Learning to Be Bored Again

Discovered this article, and it made me want to… write about it:

Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain – by Kevin Roose.

I, like the author, don’t want to give up my phone entirely; I just want to use my phone but get back all the habits I had before I got one, like reading books, watching movies, and talking to my friends without interrupting myself by poking at the digital tit (that’s a bad metaphor, I know, don’t @ me).

This quote, in particular, stands out to me: “If I was going to repair my brain, I needed to practice doing nothing.” And that cuts right to the core: if I feel even a momentary, tiny amount of boredom, I reach for the phone, because it offers so many distractions from boredom.

But when I used to get bored, that’s when I would think about my life, my friends, story ideas, or just whatever was going on around me. So I guess my next step is to start identifying those urges to relieve boredom and see if I can deprioritize the phone and try something else instead.

I’ve done this before, or at least taken a step or two in this direction when I would practice reading with no internet time; an internet-free zone, if you will. I kept it up for a while but then the excuses for not doing it piled up to the point where I was back on my bullshit.

Like any habit or any skill, it’ll take time to get better at it. The first step is noticing, and then putting it into practice. Here I go again.