from the world's big
Armed with today's advanced digital tools and itching to express ourselves, "boredom" is bringing out the best in us.
- While staying at home, many are exploring their creative sides to unprecedented levels, sharing their creations with the world in similarly novel, and sometimes collaborative, ways.
- People are finding amazing ways to create and to share from the safety of their homes using apps designed to promote expression and not simply distract users.
- Creative professionals are also stuck at home, facing unemployment, and a lack of access to their usual creative outlets.
The inspiration of boredom<p>Pandemic-related lockdowns and social distancing restrictions have led to millions of people around the world being shut in, isolated and increasingly bored. But might that actually be a good thing?</p><p><a href="https://www.uclan.ac.uk/staff_profiles/sandi_mann.php" target="_blank">Sandi Mann</a>, a senior psychology lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire and author of the books "The Upside of Downtime" and "The Science of Boredom," is researching how boredom can be a creative force. </p><p>In fact, being bored during this time is unleashing a veritable global creative renaissance. Of course, for many impacted by the virus, boredom is a luxury. Millions are out of work, including many creative professionals, and others are too busy dealing with working from home or job loss, homeschooling children without an end in sight, or are tragically coping with the virus itself. </p><p>However, for many, boredom has become a common theme in this new normal – and that might not be the worst thing. <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/07/health/boredom-benefits-quarantine-wellness/index.html" target="_blank">Mann advises</a> her audience to "Harness your boredom by getting bored," explaining that when you really let yourself be bored without distraction, you are forced to let your mind wander and find new ways to occupy itself.</p><p>"That means real boredom, which is where you have to let your mind wander," she says. "This is the real key. Daydreaming and mind wandering. Don't turn to the internet or try to scroll your boredom away."</p><p>While scrolling away might not fuel creativity, people are finding amazing ways to create and to share from the safety of their homes using apps designed to promote expression and not simply distract users. In one <a href="https://www.lightricks.com/blog-posts/how-is-covid-19-impacting-creativity-at-home" target="_blank">survey from Lightricks</a>, a software company that specializes in mobile tools for creative expression, over 70 percent of respondents said that using a creativity app helped them overcome anxiety and more than 90 percent responded that they use creativity apps to combat boredom. </p>
What are people doing to get creative under quarantine?<p> Every day people are going deep with amazing art projects and finding ingenious ways to stay occupied. The trend is, in part, inspired by the need to keep kids busy and engaged, but the wave of creativity goes way beyond this motivation. </p><p> Instead of shutting down and switching off, people have become creators of content rather than just passive consumers. </p><ul> <li>Early on in the pandemic, families and friends found ways to keep busy and have fun with creative TikTok dance videos. This trend has only picked up as the months have wore on, with COVID-19 related hashtags like #quarantine and #happyathome connecting users across the globe.</li> </ul><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@tommy_bracco/video/6806044372379929862" data-video-id="6806044372379929862" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px;" id="v64928368834841060"> <iframe name="__tt_embed__v64928368834841060" src="https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/6806044372379929862?lang=en-US" style="width: 100%; height: 897px; display: block; visibility: unset;"></iframe></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://www.tiktok.com/embed.js"></script><ul><li>Pinterest is another tech platform that is helping people get creative at home. With <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/pinterest-accelerates-tech-projects-as-pandemic-boosts-user-engagement-11591194991" target="_blank">searches up 60 percent</a> from this time last year and over 30 million new users joining the platform from January to June, DIY and craft projects are some of the most popular pins.</li><li>With public places becoming breeding grounds for coronavirus infection, classes and clubs for art forms like parkour and capoeira have <a href="https://www.candybar.co/blog/merchant-stories-move-academy-shie-boon/" target="_blank">moved to virtual spaces</a>, with different modes of movement.</li><li>New apps are also offering a digital space to be creative and maintain social networks, support others, and maintain mental health. One such app is Quickart. In a <a href="https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200708005658/en/Lightricks-Launches-%E2%80%9CQuickart%E2%80%9D-Turn-Images-Photos-Digital" target="_blank">press release</a>, the creators of the app explained that the pandemic has "accelerated consumer appetite for powerful, easy-to-use creative tools that empower users to unleash their artistic expression while offering them an escape." With filters like Split Colours (below) and AI-enhanced animation tools, this app is blowing users away and putting the power of advanced editing in the hand of every person – no professional skills required.</li></ul><p> <br> </p><div> </div><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@tommy_bracco/video/6806044372379929862" data-video-id="6806044372379929862" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px;" id="v42403778904227576"> </blockquote><script async="" src="https://www.tiktok.com/embed.js"></script>
