Learn to be Bored

In today’s society, technology is normally described as only one of two things: a great improvement to our lives or our biggest nightmare. For the first ten weeks of this class, we have examined the truly awesome things we can do with technology and how we can incorporate it into the classroom. This week, all of the sources we explored discussed why technology is bad for us. Well which is it? The answer to this, like many other things, is balance. Technology was created for the advancement of society, and society certainly has advanced. With the help of computers and the internet, education alone is vastly different than ever before. On the other hand, that’s not what it’s used for most of the time. Why are we all so attached to our mobile devices? It can’t possibly be because it makes us happy. Like Rebecca Hiscott said, “The longer you’re on Facebook, the worse you feel.” I downloaded the Moment app, which keeps track of how often your phone is used, and it has opened my eyes to how much time I waste during the day. My first day using the app, I was on my phone about three hours. Granted, I watched Netflix  for an hour and a half of those hours, so I wasn’t on social media for that whole time. But I still wasn’t being productive. What would happen if I took back those hours?

Since my first day on Moment, I have spent less than an hour on my phone each day, but imagine how much time would be wasted spending three hours on my iPhone every day. In other words, that’s twenty-one hours per week, over eighty-four hours per month, and one thousand and ninety-five hours per year, totaling forty-five days of the year… If I consistently spent three hours on my phone every day for an entire year, I would lose forty-five whole days of that year.

Something that many people mentioned when lessening their time on the internet was boredom, and I can’t remember the last time I was truly bored. When I feel boredom even coming on, I scroll through my Instagram feed or watch my current show on Netflix. While technology cannot be avoided and has proven to be very beneficial in many situations, it also has detrimental effects. Personally, I need to learn to separate the good from the bad aspects of society and learn to be bored every once in a while.

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12 Comments

  1. I really liked your post. I can imagine that I would be terrified about my “moment” diagnosis. After a long day of work, I like to come home and watch Netflix. I do not spend my time on social media online but watching TV is still unproductive. Not trying to justify the over abundance of time spent on phones, but think about how much we pay for smart phones? I am trying to get every penny used of that $120 I spend a month, plus apps. But I think that it is crucial that we ‘learn to be bored’ for the sake of teaching ourselves new tasks and being more active on a less digital level.

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  2. It really is all about balance! Technology is a wonderful thing when used in moderation for productive purposes, yet I would agree that it seems like this is not what the majority of us use it for. It truly is crazy to think about all of the wasted time we spend on our devices. I’m sure that I spend at least an hour or two on my phone each day as well, and I am a little regretful that I don’t use that time for something more worth while. Thanks for sharing, Timmi!

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  3. Timmi,
    I love that you talked about the balance between good and bad, and knowing when we are doing which. I know that I have a pretty good balance going, but I also know that I can sometimes let technology run my life. I hope that I can find a balance and start living a smarter tech life.

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  4. Personally, I don’t think it’s a question of being bored. You can still entertain or distract yourself without technology (I have been reading so, so much) but we should be asking why we feel that we need to be entertained constantly. Louis CK summed it up pretty well in a comedy bit once: we’re afraid to be alone with ourselves. And I would say that’s pretty accurate. The #1 reason I’m addicted to netflix, youtube, and even books, is because I’m intensely depressed and I can’t let myself remember that even for a moment. It’s an unhealthy coping mechanism, but it works. A lot of us don’t want to be left alone with our thoughts, because, for a lot of us, they tend to go to a dark place. So I don’t think it’s that we’ve forgotten how to be bored or that our brains are changing and demanding 24/7 stimulation, but rather a fact of how we’ve learned to deal with mental health and how our coping mechanisms have changed.

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    • That’s a really interesting point. When we are so entertained 24/7, we don’t think much of ourselves. Not using technology forces us to do so. We have a tendency to distract ourselves so we don’t have to acknowledge what’s really going on in our lives. Thanks so much for the feedback.

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  5. I really like how you talked about balance. I believe that technology has so many useful purposes, but it also has so many useless purposes. Which neither is a “bad” thing. But like you said you don’t remember the last time you were bored, I can’t either. Even when I am watching a movie I find myself scrolling through social media sites. Just crazy how that happens and we don’t even realize it.

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    • It’s crazy that we aren’t entertained by just one thing anymore. Something else one of my professors talked about last semester is that a lot of us don’t like watching long movies. We don’t like being entertained by the same thing for too long. I had never really thought about it before he brought it up, but I thought it was a good point!

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