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When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to be bored.
“Go outside and play. Make up a game. Use your imagination!” my parents said.
And so we went outside. We made up games and played with our friends. We actually talked to each other (and fought with each other!).
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As a busy adult, I’ve long wanted a moment of boredom. Boredom is a luxury!
The best part about boredom is that it can lead to wonderfully creative ideas.
Kids today have no idea what it was like to be bored — back then literally nothing was on television, no Internet, no Spotify.
The video games we had in the 1980s were visually uninteresting (though I spent hours playing “Frogger” and “Donkey Kong”).
Screen time was unheard of -- and now it is something kids and parents argue about every day. And as a result these days, kids struggle to imagine and create their own entertainment.
Then came social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic. There was only so much looking at our phones that our brains could take. And we ran out of shows to binge upon.
We started to crave other ways to spend all this time at home we are having now.
We want to keep communicating, encouraging, laughing and, most importantly, connecting.
And that has led to some wonderfully creative family projects.
For instance, I’ve loved the family dance videos, such as this one from New Zealand and the coronavirus take on "Les Miserables" by this British family.
One of my favorites of these family endeavors was a video made by Ian Prior and his family. They recreated the introduction to “Growing Pains” with the theme song utilizing his very cheerful and patient family and called it “Growing Bored.”
As my assistant and I work from home to get ready for “The Daily Briefing,” “Storytime with Dana,” and “The Five,” we often hear my husband Peter collapsing in laughter, unable to breathe, because of a video or a meme that he’s just been sent from his son or a friend. Here’s one of his favorites.
We’ve gotten such a kick out of all of it. It’s really kept our spirits up. Keep it coming, Internet!
When some memes have been circulated in the past I have observed that, “Some people have too much time on their hands.” Well, now they do and the results are hilarious.
So if you’re looking for a silver lining to this shutdown, where boredom has become something we are all grappling with at various times during the day, the reinvigorated imaginations of our fellow humans is certainly one.