Radical Boredom

I cannot recall the last time I was bored. Can you?

Last week, there was a great article in the New Yorker about boredom and Evgeny Morozov’s attempt to disconnect from the Internet and recall the radical possibility of not-doing.

Boredom—

“[…] it suppresses every desire to do anything or to learn and opens emptiness; on the other hand, it creates possibility for renewal and experience, i.e., it can create a ‘will to do something’ and eliminate emptiness. The Lithuanian word for boredom (nuobodulys), as we have seen, can mean both a hunger for meaning and intentionality, spiritual starvation, and a withdrawal from the meeting of vital physical needs. Boredom can be purposefully chosen to avoid a radical reflection on the questions of existence or it can overcome consciousness […]” – Agne Narustye, The Aesthetics of Boredom: Lithuanian Photography 1980-1990

legitimate boredom, where one is neither forced to broadcast herself nor receive the broadcasts of others,

doesn’t it sound relaxing?

Today I am courting boredom, disconnecting, observing, writing.

9 Comments

  • Sam Ligon Sam Ligon says:

    I haven’t read that New Yorker piece, but am looking forward to it — and this video is fantastic, perfect, so true. I’m sick of everyone always attached to their stupid fucking devices.

    • Amaris Amaris says:

      It’s a good piece. I’ve threatened to turn off my internet at home, and every time people seem appalled that someone could consider that. Morozov talks about using apps to disconnect for a specified amount of time, but not physically unplugging the router (from what I can recall), which I suppose further shows our reliance on technology.

  • MelinaCR says:

    TOTALLY.
    Thank you, Amaris.

  • Monet Thomas says:

    I struggle with this, but get annoyed when I notice other people tied to their phones. Will try harder to disconnect.

    • Amaris Amaris says:

      Every six minutes a smartphone owner checks his/her phone. I heard this stat and the next I went out to dinner with friends, realized how true it was.

  • Laura Citino Laura C. says:

    I did a very conscious mental-junk-food clearing spree the other day. It consisted of deleting all social media apps on my phone (so that it comes only a thing for phone calls and the occasional looking-up-a-fact apparatus), deleting a few social media accounts, and deleting/blocking all unnecessary folks on Facebook. It felt really good and even a little scary, which is probably sad.

  • This year I’ve been working with a mentor for a particular type of NSF grant. She takes a wireless vacation every year for at least 10 days where she completely disconnects from computers and phones. During 5 days on Lake Powell last month, I did the same. It was amazing.

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