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Thread: People getting more boring with age.

  1. #1 People getting more boring with age. 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    People getting more boring with age.

    Time makes the world and our experiences less stimulating. Thus people arent getting more boring. The WORLD is what gets more boring to an individual and inhibits the natural exploration and curiosity instinct.

    You can use a counter argument there and say "Nothing stops you from doing more fun stuff". Yet a guy who has tried surfing may say "Been there done that". Also imagination fills so many gaps. Skiing? I can imagine whats thats like - so wont try that. As imagination and experiences grow. The world simply has less and less ways of fulfilling that spark.

    When it comes to socially being labeled as boring. Imagine this scenario. A man is sitting at a busstop, and some kids ask if he wants to do something they themselves consider fun and the guy declines. He may be labeled as boring. While HE considers their trivial and mundane forms of entertainment as non-stimulating and boring subjective to his own life experiences.

    Anyway. I dont think people get more boring with age. But rather as experiences through a lifetime piles up in your head, and the more knowledge you have of the world - the WORLD is what becomes boring, not you. It is not the persons fault that our world holds such a limited array of stimulating factors.

    Again this can be counter argumented with "Wrong, there are TONNS of stuff to do" yet imagination fills alot of holes. And memory aswell (Done it once, done it permanently).

    So my viewpoint is that, people arent getting more boring with age. The world gets more boring with age. I also think this is why its harder and harder to be happy in life. Because the diminnishing returns of happiness scales with a persons knowledge and experiences.

    Thoughts?


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  3. #2  
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    So my viewpoint is that, people arent getting more boring with age. The world gets more boring with age. I also think this is why its harder and harder to be happy in life. Because the diminnishing returns of happiness scales with a persons knowledge and experiences.

    Thoughts?
    I don't see the world as more boring now. I'm less busy with no kids in the house, no full-time job or business, but that just means I have more time for interests in other things.

    And I'm certainly not seeing any 'diminishing returns' of happiness because I know more than I did before.

    The one thing that distinguishes some older people, and the older they are the more it can become true, and that is the accumulating burden of grief and worry from having more and more of the people you know and love dying or becoming frail. Some people sail serenely through such losses and concerns, most don't. More likely, different people have different thresholds for this inevitably increasing fact of life to become a problem - some people die before they reach their threshold.


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    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    I would say that most people experience what you describe to one degree or another. Are you a young adult? It sounds like you have come to that point in life where you realize that there's not much more in the world to amaze or entertain you.

    So now you're ready to transition into the phase of life where you find meaning and contentment in what you do, and not imitating what other people have done or discovered. It involves some soul searching, and it sounds like you haven't yet found something that fulfills your life through imitating other people's experiences.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    The one thing that distinguishes some older people, and the older they are the more it can become true, and that is the accumulating burden of grief and worry from having more and more of the people you know and love dying or becoming frail. Some people sail serenely through such losses and concerns, most don't. More likely, different people have different thresholds for this inevitably increasing fact of life to become a problem - some people die before they reach their threshold.
    On the extreme cases, yes.

    But for once i agree with raziel. The older people get. On average the more boring they become. Not sure if it's just the people i spend time with, or if it's with everybody. But i agree, the imagination may be like "been there done that". There can be physical limitations. Psychological limitations. No more kiddisch/foolish experiments. But still, it seems like older people forgot how to have fun..

    Yes, older people can still have fun, but not as quickly. Fast jokes go right past them, and being hearing impared or sight impared doesn't really help on being the observer.

    My parents are the prime source of this way of thinking. My mother only does housework, and some hobbies she started when she was about 35 years (aerobics). My father is handicapt, and can't ride his motorcycle anymore, had to sell his boat, and is to sight impared or feeling impared (no sense of touch in hands) to do anything usefull with modern technology. This way he has no more hobbies.

