I recently came across this article on boredom written through the lens of the 19th century existentialist philosopher and social critic, Soren Kierkegaard. He argues that the nature of boredom is such that the most common coping strategies often result in a person not realizing they are bored or are boring others. Boredom is really an expression of lack of meaning, he says.
“How dreadful boredom is — how dreadfully boring; I know no stronger expression, no truer one, for like is recognized only by like… I lie prostrate, inert; the only thing I see is emptiness, the only thing I live on is emptiness, the only thing I move in is emptiness. I do not even suffer pain… Pain itself has lost its refreshment for me. If I were offered all the glories of the world or all the torments of the world, one would move me no more than the other; I would not turn over to the other side either to attain or to avoid. I am dying death. And what could divert me? Well, if I managed to see a faithfulness that withstood every ordeal, an enthusiasm that endured everything, a faith that moved mountains; if I were to become aware of an idea that joined the finite and the infinite.”
It also explains why the way we often choose to alleviate boredom does not solve the underlying problem but can sometimes make it worse. Click here to read the full article.