Facebook And Google Have Destroyed Creative Thinking On A Global Level. They Are Social Destroyers And Should Be Put Out Of Business

Scrolling mindlessly through attention-grabbing posts, videos and threads prevents the build-up of ‘profound boredom’ needed to spur people on to new passions or skills, experts warn

The Telegraph
Walter Benjamin, a German philosopher, noted that boredom was the “dream bird that hatches the egg of experience.”

But the creative flights of fancy that often arise from having little to do, are being killed off by social media, researchers believe.

Scrolling mindlessly through attention-grabbing posts, videos and threads prevents the build-up of ‘profound boredom’ needed to spur people on to new passions or skills, experts warn.Instead, people find themselves in a state of ‘superficial boredom’, which does not spark creative thought.

Researchers at the University of Bath interviewed 15 people during the pandemic, when they were more likely to be bored because of the restrictions.

Many described being trapped in a monotony of daily walks, watching television and supermarket trips, with people increasingly turning to social media to pass the time.

But although the participants said social media provided a temporary escape from superficial boredom, it also appeared to exacerbate it, leaving them feeling they had wasted their time.Dr Timothy Hill, an associate professor of management marketing, business and society at Bath, and co-author of the study, said: “The problem we observed was that social media can alleviate superficial boredom but that distraction sucks up time and energy, and may prevent people progressing to a state of profound boredom, where they might discover new passions.”

Superficial boredom and profound boredom are two levels of boredom identified first by Martin Heidegger, a German philosopher.

Superficial boredom is the most common state of boredom, which is the feeling people get while waiting for a train.

In these moments, people seek temporary distractions and will often turn to phones and social media. However, experts say it prevents people from reaching a profound level of boredom.Entering a state of profound boredom, or malaise, is important because it creates an ‘existential discomfort’ which challenges the sense of self, and can ultimately lead people to strive to better their situation.

Those interviewed in the study reported that when they fell into profound boredom, it led them to question their purpose and life choices, prompting them to seek out new experiences.

One participant, named Richard, told interviewers: “I felt empty, an emptiness that was difficult to escape from.

“The longer I was bored, the worse I felt about myself. Like, who am I and what do I want to do with my life?

“But one positive thing is that it made me take on new things to escape that empty feeling.”Bertrand Russell, the British mathematician and philosopher, wrote: “Certain good things are not possible except where there is a certain degree of monotony.”

Dr Hill said that switching off devices and engaging in a “digital detox” could help people reach the state of tedium that pushes them on to new hobbies or achievements.

“This research has given us a window to understand how the ‘always-on’, 24/7 culture and devices that promise an abundance of information and entertainment may be fixing our superficial boredom but are actually preventing us from finding more meaningful things,” he said.

“Profound boredom may sound like an overwhelmingly negative concept but, in fact, it can be intensely positive if people are given the chance for undistracted thinking and development.

“The pandemic was a tragic, destructive, consuming experience for thousands of people, but we are all familiar with the stories of those in lockdown who found new hobbies, careers or directions in life.”

The new study was published in Marketing Theory.

1. mivipa • 2 yr. ago. Social media didn’t destroy society. It’s just a platform. We, as a society, used social media to destroy ourself. Claiming that social media destroyed society is a convenient way to take no blame for the consequences of our action. It’s our collective fault. 1. Malena_my_quuen • 2 yr. ago.
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