In our modern societies, where there’s a source of entertainment at virtually every step, it seems paradoxical that we tend to get bored faster and more often than our ancestors did. With so much to occupy us, to stimulate us – it makes no sense that we might get bored at all. Or does it?
It turns out too much stimulation might be… well, too much for us. Overstimulation is indeed part of the problem. The more entertainment we get, the more we crave. The more we fill our days with fast-paced, high-intensity stimulation, the less tolerant we become when having to bear through slower-paced situations. It’s a vicious cycle, really.
The fact of the matter is that, while the possibilities of entertainment are numerous, we also need to get work done in our lives. And no matter how fast-paced the world becomes, there will be activities – such as reading reports, sitting in meetings, attending lectures or studying for exams – that require our patience and attention over a longer period of time.
Our attention spans are now less than that of a goldfish (eight seconds), and it’s all related to that overstimulation mentioned above. We seek novelty all the time, and we can have it in a matter of seconds – via the internet or tv – so as soon as new stimulus is acknowledged and assimilated, it’s no longer new, thus becomes useless. And then we’re bored again, we seek a new stimulus and the vicious cycle goes on and on.