@sereiadosuburbio via Instagram<ul><li>In one incredible project, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles tweeted a challenge for people to <a href="https://www.instyle.com/news/getty-museum-art-recreations" target="_blank">recreate famous works of art</a> at home. This unleashed an amazing display of creativity as people everywhere reached for everyday objects to reimagine masterpieces. </li><li>Using an app called <a href="https://mudeo.app/#/" target="_blank">Mudeo</a>, people are recording themselves singing, or playing instruments, and then layering additional tracks on top of themselves to create <a href="https://mudeo.app/song/k8mep9XaMy" target="_blank">rich self-accompanied arrangements</a> on the fly.</li></ul>
Creative professionals are getting in on the fun<p> Creative professionals are also stuck at home, facing unemployment and a lack of access to their usual creative outlets. </p><p> With amazing resilience, this sector is rising to the occasion in amazing ways that, thanks to technology, are inspiring millions of people around the world. </p><ul> <li>Professional musicians and <a href="https://www.pscp.tv/questlove/1lPKqLAVXaMxb" target="_blank">DJs</a> are playing free-access <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidalm/2020/03/31/when-in-quarantine-create/" target="_blank">online concerts and dance parties</a>. Collaborating from their homes in Brooklyn and Paris, for example, one rock school recorded a "family jam" of "With a Little Help From My Friends" by the Beatles, captioned with the words: "Created Under Confinement."</li> </ul><div> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zrP7YqaMry0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> </div><ul> <li>The <a href="https://forgefiction.com/quarantine-fiction/" target="_blank">#QuarantineFiction </a>campaign encourages authors (and aspiring authors) to write and share their stories, whether it's a memoir or a work of fiction. People can even compose together, and the best stories will be compiled in a book and made accessible all over the world.</li> <li>A <a href="https://www.voidprojects.org/#/home-muralfest-1-2020/" target="_blank">home mural festival</a> featuring artists from around the world, giving them the opportunity to come together and find a creative outlet together. One of the artists involved in the mural project, Jacoba Niepoort, told <a href="https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2020/05/home-muralfest/" target="_blank">This Is Colossal</a>: "Being cooped up has presented an opportunity to come together in new ways, both as coordinators and as artists. To share visuals of the space and time we're standing in now, created in solitude, but with the solidarity and simultaneousness being an important value-factor."</li></ul><div></div>
@daviddelamano_ via Instagram<p>Adapting creativity to suit the strange circumstances has born inspiring fruit with many otherwise disconnected aspiring artists finding connection, community and opportunities to create and distribute their work.</p><p>This, in turn, is helping to ease the anxiety, loneliness and boredom of lockdown. Of course, all of this creativity is propelled by the ability to share it with an unlimited audience online. </p>
Locked down and spreading wings<p>In 1665, the Great Plague raged across Europe, and Isaac Newton was sent home from his post at Cambridge. Confined indefinitely to his home, Newton got creative and invented calculus.</p><p>COVID-19 is another pandemic proving the creative force of adversity and boredom to inspire ingenuity and art. With agility and perseverance, people will find new ways to cultivate creativity and express themselves. With fun and jaw-dropping tools available on any phone, people everywhere are using their devices to create content and share it with the world, to inspire and be inspired. </p>
Pencil Kings will guide you from beginner to mastery with industry-leading teachers from Marvel and DreamWorks.
- In a stressful time, art therapy has been shown to relieve stress, stimulate the brain's pleasure center, and help you become emotionally resilient.
- Creating art stimulates the release of dopamine, which in turn raises self-esteem levels.
- Pencil Kings features world-class teachers from Marvel and DreamWorks guiding you through art therapy by drawing.
Teaching your child metacognitive techniques can improve their learning and life skills.
- Metacognition is the idea of "thinking about how we think" - this can give us insight into our feelings, needs and behaviors that allow us to adapt and grow.
- Metacognition can (and should) be taught from an early age to allow for students to do their best in school and in life.
- Simple forms of metacognitive thinking techniques can be taught at home and in the classroom.
Why children should learn metacognition from an early age<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUwNjM2NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNzI4MzUwMX0.rUZDnHDz-ATJTVDu4-8U4nv84X5rnGzAWCSN9UlDYh0/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C351%2C0%2C0&height=700" id="28119" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4d8ec0d774cb198fcd2ae27aebcdaa6d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="children standing on bright yellow background holding books concept of school learning metacognition" />
Metacognitive thinking in children can allow them to adapt and overcome obstacles at school and in life.
