loneliness, uncertainty and boredom

Lynda Barry at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre:

Barry’s impact on the assembled Goddard employees was immediate; from the moment she arrived, she insisted on abandoning all electronic devices. “They were really flipped out about it,” says Barry. “The phone gives us a lot but it takes away three key elements of discovery: loneliness, uncertainty and boredom. Those have always been where creative ideas come from.”

Going to a coffee shop, walking down the street, driving across the country, waiting in line at the bank: these each used to involve some degree of loneliness, uncertainty and boredom. But that’s since been almost completely eradicated by the poison gas of the mobile phone.

People on their devices are not lonely, uncertain or bored. But that’s because they’re not actually there at all.