    I tried proposing hobbies, like chess, singing, or whatever, but fell on deaf ears. Being boring is what the observer sees. What the person actually needs is to get the heck up and do something with their life. While they still can. 3 years ago, my father had trouble walking. So he gave up everything.. His skills are still plummeting rapidly, he now walks like a 190 year old..

    Anyone knows a hobby for a 56 year old guy. Who can't walk, but can move his legs slightly, can move his toes/feet, hands, but can't feel anything in them. Has trouble remembering and was operated for glaucoma in both eyes, now eye pressure of 6, vision of about 30%. Not just that, but is an extreme pessimist, thinks everything everybody does is lame and useless, and who doesn't see the fun in living anymore. Because i can't think of anything, i just want to cheer him up ....
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Maybe it has more to do with becoming more set in one's way and less willing to be excited by things, the thing you have to remember about life is it is about balance for highs there are also lows. What this means as when we get older we become more capable of desensitizing ouselve's the effects of sadness, greif.... what we consider the negative effects of emotion in general. Now this is fine to help us cope with some of the things life can conjure up, but allowing this desensitized state to take a permanent hold, to dial down emotions to such a degree all the time can make the world seem a very dull place and things become no longer exciting. So sometimes it's necessary to take a few risks, do some things that scare you, not necessarily dangerous but scary. In this way the emotions can be dialed back up it can help make it worthwhile to feel alive and generate excitement and enthusiasm.
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    I think it's true that some people let themselves get boring...sad really. But I tend to find it's often the same people who never embraced continuously learning as the key to life--and that's something that likely started when they were teenagers. The borings ones stayed in the same place, did the same things most of their life, and never actively improved themselves through the years. The more interesting people continued to learn, exposed themselves to new experiences, and weren't shy about picking up a new hobby or skill--often they traveled as well. The most interesting man I know lived a mile from me; his name was Bob. He wasn't much to look at, thick glasses by the time I knew him, an artifical leg and partially disabled arm from being run over by a logging truck as a younger man. But the guy had an unquenchible thirst for learning--not in a formal college way, but through the eyes of a house full of books on an incredible range of subjects--a blend of classic literature, history, some undergraduate level science, and books about his hobbies. He'd learned to build wooden boats (something he taught me), and built himself a 30 footer completely rigged so he could operate it offshore. He was a Saab dealer and a mechanic and had built himself a manual shifting car with the clutch and shift on the steering wheel. He used to rebuilt make-and-break engines for a local museums. One day I found him grinding away in his machine shop to make himself a new prostetic. He built a small art gallery and invited artist to trade use of the building for teaching him to paint and draw. I hope as a teacher, I'm able to knudge teenagers to never loose their natural curiousity and to never stop learning. Boring people let their minds go stale. I'm a 50 year old going back to college to leaning to teach and get my credentials--and teaching myself to draw as an extra hobby.

    --
    Some hobbies for a 56 year old might be fly fishing, playing music, volunteering with the community. canoeing, reconnecting with old friends. There's a lot of physically, emotional and mentally stimulating ways to stay alive and interesting.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; October 15th, 2012 at 01:46 PM.
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    Volunteering to a community make society better! thx to old people.
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    Do you mean boring to themselves, or boring to younger people? I used to think old folks talking about things like cataracts, joint pain, etc., were a huge bore. Now, my friends and I find these things endlessly fascinating.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Do you mean boring to themselves, or boring to younger people? I used to think old folks talking about things like cataracts, joint pain, etc., were a huge bore. Now, my friends and I find these things endlessly fascinating.
    I agree. As my body age, I tend to find the sensation of "getting older" (the decreasing stamina in not being able to pull all-nighters as often as I could have, and aches and squeaks in my joints) fascinating.

