Don’t you agree that sitting idly and pushing time, toying with one idea or another, on Sunday afternoons is passé these days? The moments of boredom that haunted many in the past seem to have vanished without a trace. Perhaps, they have been gobbled up by the all-consuming passion for technology that has invaded our private universe, blowing away boredom to the outer limits of humanity. Fiddling with one gadget or the other—at times even entwined with multiple contraptions—we hardly find anybody bored these days.
If the television, which peopled our living rooms with countless personalities of different hues, ensured that we were never left alone, the computer radically transformed the way we thought, interacted and lived. Imagination and introspection became outdated exercises of the mind that by now had got habituated to gruelling regimens in front of the TV and the computer.
Young brains that constantly thirst for multi-sensory experiences have taken effortlessly to digital devices like smart phones, tablets and other nanogadgets. The fingerprints of today’s kids transport them to the destination of their choice—a spot that is dusted free of the grime of boredom.
There was a belief that one never felt bored when engaged in a fruitful activity—when one was creating or discovering something that was striking and profound in its impact. Perhaps, that was what eminent physicist Stephen Hawking meant when he said, “We can’t be bored. We can’t be. There is always something new.”
Imprisoned in his wheelchair for years he surprises the world by scoring over boredom—not by becoming a slave of technology, but by mastering science.
We take pride in claiming to be hard-wired for curiosity and knowledge. However, we have discovered shortcuts to punctuate our lives with seemingly hectic activities that offer no insights into the profound and weighty issues of life. Despite being swamped by a surfeit of information, we seem to have lost the stimulant to absorb and assimilate ideas. Yet, how is it that we find life interesting?
It looks like we have finally succeeded in vanquishing boredom, a formidable foe of human happiness. In the process, we have denied ourselves the takeaways that accompany the bliss of boredom. The fruits of creativity, the motivation to learn, to unplug and indulge in trivialities and a golden opportunity to wean us away from mindless addiction to technology—all these and more would be your bonus points if you let yourself to be thrown into the vacuum of boredom.The search for productivity would commence right away as you would endeavour to resuscitate your spirit on the path of meaningful action.
Count yourself lucky if you are bitten by the bug of boredom. If not, pat yourself for mastering the art of outwitting boredom without introspection, without being passionately curious or scientific, without nurturing a mystical outlook, without being penetratingly insightful or deeply thoughtful or even hilarious.