CHOICE is said to be a good thing, so why does it stress me out?

It's the market mantra of the age: move this account, switch that card, subscribe to this phone service instead of that, ditch this gas supplier for another, swap your bank account to a cheaper/greener/kinder financier. On it goes, a dizzying array of options to do one thing or the other, to grasp our commercial rights, rather than burying our head in our hands, and mumbling: "Leave me alone."

This week it has been revealed that more than four million people switched their electricity or gas supplier last year, according to the energy regulator Ofgem.

Well, good luck to them, but I'm sticking with mine, however many ingratiating salespeople knock on my door or harangue me over the phone. This is not out of misguided loyalty to whoever it is that pipes gas into our house. It's just that I hate the hassle of changing everything, for the sake of saving a small amount of money.

And if you are thinking this financial laziness is because I have enough money in the bank not to have to worry, you could not be more wrong.

My overdraft has an overdraft, and my credit card is burning a hole in an otherwise empty wallet. It's just that, oh, it's such a bother and a nuisance to take up my rights as a modern, choice-addled citizen of the multi-opportunity world.

I could exercise these rights over gas and electricity, and switch my energy supplier to the phone company, and have the phone company supply me with gas, while getting the milkman to deliver electricity along with the morning pints - but I don't want to. Besides, this choice business works in other ways.

Instead of saving a bit here and there, we should be worrying about the scenario that Russia might one day choose to switch off our gas supplies. It's a strange sort of free market that sees companies scrabbling to supply the same gas from the same source - especially when, in gloomy theory at least, that source could be turned off.

Choice is said to be good, and perhaps it is, but the evidence isn't always encouraging. Take television. The modern viewer faces an eye-straining multiplicity of options, which is an improvement of the far-distant days of two channels. But more isn't necessarily better, and nowadays the committed viewer has to pay for the privilege of watching more channels. Too often, more seems like less: more channels, more choice, but fewer programmes worth watching.

Parents are faced with so many competing decisions, most tellingly over which school to send their children to. Pick the wrong one, and you could be setting your offspring up to fail (further proof of the choice=stress formula).

Except that, here in York, the choice seems to be theoretical at best, with most pupils going to the feeder school for their area, unless you are rich enough to pick a private school, awkward enough to make a fuss, or prepared to fight for a place at a faith school (never an option for this secular parent).

What rich choice there is in politics, too. When the next general election comes, will you vote for the right-wing left-wing party - or the left-wing right-wing party? Or the other this-and-that bunch?

As for banks, my account was opened in 1975 when, heading to university, I walked into the first branch in the local high street.

Lassitude rather than loyalty has kept me there. Perhaps I am a fool to be so static. So how does this bank repay my lunatic loyalty? By pestering me on the phone to move my insurance to them or to take out more policies.

Help! All this is more or less driving me bonkers. And sometimes more really is less.