Thursday, May 03, 2012

Embracing Boredom

My good friend Roy Keely recently posted some challenging thoughts on how to embrace the boredom in our lives instead of turning to our handheld devices at every dull moment in the day. He says boredom is actually useful:

Thanks to our smart phones (along with tablets, other hand helds, etc.) the modern man no longer has to fret with nothing to do. There is always an app close by, another email to read, a bill to pay, an Angry Bird to save, and the list goes on and on with what’s at your fingertips. While there is much to be thankful for about the ‘productivity’ in our hands, there is also something to worry about – the demise of boredom.
Boredom, as I see it, is free space to think, wonder, and roam the world between your ears. I do not define boredom as having nothing to do, but rather having everything to do. I believe the individual needs this time for overall health, sanity, and clarity. Humans have always had a component of boredom in their lives, but only recently have we had an option to opt out of being bored. I would argue that our minds are not able to handle the current degree of stimulation that we face day in day out, thus depleting our overall ability to be creative, strategic, thoughtful, engaged, and so on. If our brains were likened to a city’s infrastructure, I’d say there is too much traffic – thus smog, wrecks, and the general annoyance that comes from traffic is pervasive in our brains.
He also offers suggestions for practical ways you can "dumb down your smart phone", as he says. Check it out.

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