“Then it’s a boring life”: Sociologist on feelings of powerlessness

“Then it’s a boring life”: Sociologist on feelings of powerlessness

Photo: CC0 Public Domain – Pexels/ Andrew Neel

Boredom can be felt both at work and during leisure time. A sociologist warns that if you keep picking up your cell phone, you face a boring life. How to deal with this feeling of powerlessness.

Bored people like to use their cell phones to distract themselves. In an interview with Der Spiegel, sociologist Silke Ohlmeier advises against it. Boredom leads to a feeling of powerlessness – if you fight it too often with mobile games, you will lead “a boring life” in the long run. Ohlmeier has written a book on boredom and is a member of the International Society of Boredom Studies, which promotes multidisciplinary research on boredom.

Sociologist on the risks of boredom

Stress usually arises when tasks require more energy than you can give, Ohlmeier explains. But the opposite, i.e. being underchallenged for a long time, is also problematic. “Then at some point my body no longer produces enough energy, so that everything becomes too much for me and every task feels like stress,” warns the expert. Decreasing concentration also often plays a role. Boredom makes you feel powerless and is a form of stress.

But it’s not just at work that you feel bored. Ohlmeier also mentions examples of so-called “leisure boredom” in the interview. “It’s Sunday, theoretically I could do anything, but I don’t feel like doing anything.” That happens, for example, because you don’t have the energy left for work. The expert herself then finds it helpful to go for a walk, swim or listen to music. “But not: Cell phone out, more input, more, more, more.”

Because that keeps you from doing things that will satisfy you in the long term. Playing games on your phone is just a way to kill time. “When I come home exhausted every night and only have enough strength left to fiddle around on my phone, and later look back on the week and realize that I’ve spent every night like this, then that’s just a boring life.”

At the same time, the following also applies: “You have to risk boredom”

If you don’t want to play on your mobile phone, you’re going to take on a lot. But a full appointment calendar is not the solution either, if you follow Ohlmeier’s explanations. Keeping yourself busy prevents you from discovering levers for long-term changes. Anyone who plans everything fully is determined by others – leisure, on the other hand, is a self-determined time. “You have to risk boredom in order to be able to experience leisure,” says the expert. “And to notice a pause at all.”

Others try to fight boredom through consumption. According to the expert, this only works if you have a relationship with the things you buy. She warns: “Amassing things and not using them sometimes hides chronic boredom.” She also sees a connection to addictive behavior: Boredom pushes people to change the situation. “In this respect, it makes sense to reach for alcohol or food, according to the motto: no matter what I do, the main thing is that I get out of boredom.”

One way to deal with boredom is to give it meaning, the expert confirms. A boring job can feed a family, even when playing with children it can be worth enduring boredom.

Source used: mirror

Read more on Techzle.com:

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