These days because of constant technological saturation we rarely get the chance to feel boredom.
The first thing we do when we feel a sense of boredom coming on is look at our phone or another device.
We tend to want to avoid any sense of boredom like the plague.
We are always busy with our phones, feeling that specific sense of importance that you get from being sent a text or having to respond to a comment on an Instagram post.
It's a rush that quite frankly, many of us are addicted to.
Ironically I’m writing this in a moment where for reasons too long and complicated to get into here- I had to give my phone to my sister to use for the afternoon.
I’m waiting for a ferry and feel naked and strange without my device in hand ready to respond.
I never wanted to feel this way- I don’t think any of us did, but slowly overtime we are connect to our devices like some electronic umbilical cord, like a continuation of our body that we must look at whenever we feel any kind of feeling we aren’t enthused about.
Feel bored? Look at your phone. Feel sad? Look at your phone. Feel angry? Look at your phone.
The list goes on.
But the thing is- boredom breeds creativity. Feeling your feelings does too.
We need space in our brains for creativity to come visit us. We need emptiness, quiet, blank empty boring spaces for us to have a chance to respond to what the world is making us feel.
We need time to process the constant influx of media, conversations, thoughts, input.
When we don’t have boredom we don’t give ourselves the chance at creativity.
Sometimes I think about where this is leading us- our brains are over saturated with media, sounds and images.
How can we possibly have a minute to respond if we don’t have the space to? How can we process one thing when we’re immediately on to the next?
More importantly though, how are kids going to grow up as thoughtful, conscious, sometimes bored adults if they have never known anything but a screen in their hand? It is only through modeling to them that it is okay and in fact beneficial to be deviceless- maybe not all the time, but at least sometimes.
So this is my challenge to you.
Put your device away, for an afternoon- or if you're feeling brave, for an entire day; see what happens, see what kind of space is freed up by just the lack of constant dings, beeps and buzzes.
You might be surprised how good it feels once you get over the initial shock!
And who knows, maybe you want to make it a regular thing, or maybe you're ahead of the curve and already put your phone away sometimes.