Friday, 27 April 2012
Boredom is a Bee in my Bonnet
We live in a world of constant entertainment. Every moment of the day, right up until we close our eyes at night, we are pandered to. From the TV to the radio to our constant connection with our friends to the games everywhere (Games! On our phones, in the newspapers, at school, on the computer screen at work); it's all fun, fun, fun.
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the connection. I enjoy games. I like that I can be entertained and informed in the rare quiet moments at work. I love that I can instant-message my faraway friends. But sometimes I wonder if we aren't limiting ourselves by simply accepting the distraction that's offered, instead of just doing nothing.
I have this bee in my bonnet about Boredom. I feel that it helps to reboot our brain, rests the soul, connects us to our inner selves... or something. I annoy my kids all the time, insisting that the TV screen remain unplugged during the term time, arbitrarily banning the PS3, taking us off on unplugged tree-hugging expeditions. They humour me (and even hug the darn trees) and we commune together. We lie looking up into the leaves. We do nothing. If they do complain, "I'm booooored!", I say, "Excellent! Boredom builds character!" They roll their eyes. Clearly I am a despotic weirdo.
As a young man, Einstein worked as a clerk at a Patents office. I like to think of him sitting there with nothing to do, thinking about the latest electronic gadget to be filed, twiddling his thumbs and daydreaming. I wonder if young Albert would have had the flashes of inspiration which led to his Theory of Relativity, if he had had facebook? Or, would he have spent the quiet mornings at the office 'LOL'ing at pictures of cats instead?
The lack of photo for this post is purely to illustrate my boring point (Is this post visually appealing? No? Too bad), and not as a result of my being too frantically busy to look for one. Maybe.