We live in a swift-moving society where unprecedented ideas emerge regularly.
History has shown what great accomplishments human-kind has made, both before and after the production of the “essential” devices we have today. As much as we can benefit from using technology, I believe that the excessive use of it is negatively affecting our world. Creativity; being unmeasurable, nonetheless has compelling evidence to display its decline. It is impossible for me to ignore the fact that people are less curious about the world considering everything they need to know is a few taps of the screen away. More people are distracted from expanding their abilities, and rather living an extremely introverted life. With the rapid development of technology, individualism and creativity will be stripped from our planet: America will continue to value lower standards. In an article by Forbes, there was a saying that wrote, “to create our world, we must detach from it”.
Exploring this theory deeper, would be identifying what makes our world the way it is – striving to evolve technology. It makes perfect sense seeing as how the world is a reflection of things that have already been created by people who once knew how to live without them. A study from the University Of Central Lancaster tested a similar theory by diving a group of people and having half of them do boring time consuming tasks as the others did as they pleased; using technology. By the end of theFrye 2 experiment, the claim that was made stating: “being painfully bored yields more creative thinking”, was backed up with some quality evidence. If the argument is that increased boredom contributes to more divergent thinking, then take the technology away and you will be left with much less to focus on. After all, the first thing most people think of when boredom strikes is to let their cell phones do the entertaining. This way of thinking has transformed the people in our society into anti-social, social media dependent beings. Face-to-face interaction is a rarity but is still what is necessary to learn from varying viewpoints and perspectives.
For example, in the history of the arts, people would travel to places around the world for a taste of inspiration – coming from natural scenery, other artists, strangers from an unfamiliar culture or just anything that was not accessible from the artists home. Today, to suffice the needs of inspiration to influence creative thinking, all the artist has to do now is simply search the internet to find what they believe is a perfect alternative to traveling and having important interactions on the way. For this reason, the deeper meaning in things has diminished, there are less stories to be told. The reason something comes up as a link when you search it is because someone has already beat you to something and it has already been created for the public. Humans have been fooled to think that technology is smarter than them, yet everything created around us (including technology) was made from the ideas that a human brain came up with. We are so quick to think that there is a cap on the amount of creativity we can express.
The main problem is that people are becoming so dependent, that they are forming unhealthy habits as problem-solving and other key life skills are not as necessary to learn when technology can do it all. The majority of children today areFrye 3 fixated to their devices and too distracted to take in the surrounding world, leaving them with less opportunities to use their imagination which is what expands and builds creativity in the primal years of brain development. Becoming addicted at such an early age to technology is all too common in our society; it has shown evidence and has lead me to lose hope for future generations.
Based on a recent study, Newsweek reported that, “while intelligence scores have steadily risen, creativity scores have been declining since 1990.” The first complication to blame for this occurrence was of course, the invasive use of technology. Artists have spoken out about how they are affected – they mention how originality is becoming harder to find, considering the internet influences people so much so that they have become accustomed to recreating others ideas over and over again.
Those old enough to recall a time before the internet took over, can probably agree that the effort it takes to complete assignments or answer day-to-day questions has significantly lowered. Referring back to the first study I mentioned, boredom is what is essential to increasing creativity as well as daydreaming. How is it humanly possible for one to be bored or have the chance to daydream when there is easy access to a device that offers endless games and instant answers? It’s not possible. How is one expected to be more enterprising in such an advanced world? Perhaps the unrestrained ways we use technology to become more artistic should be finite. When you take the devices away, one is submitted to use their social, critical-thinking, problem-solving and innovation skills. The trial-and-error method of inventing formed the idea that one can learn from their mistakes in a more first-hand, and purposeful way.
Seeing how it is very hard to run into errors when there are machines that correct them all, it is harder for lessons to be assimilated. The book, Mind Change,Frye 4 by Susan Greenfield, goes into depth about what exactly the electronic age is doing to us. She explains how neurons change over time and how dopamine is triggered by social networking and digital gaming the same way it is by junk food and addictive drugs. The analogy she uses for the effects of technology on humans is an assembly line of plastic brains (artificially made), being made to influence us to all think the same. There is a domino affect – “cyberspace lacks casual sequence, is devoid of immediate consequences and gives instant access to information without guidance, our attention spans shrink, deeper creative thinking declines and interpersonal bonds wither” (Greenfield). The opposers say that the intention of the electronic age is to expand creative thinking, however, that can be true only when there are modifications and limitations on the amount of usage of technology. They could also argue how acquiring boredom is not the only way to achieve more diverged thinking.
Although it is not the only way, having some form or amount of ennui is the most effective way to generate original ideas and is greatly responsible for bestowing creativity. It has always been known that too much of a good thing can potentially be bad. The side that argues technology helps to expand creativity in ways unthinkable, has forgotten that it is a skill acquired from ones brain. For example, more creativity is gained when building a sculpture by hand with tangible tools, compared to having a virtual application do the work for you. Yes, the second way is more time efficient and is the “easy way out”, making it better for timed situations, however, in terms of benefiting oneself, the “easy way out” will usually never result in as many intellectual benefits as the other way. When you are immersed in technology, it is much more difficult to takeFrye 5 advantage of your imagination.
Everything you can imagine can be brought up on a screen using only a few key words. This can be an issue, mostly to children as it restricts their developing imaginations and down the road, they can have lesser of an ability to explore and understand different perspectives in any given situation. A Webster University philosophy professor by the name of Michael Brady, was interviewed by The Journal and he explains his two daughters upbringings. Brady mentions the fact that while most other children were entertained by television, his children were exploring the possibilities of where their imaginations could take them in their tree-house and during outdoor activities. Today, both girls are described by the professor as being strong individuals who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in and are “comfortable in taking dominant roles” (Brady). He strongly believes that developing their imaginations at an early age without the interruption of technology is what takes responsibility for their advanced abilities and creative minds. As time goes on, technology shows children that having an imagination is not necessary in a subliminal way. They are becoming less and less reliant on their own ideas as they are heavily influenced by the advancements in this electronic age.
I am concerned for the younger generations, including my own: individuals need to learn how to be independent and less reliant on their devices and more confident with thinking up original propositions. Future leaders are destined to be increasingly narrow-minded and timid at this rate. The decline of creativity in our world is evident and directly related to the craving for a digital lifestyle. Children are the most impressionable products of the new age and the search for inspiration as they grow older should go beyond a screen. The equation for increasing creativity involves boredom (as dreading as it may seem), daydreaming,Frye 6 imagination, more interaction with the outside world, and lastly but most importantly; the least amount of time spent using technology necessary to put forth an original idea.