When was the last time you reached a point in the day where the Sandman showed up prematurely from its vampire coffin and lulled you into closed-eyes of boredom? If you have kids, what parent doesn’t know the siren song, There’s nothing to do. Kids naturally come with the attention span of a gnat, so boredom is one of the hazards. For adults, tedium and its sidekick, bored, is the pheromone that attracts Sandmen to daylight hours. I’ve lost count how many times I considered stapling my eyes open in corporate meetings. As a writer, quaffing caffeinated beverages is the shield of choice, though a flimsy one if the story isn’t going so well. I knew something was wrong when I thought to myself, would anyone living in a dystopian world, ever be bored? Clearly a time to walk away from the word processor.
Imagine my surprise to discover there is a field of study dedicated to the science of boredom. Little is known how boredom affects the brain, but a few University Psychology Departments are floating theories it may be a failure in the neural pathways that control attention. I couldn’t help chuckling to myself. Has the research community been so bored with trying to find credible fields of study, they have decided to explore why they’re bored? Apparently, boredom is a fascinating field, which in itself seems an oxymoron.