I feel like the appropriate response when someone says this should be one of sympathy. But instead I feel nothing but anger, apathy and perhaps a touch of jealousy when somebody texts me out of the blue ‘I’m bored’ or boldly declares it on Facebook.
My first thought: how does one find the time to be bored? When I’m not working or meeting friends or writing an article like this one, my leisure time is queued up with TV shows I need to catch up on, books I need to read, plus more important things I need to arrange and plan and do (most of which are usually put on hold because my leisure time overruns). I simply can’t fit boredom into my daily schedule. How do people have so much idle time?
Do they just not sleep? Do their days contain extra hours that mine don’t? I wish I had more hours in each day. What is the secret? I need to know???
I understand that on the odd occasion life thrusts spare time upon us – having to wait for a bus or being stuck in a waiting room or being bedridden through illness. These are all times in which boredom becomes harder to ward off. But thanks to the marvellous invention of the internet combined with the fact most of us have it on our phones, most of us are now equipped to fight boredom. Quite often I’ll find these moments researching that thing that’s been bugging me all day – where did the expression come ‘daft as a brush’ come from? – which inevitably leads to me getting lost on an endless Wikipedia trail ending with zit-popping videos and alien conspiracy articles, at which point I almost miss my station.
‘But what if my phone is dead?’ I hear all you defenders of boredom crying out. Well, in these tragic circumstances, there’s still that lump of grey matter between your ears called your brain. Thanks to the human superpower that is imagination, your mind offers limitless possibilities. I’ve spent train journeys with a dead phone planning out articles in my head, including this one, to the point that when I come home and write them, I’ve practically planned each paragraph out to the very letter (which frees up more time in my day to get other stuff done!)
In other words, there is no real excuse to be bored – any time can be spent doing something entertaining, even productive, in spite of what little tools you may have at your disposal. So next time you think about posting ‘I’m bored’ on social media, stop and tell yourself ‘no, I do not have a right to be bored’. Follow your passions and find something to do with that beautiful free time that you have been gifted with. Yes, I’m being a bit of a preachy douche right now, but someone’s got to tell it to you straight, because boredom is wasting your life away, when you should be making the most of every second like it’s your last #YOLO #CarpeDiem