It’s a Sunday night. Another day of school tomorrow, and you’re sitting on the couch, flipping through TV channels or going through your favorite internet sites. You can’t seem to find anything that grabs your attention. You’re getting antsy; your mind is racing yet not focusing on anything. There’s not enough time to do anything — too late to go out but too early to go to bed.
Being bored is the worst, plain and simple. In a world that is moving faster and faster thanks to technology breakthroughs, boredom is thankfully not as common an occurrence. Or is it?
I certainly get bored often. I thought to myself, “maybe I’m just not super creative”, or “maybe I’m not as outgoing as some”, or “maybe I just randomly get bored easily.” I really had no idea. Then I heard about ADHD (it sounded a lot like what I was experiencing) and I had to learn more about it.
What I found was…alarming.
ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, is a relatively old condition that is being found at an all time high rate in kids and adults alike. It has been known to cause absent-mindedness, fidgeting, and…you guessed it, boredom. First mentioned in 1902 under the belief that the afflicted essentially had a lack of moral character, ADHD has since undergone numerous definition and classification changes. Some even questioned its existence and relevance altogether. Today, it is more prevalent than ever.
Personally, I have never been diagnosed with ADHD. No one in my family has either, which is supposed to be a big indicator of its presence. Scientists say if your family has it, you will probably get it too. Regardless, I have a few friends who you can sit there, look them in the eye, and talk to them about anything, and they simply won’t register that anything was said to them. At first it seemed pretty rude and standoffish, but that’s just who they are. They (unknowingly) do it to everyone. They just look bored and zoned out all the time.
So yeah, even though I don’t have it and its mere existence has been questioned, I’m pretty confident it’s real.
Especially with these facts and figures to back me up.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims 11% of children ages 4–17 have ADHD. And, from 2007 to 2013, the rate of diagnosis increased 15%. So what in the world is going on? Then it clicked: technology.
When I began this blog, I never thought about a potential link between ADHD and technology. I wanted to write about the effects of technology on the individual and on society, but I also wanted to learn about behavioral changes in people. As I’ve said a hundred times before, people simply cannot put down their phones, screens, or the internet. They are obsessed. And it creates a certain need for instant gratification in their brains. When that instant gratification isn’t met, boredom ensues. So while the world keeps moving faster and faster, people get increasingly more bored. It leads me to believe that an increase in screen usage thanks to the internet and tech is causing an increase in ADHD.
A theory that has been put forth says that going outside is good for people suffering with ADHD, as they have more to focus on and look at and interact with. And while going outside more often is probably a piece of advice we can all follow, it seems dumb to ignore that ADHD kids are worse off when inside (and therefore probably interacting with screens).
So if you are getting bored often, try going outside more. You will find yourself more alert, attentive, and simply feel better! If those don’t sound good enough, at least you won’t be bored, because like I said before: being bored is the worst.