Please, readers! If you experience disinterest, apathy, ennui, malaise, dysthymia, lassitude, or neurasthenia as you peruse this essay… click away to safety! If you sense your cognition tumbling towards a fetid swamp of brain-paralyzing boredom — abandon me! I don’t want your death on my conscience.
The Perils of FDS (Fun Deficiency Syndrome)
Laugh Loud, Laugh Hard, Live Long
Gamification: Turning Work Into Play
Boredom is a killer, suggests an essay in the April 2010 International Journal of Epidemiology. Researchers Annie Britton and Martin Shipley at University College London examined questionnaires completed by 7,524 civil workers in 1985-1988 that queried the bureaucrats on their interest level regarding work. Multiple-choice options ranged from experiencing boredom “not at all” to “all the time.” In 2009, the surveyors reconnected with their subjects. They discovered that those who expressed severe job boredom were 2.5 times more likely to be dead of cardiovascular disease. Their conclusion: “those who report being bored are more likely to die younger than those who are not bored.”
Were the victims “bored to death”? Can their employers be imprisoned for murder? In the future, can we indict all droning bores on charges of “assault with a lethal weapon”? Not really, no, and no. Shipley and Britton admit that boredom is not the specific cause of the victims’ demise. Nobody suddenly collapsed face-first on their keyboard, crushed by an actuarial task. Truth is — small amounts of daily boredom won’t hurt you. You can safely continue to launder your clothes and ride your exercise bike.
But when boredom becomes chronic, it’s dangerous. The numb condition lures desperate humans into “make-me-feel-alive” behavior like over-eating, alcoholism, sex addiction, smoking, drug dependency, self-mutilation, fist-fighting, off-road racing, pathological gambling, and vandalism. It can plunge one into poor grades in school or poor work performance....
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