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——How boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas


And anyway, don’t only boring people get bored? But then I started to wonder: What actually happens to us when we get bored? Or, more importantly: What happens to us if we never get bored? And what could happen if we got rid of this human emotion entirely? I started talking to neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists, and what they told me was fascinating. It turns out that when you get bored, you ignite a network in your brain called the "default mode." So our body, it goes on autopilot while we’re folding the laundry or we’re walking to work, but actually that is when our brain gets really busy.


So before challenge week, we were averaging two hours a day on our phones and 60 pickups, you know, like, a quick check, did I get a new email? Here’s what Tina, a student at Bard College, discovered about herself?(Audio)Tina: So far, I’ve been spending between 150 and 200 minutes on my phone per day, and I’ve been picking up my phone 70 to 100 times per day. And it’s really concerning, because that’s so much time that I could have spent doing something more productive, more creative, more towards myself, because when I’m on my phone, I’m not doing anything important.

在挑战周之前,我们平均是一天花2小时在手机上,拿起手机 60 次,比如拿起来看一下有没有新邮件。以下是巴德学院学生蒂娜对她自己的发现。(语音)蒂娜:目前,我每天会花 150 到 200 分钟在手机上,每天拿起手机 70 到 100 次。这很让人担忧,因为这么多时间我本来可以用来做比较有生产力、有创意、对我自己有助益的事,因为当我用手机时,我并没有在做重要的事。

If you have never known life without connectivity, you may never have experienced boredom. And there could be consequences. Researchers at USC have found they’re studying, teenagers who are on social media while they’re talking to their friends or they’re doing homework and two years down the road, they are less creative and imaginative about their own personal futures and about solving societal problems, like violence in their neighborhoods. And we really need this next generation to be able to focus on some big problems: climate change, economic disparity, massive cultural differences.


So the next time you go to check your phone, remember that if you don’t decide how you’re going to use the technology, the platforms will decide for you. And ask yourself: What am I really looking for? Because if it’s to check email, that’s fine -- do it and be done. But if it’s to distract yourself from doing the hard work that comes with deeper thinking, take a break, stare out the window and know that by doing nothing, you are actually being your most productive and creative self. It might feel weird and uncomfortable at first, but boredom truly can lead to brilliance.


TED演讲:你刷手机的时间其实可以让你很出色 插图  - www.englishdock.cn