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Why Do People ‘Zone Out’? — ‘The Why’

Welcome to the newest edition of The Why.  “Why do people zone out?” you ask? Good question. (Besides, it beats answering the question: “Why do women sell their dirty panties on Craig’s List?”)

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Why do people zone out?/Image: KPopStarz

Your rockin’ writer is gonna try and hold your attention ‘til the last word of this column even though it’s actually futile. Along the way, you’ll zone out. Your mind will wander, then return, then drift off yet again.

Research indicates, however, that it isn’t any reflection on the writing just a part of the human condition. It happens. The question, of course, is why does it happen? Why do people zone out?

As per usual, several sources were consulted for this piece. Again, online posters provided a smirk or two. YahooAnswers Poster “Angela” answered: “I zone out because my antidepressants are too strong.”

“JackMeoff” responded: “What? Sorry, I must’ve zoned out for a minute there.”

Now let’s get to the research. As per usual, several sources were consulted for this piece. ABC News reports that scientists say: “It is still a bit unclear why we do it.”

Luckily, while science may not be willing to commit to an answer, we do know that zoning out is a good thing. It is actually essential to creativity and imaginative thought.  Sources at ABC, Live Science and Men’s Health agreed that “zoning out” is a common form of microsleep.

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Why do people zone out?/Image: ZoningOutAgain

Folks zone out following a combination of little sleep and “a high amount of use” (i.e. thinking a lot during work, school or other activities). People also zone out when they‘re under emotional distress or when something is weighing on their mind—specifically something “that is pertinent to their well-being.

Why do people zone out? Now you know.

You ask the questions.  We provide the answers.

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About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.