How Boredom Fueled Innovation Amid A Pandemic

by | Sep 21, 2020 | General Medical News, Issue 114, Mental Health | 0 comments

Boredom always precedes a period of great creativity - Robert M. Pirsig In March, normal life stopped. Businesses and restaurants closed. Jobs and schools shut down or transitioned to be...

Boredom always precedes a period of great creativity – Robert M. Pirsig

In March, normal life stopped. Businesses and restaurants closed. Jobs and schools shut down or transitioned to be remotely accessible. Extra curricular activities and social events were banned. As a result, many of us woke up with lots of time on our hands and the startling realization that we didn’t have enough hobbies to fill that time. 

For weeks the trending topic of conversation was what to do to keep from going stir crazy while in quarantine. Suggestions ranged from completing a puzzle, texting your exes, reading a book, learning a different language, or taking up knitting or crocheting. 

Regardless of the hobby, one thing remained true: People had more time on their hands than what they knew to do with. At home workouts increased by 400%, Netflix viewership by 122%, home yoga by 222%, and more. Unsurprisingly, Apocalypse movie viewership skyrocketed past 600%, because who doesn’t like watching the world end while the world “ends” around them.  

However, when not streaming movies and watching Tick Tocks, what else were people doing? Well, statistics say people began baking, gardening, meditating, and learning languages. Quarantine sparked a new age of self care and critical thinking. With responsibilities limited, and more downtime at home, personal flaws and bad habits surfaced forcing people to come to grips with the harsh reality that they truly didn’t have it all together. 

So, why is it that when people remove their educational, career, and family obligations from the spotlight, they begin to look less like themselves and more like a stranger? Perhaps it’s because humans as a race tend to find their identity in their accomplishments and careers, rather than personal inflection and meditation. This shouldn’t be, because people need to learn how to not place their identity in temporary things, lest they lose themselves when the wind blows against them.  

However, quarantine created the perfect environment for people to stop, slow down, and breathe. Regardless of the stress from worrying about the virus, the situation created some much needed R&R. Although, a mind at rest, tends not to stay at rest for long, especially a previously hard working mind. The brain becomes creative when bored and highly task oriented. Humans just can’t sit still for long, unless it’s in front of a screen, yet even that has its limits. People need to do something, create something, invent something. Through quarantine, innovation found its place back in people’s minds once more. 

By definition innovation can be pretty much anything, as long as it is being newly invented or worked. In Les Mis terms people often call boredom-induced innovation the “redneck method”, and during quarantine there was a lot of rednecking. Water parks became waterslides down muddy hills, playgrounds became tire swings in the backyard, and the office became a bedroom with a lapdesk with a lukewarm cup of joe. Yet, all of this was okay, because for once in their lives people were finally gaining time, rather than losing it. 

Yet, the most incredible thing about quarantine is just how much knowledge was consumed. When not being forced to go to class or the office, people went out of their way to seek and consume information to better themselves, for the primary reason of becoming more employable after quarantine ended. People were just hungry to learn, as proven by Duolingo’s 200% increase in daily use. Google as well saw a mass increase in education based web searches.

If quarantine proved one thing, it’s that people truly do care about their health and wellness, and if they didn’t before they sure do now. But the search for medical knowledge doesn’t have to end there. TopDoctor Magazine is a vital resource during this time. Not only does it cover the virus, it exists to help you stay relevant in the field. If you value the latest trends in medical science and more, TopDoctor is your premier resource to accomplish that.

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