Danckert and Eastwood argue that “boredom occurs when we are caught in a desire conundrum, wanting to do something but not wanting to do anything,” and “when our mental capacities, our skills and talents, lay idle—when we are mentally unoccupied.” - Margaret Talbot
Theodor Adorno argued that leisure is fundamentally shaped by “the social totality”—and is “shackled” to work, its supposed opposite: “Boredom is a function of life which is lived under the compulsion to work, and under the strict division of labor.” So-called free time—obligatory hobbies and holidays that reconcile us to the capitalist economy’s coldly regimented workday—is really a sign of our unfreedom. - Margaret Talbot
Acedia, a “kind of unreasonable confusion of mind,” was once considered sinful for medieval monks. It rendered them “idle and useless for every spiritual work.” As opposed to its modern day widespread disposition, this feeling was typically reserved for monks and the upper echelons of society.
"Heidegger, one of the preeminent theorists of boredom, classified it into three kinds: the mundane boredom of, say, waiting for a train; a profound malaise he associated not with modernity or any specific experience but with the human condition itself; and an ineffable deficit of some unnameable something that sounds thoroughly familiar to us." - Margaret Talbot