Have you ever walked down the street and walking towards you was someone, random stranger, staring at their phone’s screen, completely drawn in, and heading straight for you. You usually have to swerve, side-step, circle round them or otherwise make sure you avoid collision with them as if they’re moving along a railroad track. I’ve been tempted, haven’t done it yet, but tempted, to just be the one who doesn’t watch out for them. Why should I serve as their external pair of eyes? Would they notice if I just whip out my phone and pretend to be as clueless as they are?
Technology sure is liberating, in that you are no longer forced to spend time within your surroundings if they’re boring. If you’re bored, or spending time in some boring company, you just take out your phone and quickly ‘disapparate’ yourself to some distant land or start gossiping with your best-friend since high school, rather than force yourself to show interest in that new acquaintance. And that’s great. Right? What if we can’t get bored anymore? What if being bored is the only way we learn new things, learn how to relate to new people, or learn how to get through uncomfortable situations. What if boredom is the only evolutionary pressure to make us into interesting people because it forces us to entertain ourselves, find hobbies, be curious in our surroundings, and, in turn, develop something that others might be interesting. Instead of transforming life into a never-ending cinematographic experience, with us as the dumb and passive spectators, we could be creators. Clunky, awkward, un-chiseled, but us. It would be life created through our own minds, rather than spectated through the minds of others.
What is boredom other than the signal that we’re not using our time wisely and what is entertainment other than a muting of that signal? Here’s to being bored.