No one likes being bored. We think of boredom as a waste of time because it is either "unproductive" or unexciting. But, thanks to technology—social media and smart phones—we are almost never bored. If you're thinking that's a good thing, think again. Because research proves that boredom may not be so "useless" after all and being distracted or busy all the time might actually be harming you.
When you're bored—doing nothing or doing something mundane—your brain is busy forming new neural connections that connect ideas and solve problems. "It turns out that when you get bored, you ignite a network in your brain called the 'default mode'. So our body, it goes on autopilot while we're folding the laundry or we're walking to work, but actually that is when our brain gets really busy," says Manoush Zomorodi, who discovered the enormous creative potential of boredom while she was rearing her baby.
Watch this entertaining talk to understand why it's important to take a break from being distracted all the time.
About the speaker
Manoush Zomorodi is the host and managing editor of Note to Self, “the tech show about being human,” from WNYC Studios. Through experiments and conversations with listeners and experts, she examines the new questions tech has brought into our lives. Topics include information overload, digital clutter, sexting “scandals" and the eavesdropping capabilities of our gadgets.
In January 2017, Manoush and Note to Self launched "The Privacy Paradox," a 5-part plan to help people take back control over their digital identity. Tens of thousands of listeners have completed the 5-part plan so far, which Fast Company calls Manoush's "challenge to us to stick up for our internet rights." Her book exploring how boredom can ignite original thinking, Bored and Brilliant: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Spacing Out, comes out in September 2017.
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