible (seeing 10 mins into the future or 10 mins into the past), we are almost never walking around in life making binary choices that completely rule out the other possibilities.

I was thinking about this recently when I was listening to someone rant about how they could never, ever use an ereader, because they love physical books too much. They couldn't give up the smell of a new book.

Or another time listening to someone else talk about how they could never use dating apps because they like to meet people in real life.

Now, here's the thing: you don't have to buy an ereader or use the dating apps if you don't want to, but neither preclude you from taking part in their "real world" alternatives. You can own an ereader and still buy physical books from time to time. You can swipe for dates and still talk to strangers in bars.

The only thing that stops you from doing one or the other is your choice to abstain.

How many choices in life do we treat as one or the other, when really we could do both?


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