To me, bored doesn’t mean what it used to

Earlier this year I suffered a concussion while playing Ultimate Frisbee. Standard recovery time can run anywhere between one to three weeks, but, likely because it was my third, this one hasn’t gone away. I was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome this past week, which basically means I’m not recovering well and may not for months.

The symptoms that I have been dealing have really made me think about how I use technology, and how important it is to my life. Some days are better than others, but the bright light of a screen often will worsen my headache, as does focusing on one task. Now combine both of those, and you have you covered almost every social media interaction.

Before my injury, I felt that I was mildly addicted to social media. Now, I’m surprised by how much I really used it. I don’t know what to do with while I’m on the bus. Looking at my phone would mean risking a splitting headache on something not related to school, and, for some reason, just sitting and looking out the window isn’t remotely satisfying to me.

That last part is what is so interesting. We often refer to being on social media as “wasting time,” but the issue with just sitting with my thoughts is that I don’t feel as though I’m being productive. If I were scrolling through Twitter, I might look back on the time as not productive, but in the moment I would be occupied.

Have I lost my ability to stand being bored for a second? I think so. My standard for entertainment has increased to the point where scrolling through Facebook is boring, and sitting on a bus doing nothing is truly bothersome. Maybe by the time I’m better I’ll have re-calibrated what I consider boredom.

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