Does Technology Hinder Our Creativity?

Mar 28, 2014

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I have a certain belief. This belief may be unpopular, unproven, and unorthodox, but it is a belief I have. I’ll fill you in.

I believe that technology can hinder our creativity. My belief is that certain aspects of technology make us forget that creating is an amazing experience, that the vast amount of ideas we are surrounded by makes creativity more about re sampling than originality, and that it has influenced patience in society.

Now I can’t demonstrate what I’m about to suggest with research or a masters degree, but I urge that you think about the question, and how technology affects you.

When I think about how technology has impacted my life, and my creativity, I think of my childhood and a story that exhibits that relationship. Throughout my whole childhood video games were not allowed in my home. I never had the experience of blowing inside an SNES cartridge to play Super Mario Bros, or beating Zelda for the first time, but I did have a piano. Instead of playing on my console, (as most boys in my neighborhood were doing) I had two options. I could either play the piano, or watch the television. In reality I couldn’t watch the television because my sister controlled the channels, so that left me with the piano. When I got bored I went to tinker on the piano. I started out just playing with chords, but attempted to write melodies. These moments that I’ve had where I enjoy a melody, and moments I still have playing the piano to this day, are the most fulfilling moments of my life. When I know that something I created appeals to me, I am happier than a kid on his birthday. Without my mother’s focus on creativity instead of technology I doubt that this creative urge would have become so instinctive. I would not have fostered something that I am thankful for today; instead, videogames and the television would have sucked up my piano time, and sapped my creative ability.

It would be wrong of me to simply assume that all technology reduces creativity; however, when we look at how technology has affected our lives; have there been times when we don’t have the patience to create a piece of artwork, a song, or write something? Are there times where technology can distract us from living our lives? Because of our ability to receive texts instantaneously, look up every passing question on Google, and talk to family via Skype I believe our patience has diminished. Who is a culprit of complaining when an Internet page takes more than ten seconds to load? I know I am! This relationship with technology has established a routine where we expect things instantly, and this affects our ability to be patient in learning new skills, or creating something.

Finally, the amount of information available to us has skyrocketed. The number of articles, blogs, photographs, videos, and opinions demonstrates what we are exposed to with a few clicks on the Internet. Not only is most of the information easily accessible, but it is mainly free. This astonishing amount of material can diminish our ability to create something new, instead just ending up recycling something that we have heard or read in the past. While this is not a crime, does it make a musician’s music less impressive if it sounds exactly like a band that never got famous twenty years ago? It’s a hypothetical thought, but I believe that resampling has made a culture where something can be labeled “new” even if it is something “old” in a new format.

As I finish this opinion the main point I want to be made is that we should think more about how technology affects our culture, and us as individuals. We won’t stop using technology, that would be ridiculous, but can we take a step back and glance at how it affects us? Can we realize that creativity brings fulfillment and strive to create more? Will we examine the relationship that technology has with creativity in our lives? I am not sure to what extent technology hinders our expands our creativity, but I know that it affects every aspect of our lives, and analyzing it can only help us understand the culture that we live in on a deeper level.

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