I let a coin decide my fate for a few days

September 5, 2020 — by Justin Guo

We’ve all had those moments where we can’t decide between two equally liked restaurants or two equally well-made Amazon products. For the longest time, my answer has always been to flip a coin or to arbitrarily pick something and live with the result. It’s never failed me.

So, I thought it’d be fun to take things to the next logical progression and let a coin flip determine all my toss-up decisions for three or four days and see how I deal with them.

Right away, I ran into a problem: My daily life isn’t significant enough to be filled with interesting and momentous decisions, and my brain isn’t creative enough to come up with worthy, chaotic stipulations. 

So what I envisioned as juicy 50/50s turned into inconsequential flips on whether I was getting a second helping of chicken for dinner. (Turns out, I was not.)

I won a coin flip to buy a couple books I was looking forward to, was denied access to Spotify for a few hours and was granted permission to take a much-needed nap in the middle of the day — but that was about the extent of my thrilling coin flipping adventures.

Despite the silliness of this stipulation, I was surprised to find that there were some practical benefits of letting the flip of a coin decide my fate: It forced me to commit to a decision and cut out the time that I would have otherwise spent sitting on the fence.

Before, if I was deciding between doing math or English homework, I always had the option to reject both choices and instead, lie aimlessly on my bed and binge YouTube for an hour. But now, even though I wasn’t feeling like drawing density curves for AP Statistics, the coin told me that I had to. And I did. 

Despite the silly and low-stakes nature of this challenge, I’m not sure if this is something that I’d willingly want to try again — having my extensive music or break privileges revoked got annoying over time.

I don’t know. Maybe I should consult George Washington one final time.

 

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