Note: I am still working on Part 2 of 'Disneyland & this semi-charmed kind of life...'
When was the last time you were bored? I mean mind-numbingly, kick-the-dirt, nothing-to-do bored?
|I am so bored right now...|
I can't exactly remember my last time, but I know it was in 2009. This is because I got my first iPhone in August of 2009 and I haven't truly been bored since. With constant internet access, there is always something to do - even if it is just refreshing my Twitter timeline. "Bored" has now taken on a new meaning. I will do something pointless just to avoid feeling bored - even though the "something pointless" is boring! I just feel better that I am doing any menial task. In fact, I clearly remember waiting in line at Subway sometime in 2010 and thinking to myself that I needed to follow more people on Twitter because my timeline wasn't updating quick enough. I also once spent late nights trawling through interesting hashtags to find cool people in England or America to follow so that they would be tweeting while the rest of my Australian Twitter feed was sleeping and my timeline got slow. I not only actively avoided being bored, I took precautions to ensure I would not be bored in the future.
Lately, I've decided that I need to stop being entertained 24/7. I just don't need it. Instead of seeking entertainment, I think. Remember thinking? Just letting your thoughts run? Sometimes I word text messages to people that I will never send. Sometimes I sing lyrics. Sometimes I replay conversations. Sometimes I ponder my life.
Yes, it is often boring and being bored is not something people normally actively seek. That is the point. But it can also be liberating. Do you know how many times I have had epiphanies while bored? The time spent thinking when you're bored is different to that time just before you fall asleep. Your mind is clearer, your inner voice a lot more audible and your logic a little more attuned. It is when I am bored that I come to conclusions such as, "In all actuality, he didn't text me once between when he asked me on a date and when he texted on the day to confirm. But I never doubted how much he liked me back then. Nothing has changed. He just doesn't text that much." This was a nagging thought that had bothered me for days and in a moment of being utterly bored, the answer suddenly came to me. It has [sadly] reduced my stress levels!
In a life where we are so connected, I have decided that there are moments when I can just turn off and de-stress. I plan to take advantage of this. Relish it, even. Of course, it is a sign of the times that this doesn't ever mean being uncontactable. For me, that would be counter-productive as I would stress more - imagining crazy, elaborate emergency scenarios in which lives would be lost because I didn't answer a call or read a text message. My phone even sits on the sink while I shower. But I am going to continue to withdraw myself from constant entertainment, and this is how.
* I used to have a TV & DVD player in my bathroom. I would watch episodes of Buffy in the bath. Before that, I would always read a book in the bath. Even in a shower, I would play music and dance. It's fun, but you miss out on being bored. So I am now having showers and baths sans-music or without placing my laptop on the floor.
* When I walk somewhere, I am no longer taking my iPod as a default. It is reserved for long periods only. The 45 minute journey to meet my friend on the other side of London meets my requirements. My 15 minute walk to work does not. Instead, I walk and let the sounds of traffic and birds blend into a melodic hum - the soundtrack of life. Real life. While music may not be as much of a boredom-killer as screwing around on an iPhone, it can detract from thoughts. "Should I look for a new job? What do I want out of life? Maybe I could... Oh my God! I love this song! This is my jam!"
* When I am waiting for something like an appointment or a friend, I try not to check my iPhone constantly anymore. With Twitter and Facebook in my pocket, I can always find someone online to talk to - something else to think about - a news story or blog post to read. But I don't need to. At least, I shouldn't need to. Today, my friend was running late. Having my iPhone allowed me to get the text message telling me as much and that was great. So I sat in a coffee shop to wait. But after sending two or three tweets and posting a redundant picture to Instagram (nobody cares what my hot chocolate and piece of carrot cake looked like!), I decided to just sit. I put my phone on the table in front of me and I just stared vacantly out of the window. Thinking. I thought about the last time my friend and I hung out. I thought about what we would do today. I thought about some things I hadn't told him and would bring up in conversation through the day. And when he did arrive, I was in such a good mood and so happy to see him. All because I was bored.
|I am ok just to sit and do nothing...|
With all these life / mindset changing epiphanies and mood enhancements, I am actually starting to rather enjoy being bored. Perhaps you should give it a try next time you reach for your smart phone just because you're "bored".
Miss SAMawdsley xx
- When was the last time you were truly bored?
- What do you do to actively alleviate boredom?