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Science Literally Bored to Death!

The_Chameleon

Grandmaster
Science has only recently begun to probe the phenomenon of boredom and what has already been discovered should give reason for pause (Hopefully you won't get bored during that pause) :D When brains of people who were subjected to a boring video were analyzed, to many observers surprise, they were not less active, but more. Furthermore, when test subjects blood was analyzed after watching the intentionally dry and menial subject matter, extremely high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) were found. It turns out that boredom is a form of stress. Chronically high levels of cortisol are linked to health problems ranging from obesity, to diabetes, to heart disease and stroke. One of the symptoms of prolonged stress (including boredom) is agitation and aggression. Below is an excerpt of a documentary called "Boredom" in which many things have come to light on the subject. If you have the means to find and watch the full movie, I highly recommend it.

Boredom

Consider how our society is structured. We begin with school, where children are awoken early and rushed to a visually uninspiring prison where they sit for several hours in a regimented setting (recess not withstanding) and made to repeat tasks over and over. When they grow up, they end up in a similar routine, busting their butt get ready, fighting gridlock to get to work on time, and sitting for hours in a cubical or "bored"-room. They do this to pay the bills and feed themselves and their families, and maybe, or so is the hope, save enough money to one day escape the rat race (assuming it isn't outright stolen by the fat cats on wall street). Our society is designed to be draggy and mind-numbing, but why? Personally I think it has to do with commercialism. Studies have shown that people who report being bored more often also tend to spend more money and take more risks. But the other side of that coin is that chronically bored people are more likely to act out violently, riot, be involved in gangs, and even commit suicide.


Another major contributor to boredom was marketed as the cure for it. iPhones and other such portable entertainment devices are available at a moments notice, ensuring that we have amusement and stimulation on demand, and for many "on demand" means "all the time". It has been discovered that many people who lose their smart phones quickly begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms similar to those of a drug addict deprived of his drugs. These devices don't cure boredom, they make it worse, by constantly stimulating the brain and subsequently wiring it for constant stimulation. The phenomenon is called "screen addiction" and isn't limited to the pocket sized variety. People are willing to go to remarkable, almost unbelievable extremes in a desperate attempt to combat boredom and the results are taking their toll. What is going to happen if we keep building a society of chronically bored people desperate for stimulation at all costs? What might be done to change this direction?




- Chameleon
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
I can believe it is a health risk. Boredom is often accompanied by depression which is known to cause health problems even if you don't commit suicide.

I would say going to a job you don't like, fighting traffic to get there is stressful not boring. Or going to school trying to make good grades and worrying that you won't. Too much stress in your life can cause someone to have a heart attack.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
I think it totally depends on the type of job. Some people don't like their jobs because of the stress, others don't like their jobs because of the boredom. This is especially common in easy jobs with a lot of repetition of tasks or in jobs where people aren't challenged at all.

I tend to think the boredom is so bad because our culture is getting used to having constant exposure to entertainment whether it's music. TV, games, facebook, iPhone, etc. having all of this entertainment (stimulation) readily available has caused us to need entertainment. Without the stimulation, we don't know what to do without it.
 
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