Loss of Boredom

IMG_4887I was on the way to a church member’s house to deliver a copy of our Lent devotional, when my phone’s battery died. I have been to their house before, but it did not matter. Without Google Gal leading the way, I was lost. So I found myself in a Taco Bueno. “Do you have an outlet I could use for my phone?” “There is one by the soda fountain.” I plugged in and set my phone with the cup lids. From a seat close by I ate a taco and waited for my life to continue.**

At least this is how I felt at first. But the taco was good. I really like Taco Bueno, but never eat there. And in my travels I had forgotten lunch – it seems Google Gal doesn’t provide meal reminders (yet). Excluding my fear someone would try to use my phone as a cup lid, it was a really nice pause.

The evolution of our phone has changed life. In my mind the positives outweigh the negatives. I am happy to not be lost in my car, to have a camera ready (and send the picture), and look up random facts. But I do worry about memory loss (my own – how many phone numbers did we have memorized ten years ago?) and the possibility of an iPhone sized cancer where I keep the phone in my pocket. But my biggest concern is how it eats up my down time.

I am so rarely bored. Part of that is our stage in life. Kids racing. Job. Royals winning. But it is also the phone. This occurred to me as I took my phone to the restroom. That used to be a few minutes of pondering time. Now it is a news article or Facebook scroll or email or… I miss having time to let my mind wander.

I am not alone In this desire. NPR recently challenged its listeners to put down their phones, to become Bored … and Brilliant. They write, “Studies suggest that we get our most original ideas when we stop the constant stimulation and let ourselves get bored.” How clever would my sermons become if I just took back the bathroom pause?!

** Car Charger is an obvious solution for worn down battery. But as our Malibu is nearly a decade old, the chargers have given out.

5 thoughts on “Loss of Boredom

  1. I totally agree with you! I have my best moments with God on the back porch: without my phone. I have found that I can’t take it out there with me, because it’s rude to interrupt a conversation with Him by finding out who just texted/emailed.

  2. Great realization Sean. For Lent I decided to give up using my phone as a “boredom distraction” and only using it when necessary to make a call or text. I don’t know if it’s an appropriate Lent fasting or not, but for me it’s something I felt was becoming an overwhelming distraction and I wanted to try and break the habit. You’re right though – the bathroom breaks are the hardest part!

    1. Perfect Lent fasting! Maybe not traditional, but we are living in the traditional world. So you choose something to impact and change your life! I think it is great and a challenge to me!

  3. I totally agree. I’m getting tired of feeling tied to all this technology. I love quiet times without any noise. It’s easier for me now our kids are grown…

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