Did Internet Interfere With Our Creativity?

In the 1960s, when the prototype of the internet was born, as an aftermath of the wars, no one imagined the storm it would unleash with the development of the World Wide Web, Google, Orkut, Facebook and many others. This made our collars white and our lives sedentary.  We were shut down in our personal cages and started exploring the world through the web.

We got informed, but we didn't get any wiser through the web. Though apparently life has changed significantly in a post-internet world, the innate tendencies of mankind remain the same. Every time you write something on your facebook wall, you echo the need for validation once voiced by our forefathers in a forgotten cave painting. 

As, Oprah Winfrey, famously quoted: “The greatest goal is to achieve the highest, truest expression of ourselves as human beings.” the pursuit of meaning and creative expression is timeless in mankind. The internet has expanded our creative realms in a never before way and scale. It has not only expanded options to explore and mediums to channel our creativity, but has also helped in creating platforms to showcase creativity.

The way in which we have used the internet is in it quite creative. What has been developed for assisting wartime communication has expanded territories to almost all domains of life. The following are a few ways in which the internet has boosted creativity:

1. Photography 
The Internet has been capable of providing software for photo editing and also platforms like Instagram, Getty photos etc that serve as markets for these photographs.

2. Designing

Web design, Graphic designing and other areas of creative designing had a new life with the rise of the internet. Today, the internet is an integral part of these vocations.

3. Content creation 

Websites like Eat My News, Mindgrad etc are excellent examples of utilizing the creative potential of the internet for content creation and marketing. 

4. Marketing 

Internet’s reach has been exploited to the best to try and test the various strategies of marketing. The Internet has been capable of expanding the market beyond borders and has been a triggering factor in globalisation. From placing advertisements using Google Ad words to marketing businesses, the internet has made resource mobilization seem easier.

5. Volunteering and Internships

If you want to make a friend on the virtual space, you have Facebook.  If you want to share your photos and experiences you have Snapchat and Instagram. If you are seeking internships and volunteer opportunities you are free to utilize platforms like LinkedIn and Internshala.

6. Education

Since the advent of search engines learning has become easy. From words to locations everything is one curious or not so curiously typed request away.  Educational videos on YouTube and learning apps are a good space to clear doubts and get answers to questions.
Looking through the various creative uses of the internet we can see the following key characteristics of creativity:
  • Divergent thinking as against convergent thinking 
  • Lack of functional fixedness.
  • Thinking out of the box
  • Originality and flexibility of ideas
  • Innovation
However, the internet has indirectly led to processes that have led to a reduction in creativity.  A few ways in which the internet has pruned us in reducing creative expression is as follows:
  1. Plagiarism and copyright violations
  2. Irresponsible scrolling down and procrastination 
  3. Repetitive ideas and lack of original inspiration
  4. Fewer initiatives and leaders as compared to the number of critics
All this brings us to a point where we cannot deny the immense ways in which the internet has shaped us and influenced us in creating a culture of creative expression. However, like any other creation, it has its share of pitfalls too. Smart use of internet assures efficient utility of the internet. This gives overwhelming evidence to conclude that the internet is just a modern medium, despite it being apparently the muse and the market too. 

Nevertheless, the ultimate seat of creativity is the vibrant human spirit. Changing times and changing mediums hasn't touched the echoes of the archetypes of a deep, profound collective unconscious. This is why, sometimes there is a mire of recognition than a realisation while appreciating an artwork, be it an ancient painting or a modern illustration. Ultimately creativity is the everlasting spring of our brains and will remain timeless. Our ancestors carved their creative efforts in stone but our creativity has been channelized digitally.

- Ananda Krishnan

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Did Internet Interfere With Our Creativity? Did Internet Interfere With Our Creativity? Reviewed by EMN on July 07, 2019 Rating: 5

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