Are You Apathetic? Or Just Bored?

As you settle into your daily post-lunch semi-coma, here's an interesting tidbit that may pique your attention. According to boredom researchers (don't you feel sleepy just thinking about that job?), a brand-new type of boredom has been identified. And it may spell trouble for the selfie-obsessed Millenial generation. Apparently, there are actually different categories of boredom — five, in fact, with the addition of the latest one. And these various types of boredom affect everyone differently. So, for example, while you may stave off boredom by planning a trip or simply surfing the Web for interesting longreads, that may not cut it for your coworkers or friends.

The new study, published in the journal Motivation and Emotion, is among the first to quantify the assorted types of boredom. The study was conducted by Dr. Thomas Goetz of the University of Konstanz in Germany, as well as researchers at the University of Munich, the University of Ulm, McGill University in Montreal and the City University of New York — and they're taking this boredom stuff very seriously.

After studying 63 German university students and 80 German high school students over two weeks, researchers found staggeringly high levels of the fifth type of boredom, called apathetic boredom. Thirty-six percent of the students reported feeling apathetic boredom, which "resembles learned helplessness or depression" and is "associated with low arousal levels and high levels of aversion." With suicide as the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24 and about 20 percent of teens experiencing depression, what is termed as simple boredom may actually be something much graver.

The other four types of boredom are as follows (gifs always cheer everyone up, right?):

Indifferent: The channel-surfing-while-eating-Cheetos type of boredom.

Calibrating: The I-wonder-what-my-friends-are-doing type of boredom.

Searching: The ANSWER-YOUR-PHONE-LOSERS type of boredom.

Reactant: The fine-I'll-just-go-out-by-myself! type of boredom.

The researchers also discovered that people usually do not sway between the different types of boredom, but tend to stick with one throughout their whole lives. Again, that could be potentially dangerous for those who constantly experience apathetic boredom, due to links with depression.

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