    I only hope my mind will just be as alert and sharp as it has been so far as I age.
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  11. #10  
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    What the person actually needs is to get the heck up and do something with their life. While they still can. 3 years ago, my father had trouble walking. So he gave up everything.. His skills are still plummeting rapidly, he now walks like a 190 year old..
    I think it's true that some people let themselves get boring...sad really. But I tend to find it's often the same people who never embraced continuously learning as the key to life--and that's something that likely started when they were teenagers. The borings ones stayed in the same place, did the same things most of their life, and never actively improved themselves through the years.
    All I have to do is think back to my grandparents. As they got older, they allowed themselves to do less and less of what they'd done before. My grandfather managed to sneak in two 10 year stints in full time work after compulsory retirement from the army. But by the time he left that last job (when they found out he was 75) they were already going out to events where there was dancing less than they had before - and that went completely when my grandmother could no longer do that - and they never looked around for something to do instead. Their last 20 years consisted of doing less and less of the same old stuff.

    Now I look at my 87 year old mother. She lives alone since my father died and she suffers from depression a bit. But her motto for living is Get up, Get dressed, Get going. She belongs to a couple of clubs with interesting activities, every week she plays mah jongg and some card games with friends, she goes to exercise classes on different days of the week, she goes out with friends to the theatre at least a couple of times a month. Until this year, she's also done a bit of that silly entertainment stuff - getting dressed up to mime and dance to music for New Year parties and the like. I can't just 'call in', because I never know whether she'll be home or not. I have to ring first and check.

    I wouldn't say she ever 'embraced continuous learning' but she's done a lot of family history work and she did some of those Third Age open university style things 20 odd years ago. But caring for my dad got in the way of a lot of that. Personally I find her conversation a bit boring - but that's just because I've heard her opinions before, now they have narrowed and hardened up as she's aged but she was never a 'free spirit' to begin with. And I don't know most of the friends she talks about, so that's not very interesting. But she has a lot of fun.

    Lynx is right. To live a good life in old age, you have to have set the scene a lot earlier. Some people seem to have been 'born middle-aged'. Others seem to agree that the best years of your life are the teens and twenties - and make the rest of their own lives boring by not seeing that any years of life are worth living to the full.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Junior JoshuaL's Avatar
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    You may find this study interesting. The gist is that you start out happy as a youth, get bored/sad in middle age, and then get happy again in old age! I'm looking forward to that.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/05/04/1003744107.abstract


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    I am no longer thrilled by playing in a sandbox, Im getting boring I guess, but "some" of what I find interesting is considered extremely boring for kids. But some things you have a personal preference for and will like it long after discovering it while other people that dont have a personal preference for it may find it fascinating when its new and then find it boring.

    Consider that when you are an infant, you hardly know anything, so a lot of simple things are discoveries, many of which eventually become boring compared to other things. Many kids find drawing a blast, some eventually get bored while other will like to draw and paint for the rest of their lives. Ive traveled around the world, and travelling for the sake of travelling is almost as boring to me as going 6 streets away to see what houses look like over there (at some point in time my brother would wake up in the morning and for 1 second, would not know where on the earth he was. ~oh yea, Im in Hong Kong~), while other people that have a personal preference might not ever grow bored of travelling the way painter artists might never get bored of painting .
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  14. #13  
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    There may be another explanation for behavior change that some people are observing. My hypothesis is that there are multiple influences in society that tend to make people "think differently". The common denominator in "thinking differently" is to be self absorbed, or lost in your own thought cycles.

    When this happens, you are not in the moment, and are essentially "sleep walking". Also, this state can amply maladaptive behaviors including fear, anger, or some obsession. Thus, the person who is engaged in his / her own repetitive thought cycle seems boring because essentially he / she is unconscious.

    Generally this should effect older people more because older people have been in the world longer. The correlation is not linear because I believe that the effect is reversible. In fact, I am actively trying to reverse this in myself. Unfortunately, I have a ways to go.

    I think I have made some progress because I do notice not infrequently that when working with people 10+ years younger than me their reaction time is much slower than mine. It is almost like some people are constantly thinking about something else, even in a somewhat risky situation. They are chronically "distracted".

