In my last Culture, Consumption, and Marketing class, the idea of micro-boredom came up. My first thought was: What’s micro-boredom? I had never heard the term before. It turns out it is a relatively new trend that has people feeling bored with any spare time they have. Remember waiting in line at the supermarket? How about walking across campus? Standing around while waiting for your friend to show up? Were you bored? That’s micro-boredom. I thought it sounded funny, and pathetic that people would be bored when given a few spare minutes here and there. So did my wife actually. But then I started monitoring myself and it turns out that I do, in fact, suffer from micro boredom. My phone died just yesterday and I was not able to look up my email when my wife went to the bathroom. Yep, I noticed and was actually disappointed. I feel pathetic just writing this. So, did we as a society become less capable of patience, or have marketers and new products caused this shift in behavior? Does it matter?
Wow, I need to pause here and explain what just happened around me. Talk about well-timed… I am currently sitting in front of the TV watching the Superbowl, where advertising is king, and what comes on? Watch this:
Apparently, Samsung has clued into the micro-boredom trend. At this point, I don’t know why a pencil will improve my smart-phone experience, but I guess it may bring a phone closer to a tablet. Either way, the phone seemed cool because I know what it is like to be bored while standing in a line, and Samsung is offering a solution. Maybe marketers should take note and start addressing this problem with better apps, phones, and who knows what else they can come up with. Thanks Samsung? Or did you cause me to be rather pathetic in the first place?