Reading that you’re probably like – wtf is this guy thinking… smartphones may have taken away a lot of things, but boredom is one I’m happy is gone.
In the 80s/90s, almost every movie involving a family, had a scene where kids in the back of a car on a road trip yelled out “Mom…Dad, how much longer, we’re borrrrred.”
You rarely see that anymore. It started w cars that had TVs built into the back headrests, & has morphed into kids now having some form of handheld device.
And it’s not just kids! I was thinking abt how many times throughout the day, I used to feel/see others look bored: on a subway train to work, waiting in line at the supermarket, looking at the “big board” waiting for a commuter train time, on line at an airport, just driving & not having a gps (or dare I say – text to look at), in the bathroom when there was no engaging reading material avail, picking up a quick bite on our own – on the run, when “nothing” was on TV. The list is massive. And just 10yrs ago, we were faced w those situations, often, every day.
So what benefits of boredom have we lost? Many! But 2 in particular I think are greatly hurting us (at least I know they have me):
I miss the days of feeling bored in the situations above, & making my own fun by challenging myself to dream/imagine. How are we not challenging our brains bc instant distractions are in our hands? How are our brains not growing & coming up w new ideas? How are the brains of young kids not being allowed to create worlds of make-believe. This scares me. Does it scare you?
Then I think of Motivation above: When I was bored I used to call friends to go play ball, or make myself go to the gym, or search thru my collection of DVDs to find a movie I hadn’t seen in a while, or just ask a friend to meet out for lunch.
We hear all the talk abt how phones have isolated us, how they’ve replaced our dopamine hits, etc. But, what abt how they’re hurting the “benefits” of boredom. Find time w/o your phones so you can get those benefits back!