I tend to stress over really trivial decisions, particularly when it comes to hair. I know, objectively, that any haircut I’m considering will probably look fine, but I spend hours comparing my options as a way of procrastinating. Tonight, I found a way to work around that tendency: crowd sourced research via Facebook.

If you’re looking to make a decision without doing tons of research on your own, take to your social media outlet of choice and put the decision in your friends’/followers’ hands. Though not a great option for something life-changing (don’t crowd-source a marriage, guys), for fairly superficial but finicky decisions, it can be remarkably helpful.

When I presented two hair trajectories on Facebook, my friends overwhelmingly picked one answer, and that’s the one I’ll be going with. Unlike completely blind crowd sourcing, where people may not know you/your needs, social network crowd sourcing allows you to control that people at least sort of know you. And, rather than asking 10 people individually, you can quickly pull answers from the group. It works just as well when you’re soliciting suggestions for a new TV show to watch, a new book to read, or a website that might fill a need for you. You’d be surprised at what your friends know!

Be leveraging social media as a decision-making tool (basically a more intelligent version of Just Flip A Coin), you can make the folks who follow you feel useful and take the weight of a decision off your shoulders. It’s a win-win all around—and this way, your friends can’t trash your new haircut.

[Image courtesy of Flickr user Andrew Bain. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.]