    However, I have also noticed that many young people are quicker than me and socially more adept. From my perspective, these people are "awake", and not distracted, almost all the time.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    The one thing that distinguishes some older people, and the older they are the more it can become true, and that is the accumulating burden of grief and worry from having more and more of the people you know and love dying or becoming frail. Some people sail serenely through such losses and concerns, most don't. More likely, different people have different thresholds for this inevitably increasing fact of life to become a problem - some people die before they reach their threshold.
    On the extreme cases, yes.

    But for once i agree with raziel. The older people get. On average the more boring they become. Not sure if it's just the people i spend time with, or if it's with everybody. But i agree, the imagination may be like "been there done that". There can be physical limitations. Psychological limitations. No more kiddisch/foolish experiments. But still, it seems like older people forgot how to have fun..

    Yes, older people can still have fun, but not as quickly. Fast jokes go right past them, and being hearing impared or sight impared doesn't really help on being the observer.

    My parents are the prime source of this way of thinking. My mother only does housework, and some hobbies she started when she was about 35 years (aerobics). My father is handicapt, and can't ride his motorcycle anymore, had to sell his boat, and is to sight impared or feeling impared (no sense of touch in hands) to do anything usefull with modern technology. This way he has no more hobbies.

    I tried proposing hobbies, like chess, singing, or whatever, but fell on deaf ears. Being boring is what the observer sees. What the person actually needs is to get the heck up and do something with their life. While they still can. 3 years ago, my father had trouble walking. So he gave up everything.. His skills are still plummeting rapidly, he now walks like a 190 year old..

    Anyone knows a hobby for a 56 year old guy. Who can't walk, but can move his legs slightly, can move his toes/feet, hands, but can't feel anything in them. Has trouble remembering and was operated for glaucoma in both eyes, now eye pressure of 6, vision of about 30%. Not just that, but is an extreme pessimist, thinks everything everybody does is lame and useless, and who doesn't see the fun in living anymore. Because i can't think of anything, i just want to cheer him up ....
    Get him a computer and access to the net!
    When I was young I was very athletic and adventurous. I have filled my life with experiences. Now I am physically less active, but I find my life enriched by participating in fora such as this and in general learning about the astounding new discoveries in science.

    IMO, the mind is the most precious asset and as long as the mind is active, I shall pursue greater knowledge.

    Hopefully, somewhere along the line I may be able to inspire another young mind with some of the things I found exciting and "meaningful".
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  16. #15  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    People getting more boring with age.
    I guess that's why so many adolescents try to behave like adults
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    Hmm, a little to impatient to read through all the posts.. But I'd imagine you'll have already had a similar response:

    While I am still young (23), I think what it bears down to is doing the things you want to do before you no longer have the opportunity. I thoroughly enjoy listening to what my parents and their friends have to say about themselves - and honestly, they all say just about the same thing, "When you're young, you've got plenty of time to do all the things you've always wanted to do - it's just that life get's in the way." You've got to build a career, figure out where you're heading in life etc. Then, years down the line, you're older and you remember all those things you've wanted to do - and there just isn't enough time to do it all, so you do the things that interested you the most - while ignoring the things that you just aren't interested in wasting time on.
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    Then, years down the line, you're older and you remember all those things you've wanted to do
    And then there's making up for lost time when you've got the time and money to do it. Despite the fact that he was unable to do much at all from his mid-70s onwards because of his various limitations, my dad was very scornful about people who claimed "I'm too old for that." or criticised others because "They're making fools of themselves, they're too old for that."

    He wasn't a terribly polite man when he got cross about stuff he regarded as silly.
    He always said, in fact he tended to growl, "You'll never do it any younger."

    Words to live by.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    How does it go? Oh to be young again and know what I know now. Probably why so many old folks would like to drink from the Fountain of Youth.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    I do find it more difficult to find a science fiction author with something original to say. That might be more to do with the total number of SF authors than my increasing age.

    As to personally being boring, I think I was boring when I was young. With age I've got marginally better at concealing that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Yes, older people can still have fun, but not as quickly. Fast jokes go right past them, and being hearing impared or sight impared doesn't really help on being the observer.

