How to never be bored again

How never to be bored again

Did you know that boredom is virtually a brand-new invention? As Andy Crouch points out, the word didn’t exist before the 1850s.

This might just seem like a geeky historical point. But it may also be a sign of something deeper.  

Endless boredom

In the last 150 years, we’ve had more things to entertain us than ever before. Yet, despite all the data and devices, it hasn’t made us any less, well… bored.

In a survey last year, we Brits were bored for an average of two hours a day.

Although we have around four hours of free time each day, 34% of people admitted that they normally ‘waste it’ by doing absolutely nothing or filling the time with tedious tasks.

The tech that promises to release us from our boredom rarely delivers anything close. Just ask anyone who’s just had a Netflix binge.

So we let the timer count down to the next episode in the hope that this one will be different.

Endless joy

But more than just letting us down, Crouch argues that it’s actually technology that’s making things worse.

When we scroll through our Instagram feed or stream in 4K on Youtube, we’re filling our minds with sights and sounds that we don’t experience in the real world – at least, not every day.

So our senses become numbed to enjoying the wonder of the world around us. Numbed to the thousands of colours you see out a window. To the glimpse of a star shooting across the sky.

And as our capacity for boredom increases, our capacity for worship decreases.

That’s because the God who made all these things gave them to us to enjoy as a way to enjoy him (1 Timothy 6:17). And as long as we’re always reaching for our tech, we’ll struggle to do that.