Did you know creativity is known as one of the most appreciated traits of the 21st century? A report from the World Economic Forum says that by the year 2020, creativity will become among the top 3 skills employers will look for [source].
Since it’s becoming such an important quality, you must be thinking about how to foster it? Why not put technology to use? I hear you, technology is often viewed as an unwelcome distraction. But it can actually help us stumble upon novel ideas. It helped us discover Virtual Reality products, didn’t it?
Why is Technology Important for Creativity?
Wondering how technology can boost creativity? Let me solve this puzzle for you. Think of technology as a paintbrush. As you explore ways to use it, it enhances your creativity. Combined with the Internet and computer, technology has become a medium of design and expression. The more you explore this paintbrush, the more possibilities emerge.
History is of full of examples of missed opportunities and it was largely because of the deficiency of information. Darwin’s theory remained incomplete for about half a century. He wasn’t able to specify a mechanism by which human beings inherit certain traits. His contemporary, Gregor Mendel published principles of genetics shortly after Darwin.
However, both individuals remained unaware of each other’s work for their lifetime. Non-availability of information was to blame. Technology has clearly removed such barriers and made information accessible on our fingertips.
Is Technology Making Us Smarter Or Dumber?
With smartphones and tons of information in your hands, we can do just about anything. Technology has allowed us to buy a car, navigate in cities, pay our bills and accomplish thousands of similar tasks. Each of these activities demanded us to learn a specific skill. We also needed resources to accomplish those tasks.
Now, all these tasks are solved by technology. There is no need to learn intricate details. With that being said – technology is clearly making us dumb, right? Well, whether technology is making us smart of dumb depends on how we use it. The answer is yes, in some ways and, no in others.
The Internet has provided us with limited data, videos images and other raw material that can be put to use to enhance intelligence and skill set. The information available could reflect on our beliefs and improve our decision making as well. But, we could be making ourselves dumb by relying on smart tech. Or if we let technology micro-manage our daily lives in the name of cheap convenience.
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How Does Technology Affect Creativity?
As we have grown with a silver spoon of Internet access, we have become numb to its treasures. There is a strong argument that technology is killing creativity because we have our heads glued to our phones, tablets, and tabs. Science says that we need free time to daydream. It boosts creativity. On the other hand, we are filling our downtime by scrolling our devices.
Creativity is a “use it or lose it” discipline. You might have a creative role in your job but you could be strangling it by fastening yourself to your mobile device.
But hey, technology is not all bad for creativity. It has the potential to enhance our creativity. Here are some arguments on it:
Too much information does not end creativity
You might think there is too much information out there but the thing is, we still need innovation and creativity to use that information. All tech innovations require creative thought. Even if you identify a new market segment, you will need creativity to market your idea to that audience.
Technology can nurture creative talent
Technology has expanded the boundaries of what’s possible and what’s not. With creative pursuits, the scope has increased. Instagram is one good example. It’s accessible to everyone. Anyone can participate and create content to showcase their talent.
Before technology was widely accessible, the public was only exposed to the ideas launched by experts who had creative power. Now that the Internet has lifted the curtains, a new talent from even remote areas is emerging. This creativity helps sparks ideas in others.
Technology sparks communication
Technology has removed all barriers to communication. You can chat with people across the globe, share information, ideas and then come up with your own creative solutions. Online knowledge has launched so many creative careers. Freelance platforms are one great example.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to creativity, there is no such thing as a stupid question. If you come up with an idea, you need to start asking questions. Technology has gifted us with tools and platforms where we can brainstorm ideas and generate questions. Popplet, Coogle, and MindMeister are some of the popular names.
To reap the creative benefits of technology, we need to try having fun with it instead of just consuming it for entertainment and convenience. Researchers say humor can create problem-solving skills and boost creativity. Similarly, those who use the high-speed Internet for playing video games are creative in writing stories and drawings.
If we just make use of technology the right way, it can shape our lives inspire us to come up with creative solutions. The question is – are we really using it the right way?