The Analog World is Calling Your Name
Boredom is good
Ever since I was a young child, I’ve always had this idea that boredom was a bad thing. I was always told that I had to do something with my time, or I would get in trouble. But I’ve come to realize that there is nothing wrong with being bored. It’s important to create mental space for yourself. To be bored is to have time, and to have time is to generate ideas, and ideas, well, they move the world. Boredom is a gateway to create enough time to think, to reflect, and to be creative. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. It’s easy to think that you don’t have time to waste, but you do. And that time is essential for your productivity and for your limits to be pushed to the next level. It’s the time that the analog world provides us to be free.
But I’ve come to realize that there is nothing wrong with being bored. It’s important to create mental space for yourself.
When we think of the benefits of the analog world, we often think of the nostalgia of an old school camera, the smell of a book, or the feel of a vinyl album. What we don’t think about is the space that it provides for us to create new links between our ideas. There’s just something about spending time outside that makes everyone feel better. Whether you’re playing in the park or just sitting in the grass, you’re guaranteed to feel happy. Even better, the fresh air is great for your lungs and for your state of mind.
That’s the boredom effect and it can go further than just walks in the park. Listening to the radio, an analog form of digital content, is a great way to stay up to date on the latest news or be exposed to new music or genres you might not have otherwise. Without the ability to choose a specific episode or topic, the radio programs create connections that the digital world with its algorithms and desire to follow rabbit holes does not encourage. The analog once again helps us in creating a new way of thinking.
Many people have been experiencing a phenomenon called digital burnout, which is the opposite of boredom. Digital burnout is a state of mental and physical exhaustion. It is a result of high stress and lack of rest. The symptoms include difficulty concentrating, irritability, and feeling overwhelmed. This byproduct of the digital world is one of the main reasons why the analog world keeps calling your name.
The pieces of chess on the board, the waves crashing on your nearby beach, the dogs at the park, all of them continue to call you to experience a world that is slowly being forgotten. A world that is “replaced” by scrolling time, incessant notifications, and the overwhelming ping from your boss’s emails that never stop. This is why boredom is important. It helps us regain agency and focus on what truly matters. No one is asking us to be in front of the screen 24/7. Even writing this article could have been done in paper first and then transcribed to a digital format.
The reality is that the analog world with all its inconveniences provides more value than the digital counterpart. It reminds us of our limitations, connects us with the broken version of humanity, and reminds us that we must be part of the solution of this divided world.
No one is asking us to be in front of the screen 24/7. Even writing this article could have been done in paper first and then transcribed to a digital format.
Bored and Brilliant
So, what does it take for us to listen to the analog world and its calling? Intentionality. I know it's easy to stay home and watch shows all day. It even feels good to get done with all the emails, digital content creation, or work that continues to stimulate our brains.
Yet, if we want to avoid burnout and embrace the brilliance that boredom brings, we must hear the call of the analog world once again. Maybe it requires putting the phone away for the weekend or switching to paper instead of keyboard. Whatever the call from the past is for you, don’t let it pass another day. Listen to it, embrace it, and learn from the old customs of this world.