diamond geezer

 Monday, May 12, 2003

Boredom (noun)
the state of being bored by something tedious [syn: {ennui}, {tedium}]

How do you fill your time? There really is an awful lot of time in our lives needing to be filled - that's 24 hours daily, 10 thousand minutes weekly, and over 30 million seconds each year. Some people could fill their days many times over, never finding enough hours to get everything done. They wake up, the day passes in a blur of hyperactivity, and hey presto it's time to go to bed again. Lucky them. For other people each day is a potential avalanche of boredom. A featureless morning stretches out into an interminable afternoon, leading perhaps to a non-descript evening, this prescription to be repeated daily. Unlucky them. Most of us usually lie somewhere inbetween those two extremes, the odd seemingly-endless bout of clock-watching balanced out by physical activity and mental stimulation. We get bored sometimes, but we cope.

The human race treats boredom much as it would any other medical condition - it throws huge sums of money at the problem to try to make it go away. Multinational industries thrive on our need to repel boredom, forever attempting to convince us that inactivity is a socially unacceptable state of mind. Many people now grow up unable to cope with genuine boredom, becoming restless and impatient after only a few minutes of enforced silence. Our attention span is diminishing with each generation.

Over the years, people have found many different ways to avoid boredom, many different ways to fill their time. Over the next few days I'm going to list 20 of the most successful methods people use to keep boredom at bay. The list will reflect society's top time-fillers, and not necessarily my own. Maybe the list will be useful next time you're staring at a hole in your life and wondering how to fill it. Or maybe you use a lot of these methods yourself already, in which case you almost certainly won't have time to read any of it. Lucky you.

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