Why you Shouldn’t Trust Boredom: TEDxValparaiso University Talk Makes the Main TED Website

Kevin Gary, Ph.D.

“I will always remember my son’s first day of school. Lucas was five years old and he was going to kindergarten, and he was so excited,” Kevin Gary, Ph.D., professor of education says at the start of his TEDx talk. “And I’ll never forget that day when I came home, I was eager to check in with him to hear, “How did it go?” And Lucas’s response was, ‘Dad, I’m tired of hearing about hallway procedures.’”

Professor Gary has spent a lot of time researching one of the most basic recurring experiences we all dread: boredom. What is it? What does it mean about our situation? What kind of effect does it have, and, perhaps most importantly, what can we do about it?

These are the questions that Professor Gary addressed during his presentation, titled “Why You Shouldn’t Trust Boredom” at the 2023 TEDx event at Valparaiso University in January. Now that talk is being featured on the main TED website where everyone can benefit from what he’s learned. 

“I am grateful there is interest in boredom! Avoiding boredom or resigning ourselves to it, we can miss out on so much,” Professor Gary says. 

During his talk, Professor Gary touches on his experience as a teacher, classroom observer, and father, examining the several ways he’s seen boredom experienced, dealt with, and processed in the eyes of students and teachers. His research is also the subject of his book, “Why Boredom Matters: Education, Leisure, and the Quest for a Meaningful Life” published through Cambridge University Press in 2022.

Professor Gary’s talk can be seen here. The next TEDxValparaiso University event will take place Friday, February 16, 2023 with the theme of “Solve for X.” More information on the event can be found here