A new study from Bath University warns that social media use may be preventing people from finding “new passions”. The study authors say that staving off “superficial boredom” by scrolling on devices can prevent “profound boredom” from setting in. Profound boredom, they say, “stems from an abundance of uninterrupted time spent in relative solitude, which can lead to indifference, apathy, and people questioning their sense of self and their existence”.
Although that sounds a bit somber, the study’s researchers believe it can also pave the way for creativity. Being super-bored was a characteristic of pandemic lockdowns and scientists said the era had given them a unique window into the way “devices that promise an abundance of information and entertainment may be fixing our superficial boredom but are actually preventing us from finding more meaningful things. Those who engage in ‘digital detoxes’ may well be on the right path”.
Computing professor and author, Cal Newport wrote that people’s impulsive phone-use conceals a lack of “high-quality” leisure time. What’s more, the noise of the internet feed “banish[es] every moment of solitude from your life”. Being alone with our own thoughts (rather than all the thoughts of others) is a better way of firing a passion than scrolling through Pinterest.
Rev Fisk has spoken about the need to carve out time to contemplate, yes, even be bored. So give yourself some digital respite and you might discover hobbies you never knew you had! We’ve heard Bible-reading can become quite addictive…