OPINION | LET'S TALK: Article lists most boring things to do


OK, look. Boring is good.

Well, it's been looking better and better in a world handing us everything from a two-year-and-counting pandemic to Politicians Gone Wild to a riot at the U.S. Capitol to Russia's attack on Ukraine to daily shootings to ... well, that Oscar slap that left us all shocked, stunned and disappointed in a Hollywood celebrity many of us admired.

I could take a big dose of Boring right now. Good old, blood-pressure-stabilizing, paint-dry-watching, tax-law-book-reading, made-to-see-your-grandparents'-home-movies-over-and-over bor-ring.

Which is why I couldn't resist reading a recent msn.com article, "People Will Find You Boring if You Love to Do This, New Study Says," in which Alesandra Dubin writes that "certain stereotypically boring pastimes can lead to social stigma that stymies success." She cites a study conducted at the University of Essex and published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

The study unearthed the "jobs, characteristics and hobbies that are generally considered to be the most boring among all professions, qualities and pastimes." Feedback came from 500 people over five experiments.

The most boring hobbies, according to the study:

GOING TO CHURCH

OK. My churchgoing self has to roll my eyes at this one because it, and "religious" faith in general, is always the first thing that gets picked on. Granted, some church services may be more, er, staid than others. And yes, there are some who attend church just to showboat. But others attend with a sincere desire to learn more about their faith; to get some life lessons; to be lovingly goaded into repenting for/changing lousy behavior; to fellowship with other churchgoers. To them, churchgoing is not a hobby, it's spiritual nourishment. And if you're the right kind of hungry, you're not looking for your Sunday Services to be Showtime at the Apollo (although some services can come close!).

WATCHING TV

I get why this is on here. If you're trying to spend time with a grown-up version of Mike Teavee, that kid in the old "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" movie — somebody whose idea of quality time with you is perpetually sitting at your side and watching Netflix while snarfing popcorn — then yeah, you're going to rank TV watching as boring.

Ironically, from an older TV watcher's perspective, it can be a challenge to find what society would consider "boring" TV material to watch. With all the Kardashians and the housewives and the Bridgertons and other shows bearing the dubious gifts of increasingly graphic sex and violence, one must labor to find shows that are free of all that. I suspect those who categorized TV watching as boring have witnessed oldsters clinging desperately to the "clean" programs on HGTV and nostalgia channels like Cozi and MeTV, and shaken their heads in pity.

BIRD WATCHING

I haven't formally gone into ornithology, but do admit to enjoying seeing various birds fly past the condo balcony, especially flocks of geese apparently on their way to/from Little Rock's MacArthur Park. And to view them better, I've thought about turning to Amazon.com for a more powerful pair of binoculars. (I'll just have to remember to refrain from spying on all the other stuff going on in the area. "Rear Window"-ing got waaay nonboring, as James Stewart's character found out in the 1954 movie of that name.)

The "boringness" study, according to Dubin's piece, also found that people who live in small cities and towns are seen as more boring than the big-city slickers, and that data analyzers, accountants, bankers and "cleaners" (I assuming this includes janitors, maids, window washers and such) are seen as having the most snooze-worthy jobs. "So taken together, that means that ... an overall boring person would be a religious data-entry worker who lives in a small town and likes watching TV" and would be disliked, thought to be cold and less competent, and avoided as a result. This can lead to loneliness and put these folks "at greater risk of harm, addiction and mental health issues."

To anyone who fits any of these descriptions and have been thought of as "boring," I say take heart. The world has been too nonboring lately — so much so that, just like we ladies were attracted to the bad guys in our dating years, got hurt and (ideally) developed an appreciation for the quiet nerd next door, there's bound to be an nonboring backlash. People will start to appreciate those thought of as boring ... boring as in stable, consistent and dependable.

I definitely appreciate you. Although, TV watchers, I may have to wrestle that remote away from you if you're watching "The Walking Dead" reruns.

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Does the story reveal who's considered "exciting"? Well, yeah. The top five most exciting jobs:

◼️ Performing arts. (And, the local actors, musicians, singers and arts teachers muttered in unison, "Too bad it's not the best paying, unless you're Beyonce.")

◼️ Science. (Oh yeah. Reeeal exciting, Dr. Anthony Fauci would probably say.)

◼️ Journalism. (Ha. Well, it can be exciting, and, we were all too recently reminded, dangerous.)

◼️ Health. (Insert collective groans from all the covid-weary health-care workers.)

◼️ Teaching. (I can definitely see some chalk-board erasers being thrown.)

Engage in the exciting pastime of emailing: hwilliams@adgnewsroom.com