Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cost of Boredom

I was perusing the headlines online at cnn the other day. After trudging my way through the usual litany of depressing headlines regarding war and drugs and politics, I found a headline that pulled me in with its query. A simple question posed that had me thinking for hours afterwards. "Boredom conquered, at what cost?"

The premise of the piece was that with so many in our society outfitted to the teeth with smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and handheld video game systems, we have truly become a society that is triggered to kill even a few idle seconds of boredom with some sort of stimulus in the form of an electronic gadget. With this automatic and nearly instantaneous tendency to grab something to pass even the briefest of moments of down time, is there an associated cost? The answer seems to be an overwhelming "yes". The cost is our natural creativity.

Creativity, that wonderful flourish of inspiration, that loose thread of an idea that can suddenly be grabbed and instantly coalesce into a new technique, a solution to a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, a way around or through a sticky situation, cannot happen if our mind is grinding away and focussing on something else. From my own experience I know this to be true. I can't tell you the number of times when I have been in the shower, free from all urgencies and distractions, that something that I had missed or couldn't see comes flashing into my mind out of nowhere. I guarantee if I were in the middle of some intense video game or reading a book or surfing the web, that nothing else would be able to penetrate my thought stream. What do you think on the question, "Boredom conquered, at what cost?"