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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 when we go to sleep. Life becomes a mixture of the virtual and the real. What is that friend doing? Watching a singer’s Instagram live talking about his personal life. And then posting his opinion on Twitter. Not distracted by a whirlwind of things, racing against time to have money to consume, while at the same time we are consumed. I can’t remember the last time I literally did nothing.

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The right of “doing nothing”, the boredom, the idleness, always comes in short intervals between studying and working, and at this moment the cell phone appears and the cycle of consuming some kind of media begins. This way the brain remains hyper stimulated. I was born in 1992, and I remember the time when TV stopped its programming until a certain time. The feeling of just sat at the bus stop and waited for the bus to come. The journalist, 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 evil that neoliberalism produces. We normalize psychic social effects such as FOMO. And we continue to be inebriated of an overload of information, producing and consuming. The music and film industries are increasingly recycled. Almost everything is more of the same. Perhaps boredom would be a way out of boring and sameness things, and a breath of fresh air to think about 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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