Book of the Month: “Let Yourself Be Bored” by Manush Zomorodi

How can boredom be good for our mind, health and our creativity? Why is loneliness as important as communication? How do constantly pop-up notifications on the phone screen affect stress levels? Every day, social networks and instant messengers take more and more of our time. Finding a balance between online and offline is becoming more difficult, and the dependence on likes and views is growing stronger. Manush Zomorodi in the book “Let Yourself Be Bored” once again reminds us how useful it is to be bored, not to reply to messages at the same moment and limit the time on social networks. The most interesting and close to us quotes from the book are in this post.

The boredom of creativity

“It seems to us that our head is not busy with anything when, for example, we sort the laundry for washing, but in reality our brain is working hard. When our thoughts wander, the so-called default mode is activated: parts of the brain that solve problems and generate ideas are activated. We carry out “autobiographical planning”, comprehending the world around us, our own life and making plans for the future. The “default” mode is also involved in our attempts to understand other people’s actions, empathize and make moral judgments. “

“By allowing ourselves to be distracted and let go of our thoughts, we show innovative thinking and problem-solving abilities. Free thought can take you to the most interesting and unexpected places. Creativity, regardless of how you define it or immerse yourself in it, requires a stimulus, and boredom, which contributes to the formation of new, unusual connections in the brain, can rightfully be considered the most faithful muse. This is what the futurist Rita King calls the “boredom of creativity.”

Don’t just take your hands

Social connections are certainly necessary, but not at the cost of breaking with one’s own self. To make modern technologies serve the development of social dialogue and creativity, it is necessary to recognize the extent of their true impact on us. Only by realizing how differently our devices and brains function can we ordinary people be able to protect ourselves by putting pressure on industry leaders and forcing them to produce digital devices that improve the quality of our lives, and not just occupy our minds and hands. work.

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Withdraw into yourself

“Retreating into thoughts is so important for humans as a biological species that“ it can be the answer to the question of what distinguishes us humans from other animals. ” Fantasy is involved in the acquisition of a wide range of skills, from creativity to predicting the future.

Much remains to be discovered in this area, but today it is already possible to say with certainty that the passive mode does not mean the inactivity of the brain. “

Connect to source

“Being distracted from the outside world and plunging into ourselves, we do not stop the work of thought. We tap into a huge source of memory, mentally draw future possibilities, analyze our relationships with people, reflect on who we are. It may seem like we’re wasting time waiting for the world’s longest traffic light to switch from red to green, but our brains are actually putting ideas and events in perspective. “

“Dreams are by nature designed to help us when we face a difficult problem – personal, professional or otherwise. And boredom is one of the best catalysts for starting this process. “

Such a useful boredom

“We must restore this word in rights. Boredom has been unjustly vilified into mediocrity. “Only boring people get bored,” parents like to repeat. But it is quite obvious that this is not the case. By yawning and languishing, you are actually opening invisible floodgates, nourishing, nurturing, and nurturing your thoughts. The mind needs boredom to do a very important job. “

“We perceive it as a waste of time, but boredom can ignite a spark of inspiration, prompting new goals, strategies and autobiographical planning. Perhaps seemingly useless at first, boredom helps us find meaning at every stage of our existence. “

Boredom as a state of mind

“Scientifically, in a state of boredom, a neural network is activated in the brain – the so-called passive mode of operation. Some scientists even call it the web of imagination, because the most original ideas are born there. Over the centuries, artists, builders and thinkers have engaged in what Jerome Singer calls “positive constructive dreaming” to take a fresh look at the world around them. “

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“Sherri Turkle formulated this idea in the best possible way:“ Boredom tells you that the moment has come to turn on your imagination, ingenuity, to express your essence. Boredom asks you to pay attention to the surrounding reality. ” She hints that it’s time to look away from the phone, raise your head and look at the immense world with wide-open eyes! “

More messages, more stress

“Working online, people switch attention every 45 seconds.” It’s not just a problem of productivity or concentration. Lab Mark cites the following data: the more often a person switches attention from one activity to another, the higher the stress level. “

The value of loneliness

“Neuroscientists say that if you answer all letters or messages, there will be no time to come up with new ideas. “Today’s culture overestimates the importance of continuous communication, in part influenced by social media,” note Kaufman and Gregoire. – People tend to view time spent alone as wasted or as a sign of an asocial or melancholic personality. In fact, this is evidence of emotional maturity and healthy psychological development. “

Fix the time

“Setting a time frame is the most important step towards achieving your goal. (In other words, show that you are serious by setting aside time in your schedule for walks in the park next to your office at 3:30 pm.) It is also important to spread out “recovery breaks in small increments throughout the day.” Let it be sipping, or going to the cooler for a glass of water, or a planned ten-minute conversation with a friend on the phone. “

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Digital behavior

“Digital devices are just one ingredient in a rich soup of parenting, which is essentially about giving children the tools they need to become capable, independent, mature individuals. These tools include self-control and informed decision making. While many of us Gen X parents and millennials have thrown all our energy into it, parenting actually requires setting limits and at the same time relaxing control. Yes, we want to instill healthy habits in children from a very young, pliable age, but the wisdom of parenting is to give children the freedom to make mistakes, experiment with boundaries and find their own rhythm. “

You have to pay for everything

“But you have to pay for everything, including free access. Serious journalism cannot survive on ads alone, so newspapers are dying. Our personal data must be protected with ten-digit passwords that cannot be remembered, and they do not guarantee complete security. Hooligans of all stripes and ages are not decreasing. Now they are hone their skills on the Internet, crawling into all the cracks of online life. But perhaps our biggest loss is patience. We don’t have the patience to listen to someone’s clumsy phrase; read a complex paragraph several times to grasp the essence; wait for the thought that flashed through the mind to form into an idea. All these things take time. And the only thing our phones can’t give us is extra hours in a day. Of course, we can be in touch even with the whole world, receive endless gigabytes of information, but our gadgets do not distinguish between superficial communication and what is worthy of thought. The choice is still up to us. ”

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