Keller @ Large: Boredom Isn’t That Bad

BOSTON (CBS) – Something terrible happened to me last weekend. Or at least it seemed so at first.

I went down the Cape for the weekend, but left my phone charger at home. Despite careful nursing, by Saturday afternoon the phone had died, and for the next 30 hours or so I entered an alien, hostile universe – one without phone calls, e-mails, texts or Twitter.

Oh, the horror.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Keller at Large Sept 18 2013

Without the ability to fill even the briefest period of inactivity with a phone fix, would all-consuming, spirit-crushing boredom overtake me?

It seems I didn’t need to worry.

A USA Today columnist points out that “research suggests that…boredom (in moderation) should be embraced. The happy balance between chronic boredom and constant engagement can prove beneficial for our minds and even our careers.”

Down time without the easy stimulation of the phone can lead to reflection, introspection, even creativity. As that columnist notes: “Newton was purportedly just sitting under an apple tree when he discovered gravity.”

We’ve commented here before about the backlash against technology that’s moving some to enforce unplugged periods in the home where computers and TVs are quieted in order to promote quaint, old-fashioned activities, like thinking and talking with others.

And I am here to testify that my phone-less status not only didn’t ruin my weekend, it enhanced it, freeing me to fully enjoy the beautiful weather and the superb companionship of my wife and Buddy the lab.

It turns out that a little technology-free “boredom” really isn’t so boring after all.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’d better go tweet that.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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