Technology Thwarts Boredom And Creativity

Technology Thwarts Boredom And Creativity. By Science Alert.

The constant distraction of social media could be preventing our minds from settling into a deeper, more complete feeling of boredom, according to a new study. Which is a shame, given complete boredom can be fertile grounds for innovation.

This ‘profound’ level of boredom is different to the initial, superficial level of tedium we experience when waiting at a bus stop or waiting for a television program to start. Yet this initial dip into monotony can be instantly dispelled with a check of Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or Facebook, meaning our boredom levels never progress into a zone of creativity.

“Profound boredom may sound like an overwhelmingly negative concept but, in fact, it can be intensely positive if people are given the chance for undistracted thinking and development,” says Timothy Hill, a sociologist at the University of Bath in the UK. …

Those people involved in the study who did experience deeper, profound boredom found it brought on feelings of restlessness and emptiness. However, there was also a renewed push to fill that emptiness: passions such as carpentry, baking, and cycling were discovered or rediscovered during the pandemic. …

This idea of superficial boredom and profound boredom dates back almost 100 years to a series of lectures by German philosopher Martin Heidegger. Heidegger suggested that boredom is a hugely important part of life, and one that needs cultivating.

It’s interesting that in the decades since, we’ve engineered more and more ways to avoid boredom: our minds can now be distracted around the clock, thanks to social media and everything else offered by smartphones, tablets, and computers. You don’t really ever have to stop and lose yourself in thought, if you don’t want to.

Other studies have also suggested that boredom and the associated wandering of a free mind is a crucial foundation for creativity, which may be why so many good ideas come to us in the shower. …

“Those who engage in digital detoxes may well be on the right path.”

I found that boredom stimulated most of my good ideas and projects. Now I have blogging to fill the hours. Hmmm. Note to self: take up meditation, to be thoroughly bored.