    My parents are the prime source of this way of thinking. My mother only does housework, and some hobbies she started when she was about 35 years (aerobics). My father is handicapt, and can't ride his motorcycle anymore, had to sell his boat, and is to sight impared or feeling impared (no sense of touch in hands) to do anything usefull with modern technology. This way he has no more hobbies.

    I tried proposing hobbies, like chess, singing, or whatever, but fell on deaf ears. Being boring is what the observer sees. What the person actually needs is to get the heck up and do something with their life. While they still can. 3 years ago, my father had trouble walking. So he gave up everything.. His skills are still plummeting rapidly, he now walks like a 190 year old..

    Anyone knows a hobby for a 56 year old guy. Who can't walk, but can move his legs slightly, can move his toes/feet, hands, but can't feel anything in them. Has trouble remembering and was operated for glaucoma in both eyes, now eye pressure of 6, vision of about 30%. Not just that, but is an extreme pessimist, thinks everything everybody does is lame and useless, and who doesn't see the fun in living anymore. Because i can't think of anything, i just want to cheer him up ....
    My mother resembles that. Both sight and hearing impaired and very frail. She can only move around slowly with a walker. My dad says she sleeps a good 16 hours every day. She is incapable of doing anything but watching TV and even that it not what it could be because of the poor sight and hearing. She actually told me how bored she was and said she wanted to die. My dad takes care of her and is doing his best to keep her alive for as long as possible. I have a real hard time with this situation. While I don't want to see my mother die, I hate that she is suffering the way she is and see no way to help that situation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Do you mean boring to themselves, or boring to younger people? I used to think old folks talking about things like cataracts, joint pain, etc., were a huge bore. Now, my friends and I find these things endlessly fascinating.
    I'm working on a theory that it's much easier to become bored as your aging body just can't keep up with your expectations of what it should be doing. I remember that when I was bored, I could just get off my ass and do something about it. Now I try to think of what I might do if I get off my ass and it's a very short list to choose from. So I thank the fantasy God for my computer, the Internet and the science forums, and also my large HDTV and Netflix.

    When the power goes off for half a day I learn what true boredom is all about.
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    Just because I don't do blow off the ass of high end call girls, while base jumping naked over pits of alligators and sharks with lasers on their heads anymore ...does not make me boring! It just that sort of thing gives me indigestion these days is all.
    Fixin' shit that ain't broke.
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    Raziell, may I ask how old you are? I am pretty sure others would like to know.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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    I do find it more difficult to find a science fiction author with something original to say.
    That's true of a lot of things. And I think far too many people let themselves slip into thinking that the only 'good' things are what they remember from their first encounters with music or books or fashion or theatre or whatever.

    I saw something a few weeks ago that I didn't follow up about people's most positive memories being usually being from their early twenties, maybe late teens as well. It struck me because of my mother and similar friends of the same age who obviously enjoyed those years, despite the war and the rationing and people coming back from the war wounded or suffering.

    Aging "gracefully" is about getting the right balance between acknowledging any limitations you might have and keeping your physical and mental activities going. Doing less and less of the same old stuff, and finding less and less enjoyment in the unfamiliar is a pretty good guarantee that you'll be a boring old fart, not just to younger people but to everyone you know and the (very few) people you meet.
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    If the world ever gets really boring to me, I have one exciting thing saved up.
    I want to build my own 6 sided coffin flat at the toes, widening to the shoulders, then narrowing to a flat panel at the head.
    cutting dovetail joints at those angles seems like it'll test my skills one last time. All wood and pinned joints, no metal hardware, and wooden hinges for the top, and if i can figure out the servos and motion sensors, maybe s lift panel to sit me up during the service? And the lid carved as an image of me as a younger man.

    That being said:

    As long as scientist keep finding out new stuff about really old stuff, I don't see me getting bored anytime soon.
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