Please Be BoredMichelle Horton
I could hear your exhale from the next room over. It was long, exaggerated, dramatic. I could just picture you sitting in the middle of your bedroom — next to a train table, your Batman bat cave, your bookshelf, dozens if not hundreds of toys in baskets and bins — with slumped shoulders. And, at the time, I would’ve bet money that the next words out of your mouth would be…wait for it…
There it is. The whiny sentence that all kids say, and feel, and mean, at some point. And yet I couldn’t help but think:
Go on, be bored. Please be bored.
You see, your generation has less opportunities to learn this lesson. You’ll grow up to have boredom-curing devices right in your pocket (or maybe implanted in your body, at the rate we’re going). From the moment your brand new eyes focused in your brand new world, grown ups have been compulsively checking their phones/computers/iPads throughout the day. You’ve watched your parents scan through emails while waiting on long lines, or short lines, or any momentary lull. You, yourself, have been handed an iPhone app during especially long waiting periods.
You have Netflix, and YouTube, and other instantly gratifying time-suckers.
You have the ability to be technologically distracted, and — more than that — you’ve been programmed to believe that it’s okay and normal to tune out and escape from the present moment at the first uncomfortable twinge of boredom.
In fact, we have more ways than ever to escape the present moment. It used to be that people distracted/numbed/avoided themselves with drugs or food, but now we have this technological distraction that makes boredom easier to avoid. Click, click, click.
Be here. Be here in this moment.
Resist the urge to lose yourself in a gadget, and embrace the boredom.
Explore your world — your inner world, your outer world, the real world — with creativity and resourcefulness. Tune in; don’t tune out. Imagine, invent.
You’ll be better for it.