Photo by Rawpixel.com on Shutterstock<p>In simple terms, metacognitive thinking teaches us about ourselves. According to Tamara Rosier, a learning coach who specializes in metacognitive techniques, thinking about our thinking creates a perspective that allows us to adapt and change to what the situation needs.</p><p>A simple example of metacognitive thinking (or reframing) is this: </p><p><em>"Math tests make me anxious."</em> This is a statement, a thought. Turning to metacognition, this train of thought evolves into<em> "What about math tests make me anxious...and what can do I to change that?"</em> </p><p>According to Rosier, children who are taught to think of themselves as being either "good" or "bad" at a particular task can end up with a fixed mindset that makes them passive in approaching a challenge relating to that task. However, teaching kids to become more metacognitive helps them develop a mindset that leaves more room for growth and adaptation, promoting self-awareness and resilience.</p><p>This isn't just a theory, there are many studies that prove the worth of teaching metacognition to children. <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053810013000068" target="_blank">Research suggests</a> that as students' metacognitive abilities increase, they also achieve at higher levels. </p><p>Even beyond academic learning, metacognition can help young people gain awareness of their own mental states so they can begin to answer important questions like "how do I live a happy life?" and "how do I feel good about myself?"</p>
How can we teach our children metacognitive thinking?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzUwNjM2OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MjQ0MjMwN30.dZjm64puC1SltpbYsJzQEgYsyJvfBqTK-JV9Xfqy7a8/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C87%2C0%2C87&height=700" id="9e72d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="80b44c15587c39705ddfc7488eaf365e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="" />
Teaching children metacognition can happen at school and at home with just a few simple tricks...
Photo by ImageFlow on Shutterstock<p><strong>Teach children how their brains are wired for growth and productivity.</strong></p><p>How your child thinks about learning will greatly impact their performance while learning. <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ryan_Korstange/publication/330563817_Developing_Growth_Mindset_Through_Reflective_Writing/links/5c4861b8299bf12be3ddba12/Developing-Growth-Mindset-Through-Reflective-Writing.pdf" target="_blank">Research shows</a> that when students are able to develop a growth mindset (compared to a fixed mindset), they are more likely to engage in reflective thinking about how they can learn and grow which serves as motivation to do so. </p><p><strong>Provide opportunities to reflect on what they've learned.</strong></p><p><a href="https://www.edutopia.org/blog/8-pathways-metacognition-in-classroom-marilyn-price-mitchell" target="_blank">According to Edutopia</a>, higher-order thinking skills are able to be fostered when students recognize their own cognitive growth. Simple questions like<em> "before this test, I thought earthquakes were caused by _____, but now, I understand them to be caused by ______."</em> </p><p>This kind of thinking promotes the idea that they have learned a new fact or acquired a new skill, which allows them to become more motivated to learn and grow. A very simple way of doing this could be having students keep an education journal where they track things like what tasks they found easy each week at school, what assignments they found most difficult, and what new things they learned as a result of their studies. </p><p><strong>Simple interactions in the classroom can promote metacognition.</strong></p><p>Even the way teachers interact with students can help improve metacognition. Before a class, a teacher could give a few tips on how to actively listen and learn. Following the class, the teacher could ask students to write down three key points from the class. After, the teacher should share what they believe to be three key points from the class and ask students to self-check how closely their answers matched the teacher's answers. </p><p>This activity is able to increase active listening and improve metacognitive monitoring skills at the same time. </p><p><strong>Making the most of "teachable moments" everywhere (at home, in the classroom, etc.) </strong></p><p>You can model metacognition by talking through problems. Children can learn a lot from listening to their parents or teachers use higher-order thinking strategies (or metacognitive thinking) out loud. </p><p>Taking advantage of "teachable moments" like this can allow children to see metacognitive thinking in action and promote the idea that everyone makes mistakes and the best way to correct those mistakes is to work them through and think about it as an opportunity to learn and improve. </p>
Big Think's co-founder and CEO, Victoria Montgomery Brown, offers six pieces of advice to founders in her forthcoming book.
- Big Think's CEO and co-founder Victoria Montgomery Brown explores the challenges of being a female entrepreneur in her forthcoming book, Digital Goddess.
- In one chapter, Brown offers key insights into how to raise capital when you have no money and no MVP.
- She advises to use every edge at your disposal; perseverance and tenacity are essential.
Credit: Harper Collins<p><strong><a href="https://bit.ly/2ZAbMqO" target="_blank">Get the free download:</a></strong><strong> 7 Things You Need to Sort Out Before Starting a Business</strong></p><p><em>Digital Goddess: The Unfiltered Lessons of a Female Entrepreneur </em>by Big Think founder Victoria Montgomery Brown is available for <a href="https://bit.ly/2B9sCDz" target="_blank">preorder now</a>.</p>
Watch The Daily Show comedian Jordan Klepper and elite improviser Bob Kulhan live.
These days, if you don't laugh, you might just scream. Enter comedian and The Daily Show regular Jordan Klepper!