I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts now that I am mostly unemployed, one of which is NPR’s Science Friday podcast. In catching up on back episodes, I came upon a topic from September 18th – the relationship, during the Romantic period, between science (natural philosophy at the time) and the arts. One vignette is about Samuel Taylor Coleridge helping his friend Humphrey Davy experiment with the effects of nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Davy finds that nitrous has an anesthetic effect, and writes a paper saying that this could be used in surgery. At the time, however, it was thought that the agony of surgeries like amputations was medically necessary, however, because it was believed that this mobilized the body to heal.
Now we know better, for physical ailments anyway, but this podcast has had me thinking all day. In my own experience, emotional pain can be very necessary to enact change or healing in a person’s life, much the way that physical pain was thought to be necessary to surgical patients in the 1800s. In thinking along these lines, it suddenly struck me that WoW is serving me as an anesthetic for my feelings of boredom at this point in my life.
I compared it to nitrous oxide. I enjoy playing WoW, just like I’m sure I’d enjoy taking some recreational nitrous oxide. I know WoW isn’t as extreme as abusing a medical anesthetic, but the connection was made in my mind. What I realized is that it may be necessary, in order for me to be more creative and more productive in my creative endeavors, to take a break from WoW so that I will have to feel my boredom. Hopefully it will motivate me to do something about it.
We’ll see how it goes. I want to see if I am in fact more productive, or if I am instead just more bored without WoW for a while.
Anybody out there had an experience of taking a break from some consuming hobby? What was it like for you?