Books 2021

When was the last time you were bored, can you remember?

Smart phones took our boredom away.

There is extreme pressure on the younger generation to be online. They can’t miss anything (FOMO) and don’t have the opportunity to be bored. If you check Instagram, you’ll move on to TikTok, then react on Discord, and then relax with a Twich in the evening. Nothing deep, just skimming the surface. As long as it’s not boring.

The older generation does it too, just on different platforms and with the excuse of work. It seems to be productive, getting emails done and tasks completed feels good. Every spare minute of the day needs to be made the most of. After all, there is a lot to do and not enough time. We’re running micro-tasks that don’t move the earth. The lever is too short.

Is that right? You can guess that I don’t think so. John Lennon said, “The time we spend doing nothing is seldom wasted.” Advertising genius David Ogilvy reportedly wrote “eighty percent of his copy after hanging out all day.” At Netflix, they have unlimited vacation time and force employees to take as much as possible.

I’ve always come up with the best stuff when I was bored and had no choice but to lose myself in my thoughts. Moments when I sat on the tram with no cell phone, no book, no music, nothing. Just the view out the window. Moments on a long trek when the only entertainment is the slowly passing landscape. These moments allowed me to really think things through, not just skim the surface.

But there are fewer of those moments than there used to be. One has to create them artificially. How? Like meditation, a long trek, turning off notifications, etc. In short, anything that makes one leave one’s phone in one’s pocket and expose oneself to oneself.