On Boredom

Being bored to death is confronting life, said the concluding paragraph of my undergraduate dissertation. It continued: in boredom we get taken away from the trivialities of the world and towards whatever is important to us, which is why declarations of boredom often inadvertently answer questions such as

what am I doing?

why am I doing it?

what meaningful activities do I want to engage in?

True, feeling bored can be unpleasant. It can force us to stare at the clock and wish our time away. But the phenomenon of boredom transcends the experience itself. As Heidegger would argue, when we are bored we are made acutely conscious of the passing of time and therefore of the fleeting nature of life. It enables us to establish both where we are and where we want to be. Thus, it is through boredom that we are reminded of what it means to be alive.