Sherry Turkle, PhD (Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology, Founding Director, MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), shares the neuroscience behind the developmental importance of having a capacity for boredom at the #AskTheExperts webinar “PITR, IKR?: Youth and Communication in the Digital Age” on October 19, 2022.

[Dr. Sherry Turkle] “The boring bits.” Now, that’s how we’ve come to talk about the hesitation and pauses, the natural rhythms of face-to-face human conversation. And in part, we denigrate the spontaneous pathway of human conversation because social media offers us an alternative, a rush of constant stimulation. Those reels, those curated responses, we come to think this is how life is supposed to be. But it turns out that a capacity for boredom and even boredom in company, boredom at a dinner table, is one of the most important developmental achievements of childhood. Neuroscience teaches that when we experience boredom, the brain is replenishing itself. We’re laying down the pathways for a stable sense of self. When bored, we learn to go within ourselves and develop our imagination.

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Ask the Experts—Webinar

PITR, IKR?: Youth and Communication in the Digital Age

The latest research (and perspectives from teens themselves) on trends in youth digital communication and tips for creating positive and connection-centered communication online or offline.

Social Media
Media Literacy
Social Relationships