Meanwhile at the Boston Globe: Papers are shuffled. The office is filled with sounds of typing, hushed conversations, and the occasional cough in the distance as Maria Konnikova finds herself immersed in understanding the origins of boredom. She writes:
In a new review paper published this fall in Perspectives on Psychological Science, cognitive psychologist John Eastwood and his team suggest all boredom may result from essentially the same thing: a conflict of attention, or attention misfocused in a way that disrupts our engagement. Sometimes the problem is that there is too much competing for our attention, sometimes too little. In all cases, they argue, boredom has as much to do with our inner response to our circumstances as to the circumstances themselves.
Meanwhile at a dining room table in Urbana, IL: The sounds of faint electronic music, high speed internet installation, and suddenly days have passed. A laptop is aglow; fingers pound on the keyboard. Boredom? What is it really? Of course, it cannot be caused by anything because, well, it isn’t really anything. It’s a lack of something. A feeling that one lacks the ability to do anything interesting or productive.
How can that be true? Every second the body’s senses pick up constant streams of information which the brain compiles and relays and reacts to.
Meanwhile the world spins around. Being bored when there is so much to do? Practice Juggling or try to turn yourself blue! Write a poem of words starting with the letter F! Do it again but upside down. Build a computer! Practice math. Experiment with paper folding. Attempt to learn a slight of hand. Reach the mind all around. Boredom! Ha. One barely knows how to use the body. How can one be bored!
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