Boredom

I’ve elaborated on the joys of Instapaper before, but the reality is that I rarely use it. Most of my reading on the subway, and elsewhere, is still done with hard copies of a handful of magazines (The New Yorker, Atlantic, Wired, Esquire, New York), or whatever book is on the top of my pile (currently, The Corrections). But where Instapaper earns its keep is in those moments when I finish the magazine and have nothing else to read. Or am stuck in a subway station on a Friday night, when carrying a book to a bar seems frowned upon.

Basically, Instapaper has eliminated any possibility of boredom in my life. In The Atlantic’s latest issue, all about “Ideas,” Walter Kirn writes about the extinction of boredom:

Thanks to Twitter, iPads, BlackBerrys, voice-activated in-dash navigation systems, and a hundred other technologies that offer distraction anywhere, anytime, boredom has loosened its grip on us at last—that once-crushing “weight” has become, for the most part, a memory. Even the worst blind dates don’t bore us now; we’re never more than a click away from freedom, from an instantaneous change of conversation partners.

He goes on to lament a potential loss in creativity, owing to a lack of daydreaming, or something. And it might be true. But this is one crutch I’m quite happy to have.

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