I Know How To Have Fun. By Myself. With A Book. And A Blanket.

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You're so boring.

I can't count the number of times I've been told this. By classmates being cruel, or by "friends" teasing.

What is "boring" anyway?

Google tells me it means: not interesting, tedious.

What we all find "interesting" varies from person to person.

I find lots of things interesting, such as:

History
Art
Literature
Pyschology
Mythology
Reading in bed beneath a blanket

Things I find "tedious" include:

Maths
Reality TV
Football

That doesn't mean I find someone who *is* interested in maths or football a boring person.

To be clear, a person can enjoy playing sport *and* reading books, for example. We aren't limited to liking only introverted vs extroverted activities. I could like reality tv *and* history. It's good to have variation. Neither does it mean that all people who play sport are extroverts and all those who read books are introverts.

So why is it that those who enjoy reading, doing crosswords (or sudoku, if you like), jigsaws, or anything that usually requires quiet, alone time, are often labelled as boring?

The answer to that is mostly: society.

This is a sweeping generalisation but one that is active in our world nonetheless:

Activities that are quiet, sedentary and often done alone are boring.

Activities that are loud, active and done with others are fun and cool.

How has this come about?

The media perpetuates these notions in advertising and journalism. Catchy headlines with big print and exclamation marks, voice-over narrators shouting for our attention, telling us that drinking their energy drink is cool! That going to that music gig is awesome! To grab our attention they make everything loud and vibrant, thus we associate that with things we find desirable.

02 (a mobile network in the UK) ran this advert a few years ago:

"Are you the sort of person who stays in, catching up on catch up?" Why do that, when you could be having a "once in a lifetime experience" at a live music event or sporting match?

It basically implies that being at home, watching tv is alot less desirable than going to a music gig with hundreds of other people.

To many, yes, a music gig is more desirable than sitting at home alone but the subtle implications of this ad paint those who do like time alone at home as sort of boring, dull individuals. Who'd want to do that when you could be doing this? It's exciting.

You can argue that I'm being over sensitive, seeing things between the lines that aren't there. But these subtle insinuations have a greater impact on us than you might expect. They worm into our brains and influence our behaviour.

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