Are you indifferent, restless or apathetic? Scientists identify a fifth type of boredom


Boredom (Photo credit: bigbluemeanie)

We all get bored from time to time don’t we but I never realised until now that there is actually a classification of boredom.  Who studies boredom I wonder?  And who goes into such depth as to come up with a fifth categorisation?  Sad.



We all abhor it, we may deplore it
but we can’t ignore it.
Each tiresome moment that stretches through time.
I’m bored, uninspired,
unexcited, unfired, dog-tired.
Ennui is the me that is me today,
in fifty shades of monotone grey,
dark, dank, thankless grey,
deep-down deathly grey,
drearily dismal bleary grey,
dull hull of a battleship grey
and so on ….. through my torridly boring day.
No-one to play with.
Nowhere to go.
Nothing to do.
I fidget, I pace,
I’m bored with my space
until I read, and am mesmerised,
that boredom’s been systemised.
If you’re withdrawn but relaxed that’s ‘indifferent’ boredom.
If you’re uncertain how to act, that’s ‘calibrating’ boredom.
If you want to be distracted, that’s ‘searching’ boredom.
If you feel you must react, that’s ‘reactant’ boredom.
Exciting stuff, but it’s not enough.
Like the Higgs Boson
a fifth type of boredom
has been discovered today.
What more can I say?
Why should I care?
What does it mean for me,
this thing called ‘Apathy’.


21st November 2013 – headline from the Independent

Notes:  “Are you indifferent, restless or apathetic? Scientists identify a fifth type of boredom.”  Science has known about four types of boredom for a while now, but a team of international scientists have now built on their research and discovered a fifth, “especially unpleasant” form of tedium.  Dubbed “apathetic boredom”, it elicits a feeling of learned helplessness similar to depression.  Apathetic boredom was reported in slightly more than a third of high school students in a recent survey in Germany – a fact the researchers found “alarming”.

3 thoughts on “Are you indifferent, restless or apathetic? Scientists identify a fifth type of boredom

  1. Pingback: The soothing sounds of a gently babbling blog post | Melanie's Life Online

    • Hi Melanie. I see from your blog that you have a buddhist leaning and have been recommended to like Dr Who! The world is full of coincidences – you might like a couple of my new posts – “The Moment” about the 50th anniversary of Dr Who and one I’m posting today about the Buddha’s birthplace. Enjoy and thanks for linking.

  2. OM… I must agree — I have seen this boredom in youth. It may be seen if you park in front of a middle school and watch the students that arrive — the numbers in the US may hopefully be lower than 1/3.
    ~ Eric

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s