I’m Bored…Text Me.
Only the boring get bored, unless you’re bored already, which can happen to the best of us.
“Auto racing is boring except when a car is going at least 172 miles per hour upside down.” Dave Barry
If it wasn’t for bored people, we wouldn’t have commerce. Boredom is the single biggest reason we buy things today. We spend trillions each year, simply because we don’t know what to do with ourselves. Without bored people, economies would collapse and Walmart would be a hair salon.
During the New York City blackouts of ’65 and ’77, birthrates jumped dramatically. Unfortunately, so did looting and arson. Thieves stole 50 new Pontiacs from a Buick dealership in the Bronx and 4,500 looters were arrested. It’s nice to know bored people can apply themselves, especially if you take away their televisions and hairdryers.
Nobody was bored back in Neolithic times, mostly because you took your life in your hands just stepping out of your cave. Either a big animal was waiting to eat you, or some Neanderthal was hitting you over the head with a bone. Anyone who was bored back then either didn’t understand death or was dead already.
After World War II, however, things like heat-seeking missiles came along, turning most pilots into hysterical pant wetters.
At least during The Bronze Age and The Iron Age, everyone had some form of weapon to fight back. Swords, daggers and axes were all incorporated in one’s daily dress to show they weren’t to be messed with. Sometimes whole countries decided they weren’t to be messed with. These were called wars or “battles in a field.” Kings chose big, open fields so they could see which side was bluffing. A signed armistice meant you were bluffing.
Modern warfare made it even harder to be bored. Pilots during World War I didn’t have a lot to do, besides toss a few bombs and have the occasional dogfight, but their engines frequently failed, and parachutes only opened if you prayed a lot. After World War II, however, things like heat-seeking missiles came along, turning most pilots into hysterical pantwetters.
So I think it’s safe to say we haven’t always been bored. Not that we haven’t had bored or boring people in the past. They were known as aristocrats. Many were so bored, they inbred to the point where they were all hemophiliacs. Many aristocracies ended because they cut themselves shaving.
That still left the rest of us texting, dancercising and coming back from vacations extremely thirty.
My point is, being bored is relatively recent. I’d say it only goes back to Family Feud. After a few episodes, we honestly didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We embraced technology, we took up dancercise, we booked all-inclusive trips to reclaimed salt marshes in the Yucatan Peninsula. Cancun is essentially a salt marsh.
Here’s the problem, though. Everyone ended up taking the same dancercise classes. Occasionally, you’d get a terrorist who hated dancercise and blew up buildings instead. That still left the rest of us texting, dancercising and coming back from vacations extremely thirsty.
Along the way, we developed a dependence on the internet and messaging. We even tried Skype for a while, but our faces looked like cadavers with spinach between our teeth.
If you’re not a “giver,” texting will out you faster than a pink boa over a football jersey.
Texting appeals to us because we can tell people we’re bored without going into detail. This is important since there is no detail. We just need to know someone cares — or doesn’t have anything better to do. Texting is like checking our pulse. It’s how we know if we’re alive or not.
You could say “I’m bored…text me” has become the siren’s song of the 21st century. Who can resist helping out a fellow bored person? Certainly this is a reciprocal thing. You can’t just throw out text requests and not have some form of quid pro quo. If you’re not a “giver,” texting will out you faster than a pink boa over a football jersey.
And just as the siren’s song in Greek mythology landed sailors on the rocks, texting can land bored people in the hospital. A 2014 Surgical Technology Study found that staring at your phone — waiting for another bored person to text back — can subject your spine to up to 60 pounds of extra weight.
That’s a lot of weight on your spine, considering your head only weighs about 10 or 12 pounds. Chiropractors have noted cases of “Text Neck” where the individual lost all feeling in their arms and fingers. That’s when you end up texting “I’m bird, test me.” The good news is, people no longer think you’re boring. Bad news? They think you’re a tosser.
It might be time to break those boring habits. We need to say to boring people “Stop being bored, or you’ll end up with your cousin.”
And there’s no point telling bored people to stop texting so much. They won’t — or can’t. Boring people have big voids. Some have abysses. Take away their texting and what are they going to do? Remember what happened to aristocrats when they got bored?
It might be time to break those boring habits. We need to say to people “Stop being bored, or you’ll end up sleeping with your cousin.”
Therefore, here are some rules every bored person should consider:
Play The Sane Game: Boring as you are, you’re still sane. Instead of saying “I’m bored…text me,” how about “I’m sane, text me.” Smaller crowd, obviously, but a few sane friends is better than a bunch of boring idiots.
Watch Your Text Neck: The best way to avoid “Text Neck” is to keep saying to yourself, “If I stop now, I won’t end up with my cousin.” Normally this works — unless you’re already sleeping with your cousin.
Telling people you’re bored is like saying “I’m a basketball player.”
Turn Boring Into Exploring: There’s a big world surrounding you that doesn’t involve texting or sleeping with your cousin. Why not explore your full potential or at least stop ordering pizza from the same place.
Stop Saying You’re Bored: Telling people you’re bored is like saying “I’m a basketball player.” Eventually that’s all you’re known for. Even basketball players stop calling themselves basketball players after they finish in the NBA. They call themselves golfers.
Good luck, boring people. I’ve done all I can.
Robert Cormack is a freelance copywriter, novelist and blogger. His novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores.