Smartphones Becoming a Solution to Boredom

October 25, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. boredom (n.)
[bawr-duhm, bohr-] – the state of being tired and unhappy from doing nothing or doing uninteresting activity
Example: He watches TV to kill boredom during the weekends.

2. buster (n.) [buhs-ter] – someone or something that breaks up or destroys something
Example: The fire busters arrived immediately after the burning house was reported.

3. dull (adj.) [duhl] – not active or busy
Example: She goes to the mall to shop during dull days.

4. constantly (adv.) [kon-stuhnt-ly] – continually happening or often happening
Example: The athlete practiced constantly before the competition.

5. productive (adj.) [pruh-duhk-tiv] – creating good results by doing an activity
Example: She took a part-time job to be productive during summer break.

Read the text below.

With a lot of fun and entertaining apps, smartphones today are used not only for communication but also to kill boredom.

According to a survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 42% of mobile phone users in the US use their phones when experiencing boredom.

Researchers agree that people have developed a habit of using smartphones when bored. Christopher Lynn, an anthropology professor from the University of Alabama, compares the use of smartphones to other usual boredom busters such as smoking cigarettes or chewing a gum.

Lynn says whenever there is dull time, such as when waiting for a friend or when sitting in a bus, people feel they should be doing something. They then use their phones to take away the worried feeling.

But some researchers say people who constantly use their smartphones during their free time miss opportunities for personal or creative thinking. Canadian blogger Jeremie Williams says that before, he would think and write down ideas during dull time. Lately, however, he prefers playing games on his phone.

Many people, on the other hand, believe using smartphones during dull time can be productive. Joel Marx, a 25-year old research assistant says he relies on his smartphone for news updates and for managing his schedule.

Alexandra Reed, a self-employed mother, has the same opinion. She says that during free time, instead of watching TV, she learns about many things from reading social networking sites through her phone.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         In your opinion, is using smartphones to avoid boredom a good thing or a bad thing? What makes you say so?
·         Aside from using smartphones, what other activities can people do to avoid boredom?

Discussion B
·         Why do you think people have become so dependent on their mobile phones?
·         Do you think people can still live normally without the devices? Please explain your answer.


October 25, 2012