Fidget, twitch, fiddle, doodle

Ever think about why we doodle?

Some say doodling is something we do out of boredom.  On they mention that people are not wired for doing nothing due to a need to be constantly engaged in productive activity.  As an example – prehistory’s precarious existence meant laziness was a sure fire recipe for extinction.  But neither are we wired for purely cerebral activity (that most of us are now engaged in – i.e. our jobs).  We are designed to work with our hands, to scan the horizon with our eyes, and walk long miles.  So…we fidget, twitch, fiddle and doodle whenever we are forced to sit still.

But the description (that follows) is the one I most enjoyed reading.

Doodling is an outlet for frustrated artistic expression.


The arts in our society have become ‘spectator sports’ reserved for the talented, while the rest of us are too embarrassed to sing (except in the shower), dance (except for toe-tapping or through wine-induced activity) or draw (except for doodling).  These fundamental outlets for creative expression have been stymied by a combination of social pressure (fear of inadequacy) and lack of training (our overfull school curriculums leaving little room for the arts, combined with a flawed view of artistic development as innate and not to be ‘messed with’ by education).


It goes on to say, when we are otherwise occupied (on the phone, in a meeting or lecture, writing a list – basically any moderately engaging mental activity with a pen in our hand) the censor in our head can be turned off, and we allow ourselves to express the ideas that are locked in our head.

And, depending on how much or how little exposure and to what extent we had to our artistic development, determines the types of doodles we create.

I think that is fascinating.

The reason I looked this subject up today was because I doodled today – while I was on the phone.  I wasn’t even aware I was doing it.

And (because I take pictures of the weirdest things) I took a picture.

My cell phone’s camera isn’t the greatest so I imported it into Photoshop to see if I could ‘do anything’ with it.

Here is the before and after.

Not sure what Carl Jung would think….but I like it!

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