Is Technology Limiting Creativity? (The Pros And Cons)

Published: Last Updated on 5 mins read
technology, limiting or enhancing creativity

In a society driven by modern technology, many have wondered if computers, the internet, and social media platforms negatively impact creative thinking.

As usual, there are two sides to the story. 

According to some, technology hinders creativity because it can distract people and cause them to scroll through online platforms for hours instead of doing more productive, creative things in their daily lives.

On the other hand, some suggest that the growth of technology positively impacts creativity because it gives people access to resources and information. 

There are differing opinions on the impact of technology on creativity. However, it’s crucial to comprehend this impact so that we can use technology to enhance our imagination and come up with creative designs in every field.

How does technology affect creativity?

Despite its ability to foster human creativity, technology can also stifle it. In particular, young people who grow up with electronic devices in their daily lives are at risk of reducing their curiosity and openness to new experiences.

Technological innovation can facilitate communication and provide many learning opportunities; however, it can also negatively affect motivation, thinking abilities, ideas, and problem-solving skills, potentially limiting the scope for creativity. It’s important to note that since 1990, studies have suggested a decline in creativity scores.

Nevertheless, it is also essential to recognize the benefits of technology. Innovation can enhance collaboration, provide valuable tools for creativity, and create new opportunities for expression and exposure, positively contributing to the evolution of creativity.

Negative effects of technology on creativity

Let’s first check the top three negative effects of technology on creativity.

1.  Lack of original thinking and copying

Creativity or you may find it somewhere as creative impulses are defined as an ability to create new, original theories, work, and techniques.

Additionally, creativity is an innovative, unique, and authentic thought that gives a new perspective or further develops something else.

Nowadays, many people use the Internet and digital tools to explore ideas, find information, and research new designs. The predominance of technology has made many dependent on it, so one might assume that its usage is limiting creative growth.

For example, the Internet is full of cases of plagiarism and similar content. As cyberspace is an open-source environment and is freely accessible to all, it’s also a place where you can quickly locate designs and claim them as your ideas.

We can take any social media platform as an example. While many users are using social media to showcase their creative talent and creative expression, some users copy what they see without the creative thought process. Many YouTube videos, Instagram photos, and TikToks, are copies of one creative person’s work with the sole purpose of gaining viral success.

In addition, there are many cases of art designs being stolen. While easy access to information is excellent and boosts productivity, it can also negatively affect creative pursuits and result in copying someone’s work instead of creating your own.  Using online sources for inspiration is acceptable, but copying without effort has become a common issue.

2. Dependency on modern technology

A creative thinker possesses strong problem-solving skills that require intellectual effort. However, with the help of an electronic device that can fix everything for us, we no longer need to motivate ourselves for intellectual challenges.

Today, technology plays such a massive role in our daily lives that almost everything has an app that may have negative consequences. Some apps require minimal effort to draw, paint, and even write. Many accessible platforms can even generate music with the touch of a button, and many of them even promote lazy communication. 

So, instead of creating or learning something on our own, we install an application to do it, and we deprive ourselves of developing critical thinking skills. In addition, due to the rapid growth of artificial intelligence apps and ChatGPT, people may rely less on their creative problem-solving skills, because now they have a powerful tool that can do almost anything for them. 

We live, work, and think fast today, so little time is left for exploring, researching, and learning.

So, relying on technology that answers everything in minutes is the simplest way to adapt to fast-paced living.

According to the study “The brain in your pocket: Evidence that Smartphones are used to supplant thinking,” those who think more intuitively and less analytically when given reasoning problems were more likely to rely on their mobile phones.

Due to the use of technology, people face reduced abilities to think, process, and understand problems independently.

3. Technology is distracting

Technology is often a time-distracting factor for creativity, which is a strong argument against it.

The ability of people to think creatively seems like it is being blocked by many technological distractions that hide behind the corners of life. The most common external distractions are the notifications that come from our phones. Furthermore, endless scrolling on social media, for instance, is taking all of our time and attention, leaving no space for developing our creative ability.

Many technologies are becoming addictive and challenging to let go of, so many users find it impossible to imagine life in the absence of technology. So, rather than spending their time on creative expression, many would rather spend it on engaging apps that give instant gratification.

Positive effects of technology on creativity

Let’s now dive into the top three positive effects of technology on creativity.

1. Technology is a source of information and inspiration.

Undoubtedly, the growth of technology has given us access to a sea of valuable information. It’s crucial to have access to information when designing a creative output, and thanks to technology, we can explore pages, books, and everything in between in the search for relevant information. 

Researchers are happy to discuss how they arrived at their creative solutions and their methods. Additionally, the Internet offers many sources where people can learn how to think creatively and improve their intelligence.

The good thing is that they are available in many formats, so users can learn how to get creative or develop creativity through videos, e-books, blogs, etc. This information can also serve as an inspiration to motivate others to start promoting and exploring their creative potential. So, limited resources are no longer an issue when it comes to information in modern life.

2. Technology eases our communication

Technology eases our communication with the world. It is a tool that allows us to connect and communicate in ways we never thought possible. It has also become an important part of how we work, learn, play, shop, and even live.

Thanks to technology, the exchange of ideas has become more accessible. People can communicate with like-minded people and find collaboration opportunities with just a few clicks.

For example, Facebook groups and forums are a way for users with creative minds to exchange ideas, and experiences and discuss various issues.

This way of communication and sharing can positively affect creativity because people learn by sharing different experiences and can use them to promote creativity and create innovation.

Furthermore, social networks are a place where many people share problems and details of their lives, which can contribute to the birth of a new idea that can solve someone’s problem.

3. Technology helps generate new ideas

Creativity is not only about creating something from scratch. It is also about improving and advancing old ideas. One place for finding creative possibilities is the Internet and the old gadgets we have at home.

Technological innovations can also give users new ideas and perceptions about how far technology can go. This can motivate people to explore and develop more creative ideas that can lead to solutions to various problems.

Another thing worth mentioning is that technology boosts innovation. Now, users can quickly test and develop products, which can help produce new and improved ideas.

Strategies to enhance creativity

 1. Exercise creative self-confidence

Creative self-confidence is a way of taking risks and believing that you can create something new and unique. Creative self-confidence can be increased by starting new projects, activities, and exercises that will bring you new experiences and thus will motivate you to think about new creative ideas.

2. Practice associative thinking

Associative thinking can contribute to increased creativity. The purpose of associative thinking is to think more broadly and find connections between multiple concepts. Furthermore, associative thinking can be a kind of storm of ideas that can be a kind of stimulus that can improve creative thinking.

3. Use Mindmaps and flow charts

Much like associative thinking, mind maps contribute to creativity by connecting concepts. Additionally, mind maps help in enhancing creativity because they are a visualization of how concepts are related.

Start by writing a central term, then associate it with associative terms. This way, you will see how the objects are interconnected. This way, you can see the existing problems to find solutions and come up with unique ideas.


Is technology killing creativity? 

The answer to this question is debatable.

Technology can be both good and wrong when it comes to creativity. While it can be a source of inspiration and innovative solutions, it can also be a waste of time on unnecessary applications.

The way we use it depends on each of us, but the constant desire to develop our creativity will produce authentic ideas that enrich our lives.

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