Watch: Phones Killing Boredom Killing Creativity

Watch: Phones Killing Boredom Killing Creativity

Leigh MichaelSaturday,14 February 2015

We don’t really have an excuse to be bored anymore. Not that, pre-smartphone, there were a million people twiddling their thumbs — But today, it’s the twiddling of the thumbs that we rely on to keep us entertained. Irony.

WNYC decided to explore the lost art of spacing out with Bored and Brilliant. The week of challenges was designed “to help you detach from your phone and spend more time thinking creatively.”

You know the reptar claw? The one where your palm is perpetually cupped and your fingers curled inward? That’s the next step in human evolution. And it’s all in thanks to that 5×2.5-inch little rectangle. Sometimes I don’t even feel like that’s a dramatic prediction.

I use my phone all the time. By five-years-ago standards, I’m glued to it. By at-this-moment standards, I’d say that I fit cosily in the norm. Which means that I, and most other Americans, sneak a peek at their phones between 50 and 100 times a day.

If the gasping, white-eyed, hands-to-cheek, blue foreheaded emoji was appropriate anywhere, it’d be here.

There’s something weird about my reliance on my phone, too. It’s made me willingly plugged in all of the time. Work wants to send me an email at 1am? I’ll get it! Phone call? Whether I’m running or snoozing, I’ll feel that telltale appendage! It’s my cumbersome little appendage. And I’m the one who put it there.

I was really struck by this related piece from The Atlantic on “Purposeful Boredom.” Like most of you, my *big* thoughts always seem to unfurl when I’m shifting around and trying unsuccessfully to sleep. Every time I go on an overnight backpacking trip and turn my phone off, I feel like I can finally make some semblance of sense of life’s greatest mysteries (aka ‘what do I want to do with my life? How will I do it? Why hasn’t National Geographic solicited me to be their photographer?’)

Anyway, give the video a watch. And consider taking the phone-free challenge. You might be delighted to discover what boredom can do for you.

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Hat Tips:

The AtlanticWNYC, Image Credit: Flickr

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