Is Technology Limiting Creativity? (The Pros And Cons)

by Mihail Angelov
5 mins read
technology, limiting or enhancing creativity

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

According to some people, 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 makes it easier for people to access information.

While there are divided views on this issue, it is vital to understand the link between technology and creative activity to understand it better.

How does technology affect creativity?

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

Technological innovation can facilitate communication, but it can also negatively affect motivation, ideas, and problem-solving abilities, thus killing 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 is 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 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 own 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, 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.

2. Dependency of modern technology

A creative thinker creates, develops, and solves problems that require intellectual effort and strong thinking power. 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 application 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. Therefore, instead of creating or learning something on our own, we install an application to do it for us.

In addition, 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 smartphones.

Due to the use of technology, people face reduced abilities of thinking, processing, and understanding 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 endless scrolling on social media, for instance, is taking all of our time and attention, leaving no space for developing our creative ability.

Furthermore, many technologies are becoming addictive and challenging to let go of, so many users find it impossible to imagine life with 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.

There is no doubt that 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 do that anytime. 

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.

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 with just a few clicks.

For example, Facebook groups and forums are a way for users to exchange ideas, 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 of 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.

Conclusion

It is debatable whether or not technology is killing creativity. 

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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