On the Media: The Case for Boredom
February 6, 2015 1:01 PM - Subscribe

Meet our friends from down the hall. The podcast New Tech City about technology and human behavior has kicked off a fascinating project that anyone can join in on. And, we want you to know about it. This episode of New Tech City kicks off the Bored and Brilliant Project. The goal is to get you rethinking your relationship with technology and to start thinking more creatively by testing your tech habits in a series of challenges. Since the spread of smartphones began, boredom has become an endangered species. Spare moments where daydreaming used to manifest have become extra email checks or candies crushed. That might be a problem, because, as you will hear in the audio, boredom can in fact beget creativity. You can join the Bored and Brilliant Project, take the challenges, and even track your phone usage as you go through the process here.

The associated blog post that has relevant links.

A little bio on Brooke Gladstone, Co-Host and Managing Editor of On the Media.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (2 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This was kind of an unusual On the Media in that they basically handed the show over to New Tech City, and in a way I think the substance suffered just a little. It felt like "On the Media Lite".

However, the part I found very interesting was the description of the boredom / creativity experiment (with the subjects reading from the phone book, and then being asked to come up for different uses for cups). That part I found absolutely fascinating and potentially huge in its implications. (Of course, it's just one study.)

I don't use a smartphone so this didn't really make me sit up and take notice but it was an interesting subject to discuss.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 1:04 PM on February 6, 2015

I do find that having some downtime when I'm alone with my thoughts helps a lot. I don't know if boredom is the right word to describe it, although there are moments where I get a little bored if I am alone with my thoughts fr too goddamn long.

I try to build long walks into my life. That's when my thoughts go roaming.
posted by maxsparber at 1:39 PM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

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