On Boredom When tedium takes its toll.

On Boredom When tedium takes its toll.

  • Words Pip Usher
  • Photograph Fanny Latour-Lambert

In Diary of a Cosmonaut: 211 Days in Space, Valentin Lebedev recorded his daily experiences during a record-breaking seven-month stint in space. Even as scientific experiments occupied his time, the monotony crept in; as he noted in his diary after only a week, “the drab routine has begun.” Boredom, it turns out, can affect anyone—including Soviet cosmonauts. Characterized by feelings of emptiness, frustration and apathy, it is widely recognized as a temporary emotional state that arises in response to tedium. 

For some, the result can be impulsive behaviors with negative consequences, such as gambling and drug abuse. Others may find themselves mindlessly scrolling through their apps in what has been dubbed “phone boredom.” Yet a growing number of psychologists are warning a...

The full version of this story is only available for subscribers

Want to enjoy full access? Subscribe Now

Subscribe Discover unlimited access to Kinfolk

  • Four print issues of Kinfolk magazine per year, delivered to your door, with twelve-months’ access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

  • Receive twelve-months of all access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

Learn More

Already a Subscriber? Login

Your cart is empty

Your Cart (0)