We are incapable of being bored

We+are+incapable+of+being+bored

Stephanie Davison, Columnist

Social media has altered our attention spans and has made it more difficult to focus for long periods of time, which in turn has made it more difficult to be without some kind of stimuli. Though a lot of great things have come from social media, the negative effects are still present and should not be ignored. This opinion may sound kind of “boomer-ish”, and maybe it is, but there is evidence to suggest that it may also be credible.

A study by Microsoft Corp. found that, “77% of people aged 18 to 24 responded ‘yes’ when asked, ‘When nothing is occupying my attention, the first thing I do is reach for my phone,’” (TIME Magazine).

I find myself reaching for my phone when I feel even the slightest tinge of boredom. It makes me feel antsy to not be completely mentally occupied (even as I write this, I am checking my phone). Being bored makes us uncomfortable, and the quickest and easiest remedy to relieve that discomfort is to pick up your phone and scroll through the apps. In and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with that, but when it becomes a crutch that detracts from more beneficial uses of time, it can be a problem. Social media (and maybe smart phones in general) can be a huge distraction to students when trying to study or complete homework. Though there have always been ways to entertain oneself that detract from important tasks, it has never been as easy to access as it is today.

We don’t need to get rid of social media, but we should all be aware that these apps were designed with the intent to keep us on them for as long as possible. These apps were made to be addictive, they were made to occupy our time.