Unoccupied and Unplugged

Imagine you are sitting in a room. It is a plain room; there is not much to look at. Your phone is dead, your computer is in the other room and you cannot seem to figure out what to do with your time. You could leave, but you really don’t feel like getting up and walking around the room.

Pacing is ill-advised.

But you get fidgety, you can’t seem to keep your leg still. Your knee bounces under your palm, and your pesky laundry list of to-do items starts to lean heavily against the back of your eyes.

Photo credit: Micky Aldridge, Creative Commons, Original Photo
Photo credit: Micky Aldridge, Creative Commons, Original Photo

 

The list only grows: grocery shopping, homework, cleaning the kitchen, doing the laundry, going to the gym, etc. The list runs further down your throat until it nearly suffocates you.

The anxiety kicks in and you can’t help but wonder how many minutes have gone by. Three minutes. You groan in boredom before kicking to your feet and leaving the room.

No one is safe from the desire to avoid boredom. We are raised to believe that boredom is high up on the list when it comes to failure. Even learning how to lucid dream has become so popular, we are no longer allowed to merely sleep. We have to be doing things at all times.

Flappy Bird, Candy Crush and, well, any Facebook game, seem to only fuel our restlessness. Today, we can no longer sit in a room and merely be bored, wasting time.

Even simple tasks are being sung as wasteful. As if time itself is this finite resource that we must suck dry like all other pleasures this planet gives us.

We are wasting time walking from one college building to the next, we must be on our smartphones- Tweeting, texting or Vining.

We have been conditioned with the gut reaction to occupy ourselves. We cannot even watch television anymore without computers on our laps or iPhones with Instagram and Snapchat.

But what if we reject that idea? In the age of computers and flat screen televisions, I urge you to join me in an experiment.

Imagine and consider taking a single chunk of 10 minutes out of your day and simply be bored. Be brave with me, defiantly shut your computer and turn your phone on silent in the next room.

Face the intimidating silence of your mind.

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