Tuesday, February 23, 2010

the ethics of boredom

There is something almost magical about an abandoned newsroom - it's like a giant reminder the world goes on without us prodding it this way and that. But there is also something haunting about tv screens flickering away, silently behind empty desks; a portrait of the hollow, skittering world of a 24-hour news cycle and its cousin, the modern appetite for constant consumption of information.

What am I bringing this up for? Well the general gets personal.

As I sit here in an empty newsroom with nothing to do, I start to feel guilty. There is no news around, and so I am reduced to filling my time with non-work related activities.

Some nights, things are insanely busy and I haven't time to do anything except write/edit stories, call the emergency services and monitor the news. But other nights, like tonight, I've written one story in 4 hours and I'm completely bored.

During these quiet times I struggle to stay awake and stimulated, and feel extremely lazy. But there's nothing I can do - the news is the news, and I can't make it up. In fact, if I ever do that, you have permission to shoot me.

Usually I end up reading blogs, news sites, reading a book, writing on here, writing poems, listening to a podcast, making coffee and wasting time on facebook. It's inspiring stuff...

So I'm wondering, what are the ethics of being paid to do nothing, and how can I use my time more wisely?

The best nights are when there's just enough to keep you busy, but not overwhelmed. Unfortunately, those nights are rare. Sometimes, it makes me wish I was a manual labourer with a much more obvious path, and a more rewarding one (see: post on washing up). But I doubt I'd survive out there in the real world!

So, people, tell me: what can I do in the downtimes that is worthwhile and good, or, alternatively, how should I think about these times when there is nothing to do?


Thora and Dean said...

Forget the ethics of boredom. What about the ethics of being able to shoot someone because they told you you could?

sophg said...

sheesh Thora. I was just having a good old navel gaze and you come along and ask a serious philosophical question with implications for the whole of humanity... How dare you!! ;)

thora said...

um soz dude...blame dean :)