Have you wondered what lazy people do when they are expected to complete tedious tasks daily? They simply find an alternative that allows them to continue being lazy and at the same time get things done. Isn’t the search for an alternative, a part of human creativity, and during these searches they discover things that simplify our lives more? Now just imagine these tedious tasks are allocated to machines, what would they do? Will they complain or seek an alternative? No. Where’s the creativity here then?
Quick Answer to How Technology Limits Creativity
Technology limits creativity by fostering an over-reliance on digital tools and predefined templates, which can stifle the development of original ideas. Furthermore, it often contributes to cognitive overload due to the constant influx of information. This leaves less mental space for innovative thinking. So, while technology can be a powerful tool, its misuse or overuse can potentially hinder the creative process.
Role of Creativity in Our Lives
Let’s look at the same thing, this time including creativity with an example. The inventor of the computer was too lazy to calculate so using his creativity along with his students he invented the computer, and the rest as you’ll know is history.
There’s a relation between laziness and creativity, and the same goes with necessity. You become more creative when you see the need to fix things when existing solutions are no longer satisfactory. We humans can easily identify needs and find creative solutions to them but the same cannot be expected from technology. They are automated and perform actions that they are programmed for.
Technology can be used to get things done efficiently and save time but sometimes there are situations when it is important to focus on how the task is completed instead of just completing it because the way things are done makes a real difference.
The following video explores the combination of technology and creativity and what that entails:
Drawbacks of Relying on Technology
Back then when technology was almost non-existent to us, we human beings relied on our imagination. There’s no denying that creative thoughts are born from the imagination of the human mind. But with technological progression, we have started to rely more on it.
You can see how technology has negatively impacted our creative minds. We no longer spend time exploring our imaginary world and ideas, most of the time is spent using these technologies to learn something new or for entertainment purposes.
For the short term, using technology to learn something and keep yourself entertained is good, but if we continue to do so, in the long run, this will prove to be time-consuming and limit our ability to explore our creative side. As we continue to rely more on technology to live our lives and carry out everyday tasks, there will come a time when our imagination power will be taken away from us and the concept of originality would cease to exist.
None of these are meant to scare you, but this should make you think. Ask yourself, don’t you use technology to distract yourself? Most of us do this, why entertain a thought when you can simply keep it aside and use your technological devices to get out of boredom? We are at a loss here, and we don’t even realize that our original thoughts are sidetracked because we are giving more importance to technology to keep us entertained constantly.
We face problems and we simply use technology to solve them. Whereas in the past, without technology we used to be great problem solvers, and in times of crisis, we used our skills to find creative solutions. Now our problem-solving skills are at risk with an increase in reliance on technology.
Limitation to Creativity
We have seen the impact that technology is having on our creativity. Now let’s see exactly how it is impacting and what we can do about it. Our creativity is promoted and enhanced when we do more activities that include our imagination.
One such activity is daydreaming. In daydreaming, we explore our creative side and this makes us good problem solvers. This activity is now replaced by mindlessly scrolling through technological devices. Our daydreaming time is inhibited due to the increase in the usage of technology.
Here, technology is limiting our creativity by entertaining us and making us dependent on it. If we stop nurturing our creative side and replace it with technology usage we will lose our originality. So, we can invest some time in daydreaming and exploring the ideas that we are passionate about, instead of wasting time using technology mindlessly.
Many people still think that creativity is something unique to humans. However, the recent advancements in AI and how it can create art have led many to think twice before making the same association. This has also led many to believe that overreliance and the advancement of technology will only add to the downfall of creativity, as explored in the Harvard Business Review.
We are here to highlight some drawbacks of technology and how it negatively impacts creativity:
1. It has become part of our daily lives
Since technology has become a necessity, we can’t do certain things without relying on it, including creative tasks. It has also impacted our thinking and reasoning abilities. We have stopped pondering things, as a quick Google search can provide us with most answers. Ultimately, it will stifle our creative growth and make us more dependent on tech.
2. There is no originality
People can access the same information at the same time, thus reducing originality. We see the same content over and over, share the same content amongst our circles, and learn the same things as everyone else. It leaves no room for an original idea, and even if we do get one, it becomes outdated and gets copied in mere minutes.
3. Lack of communication regarding new ideas
Many people having the same idea is not so bad, but when they fail to communicate the idea, creatively or uniquely, it renders any further exploration of the idea moot. Many times, a great idea is lost due to poor communication, and today, we have no originality, even when it comes to communication. We are not saying creativity is dead, but across the sectors, there is a severe lack of it.
4. Technology can be distracting
Yes, technology is distracting. It has so much to offer that people have started to become lazier than ever. Many of us spend hours scrolling through our social media feeds, consuming non-stop content, or doing something else that aids in our procrastination. It prevents most of us from following our most creative impulses and pursuing anything unique.
Technology to Enhance Creativity
No discussion is complete unless we explore the opposite side as well. Let’s see how you can use technology not just to distract yourself but also as a tool to convert your creative ideas into reality. You can be a very creative person and find creative solutions to solve many problems, but if you don’t have the right tools to implement it and create value, it wouldn’t make any difference.
There are exceptional technologies that are the result of creative minds and are simplifying people’s lives each day. Suppose you have a creative idea and want to implement it, but if you don’t know if it is really needed, you won’t be able to achieve the success that you desire. In such situations, you can use technology as a tool to research and study the need for the implementation of that creative idea, and take action accordingly.
This also works when you want to enter a new market segment, technology will help you understand if your targeted market segment needs your creative solutions and how willing they are to accept your solutions.
As explored above, technology is not the sole culprit behind the supposed fall of creativity. If you look closer, you might even say that it empowers it in certain ways. Just take our work environments as an example. Today, the working population is expected to be more creative in how it does its job. According to an article by Forbes on the effect of technology on creativity, even the expansion of technology and its impact on new possibilities, such as automation and AI, is a perfect example of creative thinking.
Thus, here are a few points in favor of technology and how it helps creativity:
1. Sometimes a distraction is a good thing
Although we begrudge technology for being distracting, we often discount the fact that said distractions can be helpful. We are not advocating dropping everything and procrastinating on the web in hopes of getting a spark of inspiration; rather, follow a method and look in the right places for the right kind of distractions to stimulate your brain enough.
2. Helps us to be open to new things
No matter what, we have to agree that technology has allowed us to be more broad-minded than ever. It has helped us to look forward to new things, try out different challenges, and experience reinventing an idea.
3. Has made work fun
For many, a job is mundane because it lacks creativity. But with technology, you can enjoy what you do and have fun doing so, which in turn allows you to be creative with your job and explore unexplored avenues. If you are open to the possibility that work can be fun, then surely you can look positively at it and might even have an idea or two that might end up changing the way you approach it.
We will be concluding our discussion of the topic by embracing both perspectives. If you know how to use the technology in the right way, you will be able to enhance your creativity but if you don’t learn to use it properly, unfortunately, it would limit your creative side.
We all can agree that technology has made it easy for us to communicate with people all over the world and collaborate with them to build unique solutions to our existing problems. It has helped us simplify our lives and enhance creativity. But if we continue to use technology as a means of entertainment to distract ourselves, we will soon find ourselves in a position where carrying out simple tasks without technology would become difficult. Decide for yourself how you would want to use the technology from now on!