I have come to the conclusion that boredom no longer exists.
The word itself was first written in a Charles Dicken’s book in 1852, but the Smithsonian claims the ‘feeling’ has been around much longer than that (Checkout the article here).
This article references Roman philosophers and Greek historians talking about things similar to boredom, one referring to it as a form of nausea and another saying how a general didn’t have anything to do in retirement.
Whichever way it is described, a general lackluster and uninterest in one’s surroundings is a common theme when boredom is brought up. These references refer to times when information was hard to come by, when it took days, weeks, or months, for things to travel from one place to another.
But with information now being delivered at a lightning pace, video and audio being able to be streamed instantly, and games accessible on nearly any device, how could someone be bored?
Maybe boredom has taken a new shape, endless scrolling or mindless attempts at beating another level have turned into the new “staring out the window” or losing focus and daydreaming.
We referenced these actions in a past blog (Waiting and Reaching for the Smartphone), people are so quick to take out their phone when waiting for something. In this blog, Tom observed that people cannot wait at a stoplight for 45 seconds without pulling up their phone to see what is going on in the virtual world.
Human being’s attention spans can be absurdly short. Having a world’s worth of information at our fingertips does not help this. Our desire to not be bored has been nearly solved by having easy access to these devices.
I do not know if it is a good thing or bad thing that the state of being bored has changed. Perhaps the new word is ‘dulled’ or ‘distracted’. Whatever the new term, it is a new reality of today that people want some form of entertainment at their fingertips. We believe there is no better way to accomplish this then to have your organization present on the smartphone.
Written by Will York