Boredom’s far-reaching consequences
Here is an interesting take on the Grim Reaper heuristic from Tom Jacobs at Miller-McCune magazine. According to what’s called “terror management theory,” anything that threatens our sense of meaning and purpose can lead us to reassert our values and beliefs–not always in positive ways. Thinking about death will do this, as will profound loneliness. It’s existential dread of being alone in a meaningless world. Now, this new research suggests that simple boredom can have the same effect, causing us to circle the wagons around “us” and disparage “them.” That’s because boredom is more than not having anything interesting to do. It is at its root a failure to find any meaning to the activity of life.
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