Kids today spend more time indoors than any other generation. Even when I was growing up, it was a common feeling among parents that our gadgets are messing with our ability to be creative. So in the vortex of social media, app bubbles, fake news, robots and Tinder, what’s different about creativity today? How does technology affect us now?
Smartphones are turning us into zombies
You’ve probably heard a family member say this before… “Kids don’t know how to talk anymore”
Or this … “Kids are addicted to smartphones”.
I’ve observed this in kids growing up with smartphones. I’ve felt this myself and seen it among my peers. In the past five years, I’ve seen a change in how baby boomers are affected by our new mobile world. This got me thinking about how technology is affecting our psychologies in the long-term and if there’s any merit to the opinions above.
If we stick to the facts we know this, technology has an uncanny ability to keep us dependent. We are addicted to our smartphones. Modern research is warning us already, that there is no difference between how our brain reacts to our phone screens and cocaine. We need our social updates just as much as an alcoholic needs one more drink. We fall back on our screens at a party, just like a smoker feels the need to light up 5 minutes into it.
So the generations growing up in today’s technology are particularly vulnerable to an addiction that can alter their personalities and make them indifferent to the world and people around them.
No one is immune from this aspect of modern life, but smartphones and social media pose a much larger risk to children. But for somebody who is naturally creative, or for someone who grew up with the proper balance of tech and the real world…
Does technology hurt our creativity? No.
Technology transforms art and enhances the creative process.
No one wants to do extra work, and technology is naturally made out of laziness. Smartphones allow us to be lazy thinkers but they’ve also made a collective generation significantly more intelligent than the former ones. It’s allowed us to shortcut our questions and cut through the creative process.
Technology Eradicates Barriers to Creative Excellence. Why? Because connecting the dots and combining ideas become second nature, every tool you need and every skill you want to acquire is literally in the palm of your hand and accessible to you in an instant.
Social media has revolutionized art platforms to the point where someone across the world can buy my painting on Pinterest. And for all you writers out there, the average salary for a social media specialist is over $56,000 and thanks to big-data, digital marketing and research is one of the fastest growing careers of this decade. Data and creativity are now working together by using new insight to create better products and it’s creating a job market that values the technical creative.
Graphic designers have been in-demand for over a decade and with the GIF addiction we have today, my bet is that job prospects will only increase. EDM has put the world in a trance and light shows are now just important as the music. Derek Vincent Smith, the leader of an EDM collaboration known as Pretty Lights, started his career as a Lighting Director. And how can I not mention app developers, the people with the creative ability to change the way society functions with lines of code. So what’s the compromise to this question? Does technology kill creativity?
Technology doesn’t kill creativity but it can make it harder on your kids.
Despite all the distractions and clutter, someone who is born to create will always find a way to express themselves. In fact advances in technology have given birth to a whole new cohort of technical artists.
You can argue that smartphones stop kids from going outside and thinking critically. Parents and educators need to find a real structural agreement as to how much tech is too much tech or this generation’s tool will be the next generations shackle. But our grandparents had the same fear about television and even before that, people were afraid of the printing press. So we can agree that we need to find the optimal balance, but before you think about technology killing our kid’s creativity, watch this video of a baby dropping a fire beat.