Three teenagers in Duncan, Oklahoma, shot and killed a college student from Australia just jogging by. Why? Because they were bored.
This happened not in some big city but in a small Oklahoma town of less than 24,000. Boring, perhaps (speaking as a product of a small Oklahoma town). But after the jump we see that the teens, aged 15, 16, and 17, were all involved with social media, videos, iPhones, a giant TV, and rap music. They had lots of stimulation. So why were they so bored, bored enough to kill?
The fact is, constant stimulation such as our entertainment technology provides INCREASES boredom. A person gets tired of all this stuff and requires higher and higher levels of stimulation before they can have an effect. So in this case, they got that thrill of transgression from killing someone.
The ancients considered boredom to be a dangerous spiritual condition–a deadening ungrateful insensitivity to God’s gift of existence–and it has been described as a major spiritual problem of our times. It doesn’t always lead to murder, of course. But it can lead to cheating on one’s spouse, abandoning one’s children, substance abuse, and soul-destroying attitudes such as ingratitude, hatred of life, and despair. If the answer isn’t more stimulation, what’s the solution to this kind of boredom? [Read more...]