This Blog May Bore You
There is always more to read, so I don’t get bored often. But an article in the New York Times (one of three newspapers to read) titled “The Boredom Economy” caught my eye, and a new website service called Blinkist convinced me that the boredom economy is here to stay.
According to the New York Times article, “The U.S. National Pandemic Emotional Impact Report … found that 53% of those surveyed said they were more bored during the pandemic than before it.” The article said that even the “GameStop phenomenon” may be a reaction to boredom or the rapid rise in video games. Boredom is at a record high, especially for those alone and quarantining.
I believe that boredom may be a result of the growing reliance on technology as well. Our boredom may be driven by our narrowing attention span. We already know we’ll only give a video the first few seconds to lure us in, or we only read the headlines of stories to get the latest news. Instant feedback and instant gratification (think Amazon delivering products in a day or hours) is disrupting our sense of time and pace. And that gives us more time to be bored.
Take a look at Blinkist. You may have heard about this new service that reads books, identifies the key insights and explains them in 15-minute summary formats. Insights are called “blinks.” It features 3,000 nonfiction titles including Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini, PhD, “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell and Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time.” We’ve reduced the time of reading great books to 15 minutes. It’s the Snapchat of nonfiction work.
So now you don’t need to read one of Dr. Cialdini’s mind-expanding books, you can crank it out in a quick 15 with plenty of time to spare to be bored. Maybe you could fill the time reading, “The Science of Boredom” by psychologist Sandi Mann.
Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.