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OPINION: Do we have time to feel bored?

We live in the age of technology, with smartphones on, screens everywhere, receiving information from the moment we open our eyes until we close them go to sleep. Life becomes a mixture of the virtual and the real. What is that friend up to? Watching a celebrity’s Instagram live talking about their personal life. And then posting their opinion on Twitter. Not being distracted by a whirlwind of tasks, racing against time to earn money to consume, all the while being consumed ourselves. I can’t recall the last time I truly did nothing.

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The right of “doing nothing”, the boredom, idleness, always comes in short intervals between studying and working. At these moments, smartphones appears, and the cycle of consuming some form of media begins, thus keeping the brain hyperstimulated. I was born in 1992, and I remember the time when TV stopped its programming until a certain time. The feeling of simply sitting at the bus stop and waiting for the bus to arrive. The journalist and blogger Mark Fisher wrote an article entitled: No one is bored, Everything boring.

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Mark wrote the article after reading James Danckert and John D Eastwood, the authors of Out of My Skull: The Psychology of Boredom. Both psychologists talk about how boredom is misunderstood. But is feeling bored a good thing? According to Mark Fisher,, “It is just that no one is bored — because there is no longer any subject capable of being bored. For boredom is a state of absorption — a state of high absorption, in fact, which is why it is such an oppressive feeling. Boredom consumes our being; we feel we will never escape it. But it is just this capacity for absorption that is now under attack, as a result of the constant dispersal of attention, which is integral to capitalist cyberspace. If boredom is a form of empty absorption, then more positive forms of absorption effectively counter it.”

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Distracted, we fail to notice the advance of the psychological evils produced by neoliberalism. We normalize social psychic effects such as FOMO, and we continue to be intoxicated by an overload of information, both producing and consuming it. The music and film industries are increasingly recycling content, resulting in a sense of sameness pervading almost everything. Perhaps boredom could offer an escape from the mundane and repetitive nature of things, providing a breath of fresh air for contemplating today’s society.

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4 Responses

  1. “Misunderstanding the boredom” It is an insightful post Lucas. Thank you for the useful links. I am planning to read the book to have a different perspective on boredom.

  2. Very interesting and true article! Definitely something to think about – I enjoyed reading it 🙂

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