Here’s What Psychologists Have To Say About Those Guys Rawdogging Flights

rawdogging flights

A psychologist and self-proclaimed “boredom guru” has claimed that rawdogging your flights can actually have a bunch of mental health benefits.

Dr Sandi Mann — a psychologist and “expert in the science of boredom, wellbeing and emotions” — claims that there are some genuine benefits you can get from flying without the simple luxuries of entertainment and stimulation.

“The new craze of “rawdogging” flights might seem like a humorous and slightly bizarre trend. However, there are some real mental-health benefits to gain from it,” she told the Daily Mail.

“When we give ourselves time away from our phones or other stimuli, we allow our minds to wander, and this can help to spark new ideas and creativity.”

Honestly, tell that to your mum the next time she hits you with the “only boring people are bored” line.

According to Mann, boredom or being under-stimulated can actually help calm you and boost creativity.

“I once conducted an experiment at the University of Central Lancashire that involved taking people from the street and placing them in a room with no stimulation, such as music, phones or even anything to look at,” she said.

“At first, the participants found the experience uncomfortable and they were itching to do something, but they eventually relaxed and found it calming.

“Taking time to let our brains wander allows us to daydream – both processes are the catalyst for creativity. In this time, we come up with more creative ideas and different approaches to problem-solving. It also provides us with much-needed downtime from the stresses of day-to-day life.”

Mann said that you probably shouldn’t wait for your next long-haul flight to give your brain a little break from the endless scrolling and subsequent dopamine hits.

“I’d actually recommend that we all set some regular time aside to let our minds wander, rather than just waiting for our next flight,” she said.

However, neuroscientist Dr Mark Williams told the ABC that it’s virtually impossible to be understimulated on a plane, even if you forgo the in-flight movie.

“You’re not really unstimulated when you’re on a plane,” Williams said.

“You’re still going to have babies crying, the noise of the plane engine and all those sorts of things.”

He did, however, suggest that slow-release dopamine hits from colouring in or reading a book may be more rewarding than the instant gratification of social media.

“By doing something like colouring in, by the time you get to the end of it, you’ll probably get some serotonin because you’ve done something meaningful,” he said.

Her comments come amid a rise in “dopamine fasting” and dopamine detoxes — a fad that doesn’t really have much to do with dopamine, or fasting but operates on a similar premise.

Created by psychiatrist Dr Cameron Sepah, the method doesn’t involve any actual fasting (you can’t actually fast from dopamine), it involves limiting unhealthy stimuli to allow yourself to feel bored and break the cycle of being addicted to constant hits of technology-induced dopamine.

The benefits and effectiveness of dopamine fasting have been heavily debated by experts, but everyone seems to agree that there are no real negative side effects to giving your brain a break from constant stimulation.

I, however, will be continuing to maximise my screentime as much as humanly possible.