The next time you go out for a walk, focus on being bored for a while. It can be quite entertaining. I rediscovered that nugget of truth today when I took a walk around our company’s campus during my lunch hour.
Earlier today, I read a story about a journalism professor challenging her students to not use technology as much in their daily lives for five days. Fewer than 10 percent of her 43 students lasted longer than two full days. So the concept of how technology has infiltrated our lives was already on my mind when I went to go on my walk and discovered I’d left my iPod at home. Usually when I take these walks, it’s with my music playing, as a way to escape and relieve some stress. It was so beautiful outside and I needed the exercise, so I pushed ahead without my iPod, allowing myself to be bored during my walk, for lack of a better term. In truth, I wasn’t being fed lyrics to process, which allowed my mind to wander a bit.
It was enlightening to hear birds chirping and the wind rustle the leaves in the trees — and fun trying to figure out how many different kinds of birds and trees we must have on our 57 acres. I also noticed a few new things involving the current expansion and landscape rejuvenation project we have going on — things I probably would have simply overlooked before because the noises in the area of those changes wouldn’t have caught my attention.
I also took a moment to stop and stare at the “old barn” that sits on the property but that I’ve heard is being torn down as part of the landscape project. I snapped a photo and daydreamed a minute about the history behind the building and the entire campus in general. After that, I started formulating this blog post in my head.
I think the professor’s idea to have people realize how dependent we’ve become on technology for more than just productivity is a valuable lesson for students. I’m certainly not about to abandon technology and I think our lives are better because of it. Even while I was out enjoying my nature walk, I used my mobile phone to snap some pictures and send them to myself via email for use in this blog post.
Technology is a wonderful thing and we should use it to our full advantage for work and play. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t allow ourselves a little freedom from time to time. The old saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” That may be true, but I also like my new saying, “Boredom is the father of entertainment.” Or at least a blog post. 🙂