Technology has eliminated boredom, and it comes at a price

These are just hints. Tracks that now need to be worked on in more depth. This observation comes directly from researchers at Bath and Trinity Universities, who have been investigating the relationship of boredom in a world where technology and its contribution to entertainment are ubiquitous. Over time, technological advances have allowed us to wear objects that are increasingly practical, discreet and easy to carry, giving us access to an unlimited source of content to watch in our free time.

The problem is that both content and technology have been optimized in such a way that for as little as ten seconds of dead time you can still find something good on your smartphone. Years have passed, a pandemic has passed, and content has become shorter and shorter, platforms have become better and better studied to become our only source of dopamine, and boredom is completely gone.

A quarter of an hour of rest before you fall asleep in the evening, and you can now fill that with a podcast. A red light, by car or on foot, and it’s always possible to see a TikTok, reply to a Snap, take your BeReal of the day. The films have become too long. The series preferred episodes of less than 30 minutes. A whole movement to lead to one point: entertainment can be grafted anywhere, anytime. Our hand can reach out for our phone out of habit, without even trying to figure out why we find unlocking our screen useful.

Superficial boredom versus deep boredom

Returning to the work of the Universities of Bath and Trinity in England and Canada (Toronto), they have worked together to examine the real problem of using technology and accessing boring entertainment.

According to the researchers, as explained by our colleague Antoine Gautherie geek diary, the death of our boredom has wiped out a core human need: imagination, creativity, and self-construction. Boredom, thanks to the moments of pause, can also mark the moments of the day, week, even month with a space and avoid accelerated mental fatigue, anxiety and stress. Without these breaks and without this boredom, it would also be easier to hike and more complicated to find new passions and new experiences.

The other side of the coin would be the deepest boredom, for example when some are confronted with excessive time during the pandemic. This boredom has harmful effects. geek diary recalled that according to the philosopher Martin Heidegger, deep boredom would lead to increasing indifference and apathy.

The researchers’ work with the technology therefore consisted of targeting exactly what annoyance the death technologies were causing. In the face of deep boredom there would be superficial boredom, a kind of antechamber to deep boredom. It is he who would prove indispensable, both for the short periods of rest in our days that allow us to rhythmize time and satisfy us with intense moments, and to access deeper problems from time to time to really be able to rest, come back with new ideas, change and develop your imagination.

This first Anglo-Canadian study wants to raise awareness in order to continue working on preventing an even more global use of technologies in the future. “The pandemic has been a tragic, destructive experience for many people, especially the less fortunate. But we’ve all also heard stories of incarcerated people finding new hobbies, new careers, or even new goals in life. ยป, Explains Timothy Hill, sociologist at the University of Bath and co-author of this work. You got it: don’t forget to get bored with these end-of-the-year celebrations.

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