Boredom seems to be a forgotten skill these days, what with the ability to watch, do, listening to, or read something at any single moment during throughout the day. From morning to night I often find myself reaching for some sort of distraction to curb my boredom, whether that be Youtube videos, a Netflix series, or podcasts. However, the more and more attached I become to these forms of activity (not necessarily always productive, but typically only used as a pacifier) the more I stop and ask; “why are we all so afraid of boredom?”. What is it about the idea that has us fumbling for out phones the second we wake up or when our dinner partner steps away to go to the washroom?
I also find that when the idea boredom is brought up, it is looked down upon in some way, as though if you are bored, even for a second, then you are living life wrong. You aren’t experiencing everything you should be or going out of your way to make new friends, even if that’s not your motivation in life. Some might use travel as a way to fight off boredom, others meeting friends for a pint at the local pub, and some might even participate in dangerous behaviour to just be doing something.
As an only child and a millennial—one that was very aware during the time before the internet was a thing and only using it for school projects here and there in its early stages—boredom was my friend for many, many years. Being bored was what incited my hobby of writing, allowing me to transport myself to a different world when I didn’t have anything else to do in this one. It allowed me to spend hours exploring my own thoughts, becoming much more self-aware in the process and often using my daydreams as inspiration for stories that I still think about as an adult.
Being bored shouldn’t be looked at as a product of laziness or some sort of social incapability. Boredom can strike for only minutes as you sit idly on a bus on your way to your destination or for hours as you’ve run out of friends to call up to hang out with for the night—both offering opportunities not to distract yourself with your devices or feel shameful in your inability to find something to do, but instead to enjoy the company of your own mind and encourage it to provide all the entertainment you need.