In Defense of Boredom

There are few moments in my life when I am bored. I always have a million things I want to be doing, and in those rare moments like waiting in line at the DMV I try to have a thin book with me to read.

Michael Crowley has a fun piece in the New Republic defending boredom and slightly bemoaning the "always-on" culture we find ourselves in. Boredom is a challenge, he says, think of it like a date with yourself!

Turning off the BlackBerry and just looking out the window feels like an act of spiritual emancipation. And perhaps only one of Amtrak’s famous delays can help me achieve the "profound boredom" that Heidegger recommended for its clarifying power.

Granted, few of us are likely to have blinding existential insights just because we’re out of BlackBerry service range. For me, boredom tends to produce ruminations more along the lines of whether I should move to a new apartment. But it’s a start. In this moment of anti-boredom triumphalism, there’s something creepy about our constant flight from ourselves. Our fear of boredom suggests a kind of self-loathing. What are we so afraid of?

4 Responses to In Defense of Boredom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *