Boredom (blog #2)

Being entertained all of the time should be a good thing, right?

Wrong, and I learned that the hard way. As a culture, we've been "blessed" with the world in our pockets, happiness in a rectangle and the ability to feel everything and nothing at once. I hadn't even noticed how such an every day thing was affecting me.

I guess that's the point, though.

Morning, day and night I had something to look at. I mean, we are all doing that exact thing all of the time. Completely normal, right? I was set in my own ways until I heard this on a drive home:

This TED Talk about boredom was truly fascinating. I highly suggest watching or listening. Long story short, putting down your phone gives your brain room to actually THINK. Simple, but so complicated. 

"I could sense that my programming was loading up again."

After listening to this talk, I started to remember what it used to be like to do nothing.

I used to sit in my room staring at the wall while listening to music for hours. I would WRITE in a journal about how I was feeling. I mean, I was actually letting myself feel. 

I was constantly bored, but I always did something about it.

Now, boredom is unheard of. It's almost shocking to see a person alone at a restaurant just sitting there. One of the biggest issues that stems from that is a lack of creativity and originality. 

New ideas are being tucked away. The tool we have been given for sharing new ideas is now being used for stunting creative growth. 

So I put my phone down. The creativity didn't spark immediately, of course. That's just ridiculous. No, I honestly had to wait for my brain to reboot. I'm sure that my use of a computer metaphor shows that I'm not completely changed yet, but I could sense that my programming was loading up again. 

I stopped using my phone as a boredom vice. When I'd eat, I'd think. When I'd lay in bed, I'd think. When I drove, I'd think. I gave my brain room to work, and it did. 

Since then, I've filled half of a journal, reunited with my piano and I've reduced my feelings related to depression and anxiety. 

Is this to say that phones are evil robots taking over our brains?

No, of course not. The point is that we are in control of our own selves.

There are things that feel so good, but can be addictive. We need to listen to our brains and bodies. They are constantly telling us how they are doing, but if we are tuning them out, there's no way to address what's wrong. 

So put the phone down, just for a moment. See how it feels to connect with YOURSELF again.