OPINION: Smartphones cause boredom


The world and all of its information is held in our stubby little fingertips. One touch and 4G takes us lightning speed to the complex wonders of scientific discoveries, depressing news stories, and most of all, Facebook. And Angry Birds.

There comes a moment when you realize that there is so much to do on your phone, but none of it is relevant or fun anymore. (Photo by Kaitie Fox)

But does having this incredibly large world at our disposal relieve us of the ever oppressive hum of boredom? Some have answered ‘of course’. Thousands upon thousands of games and apps can provide endless hours of mind-numbing entertainment. There’s at least one friend on your Facebook willing to play DrawSomething with you.

I answer with more hesitancy. While humans seem to have found the cure for that irritating nothingness, I believe they have still fallen short. More than once have I browsed Facebook statuses beseeching Facebook to “entertain me”. Clearly, someone is not cured of boredom.

Why are we still bored? Can we not reach into the myriad of apps and discover something  that can hold our attention?

Back in the day when TV was up and rising, it became popular to say, “2000 channels and nothing is on!” I say now, “Limitless apps and still nothing to do!”

But why is that? I propose a theory. We are bored because we are expecting to be entertained. Every moment of every day, there must be something to occupy our thoughts, our actions, our eyes. If even for a second our attention drifts into nothing, we feel bored.

Our entertainment is not the all-important center of the universe. The overload of colors and lights and sounds, even miniature in our palms, can be seriously detrimental. Our brains need rest. Our thumbs need rest. And our minds need to release its compulsion to be entertained. Only then shall we feel sweet relief from boredom.

Kaitie Fox is the opinion editor for The Aviso AVW.

Categories: Opinion

1 reply »

  1. Thanks for your opinion piece, Katie. I think you are on to something with your thoughts on our culture of entertainment and our need to rest. Yet, I’d like to suggest some additional antidotes: calling and connection. Boredom may indicate a lack of a sense of purpose and calling. Students, professors, and people of all kinds need to know how their daily tasks relate to a larger web of meaning and service. For Christians, a “calling” is a sense of one’s mission with respect to God’s mission of bringing healing, hope, and flourishing to a broken world. This mission heals connections between people, the natural environment, the built environment, and the Triune God. One can experience deep, meaningful connections between God, others, and one’s surroundings as one discerns and pursues a calling. God is calling. Are we listening?


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