Technology is hindering our creativity
By MICHELLE HUANG
Will robots soon take over our world?
At the rate technology is progressing, that possibility seems highly probable. A highly overlooked problem in our society is impeding our growth and development as individuals: our excessive dependency on technology.
Although people can argue that the versatility of technology provides abundant room for creativity and expression, phones, computers and tablets actually limit our abstract thinking. In fact, the hinderance of creativity by overemphasis on technology is seen throughout society, both in classrooms and in individuals.
The technology boom seen during this decade has definitely had an impact on today’s education system. Recently, many schools across the nation have extensively promoted STEM field classes, leaving humanities classes unwanted and seemingly unimportant.
Interestingly, STEM field classes often require interaction with technology, which humanities classes require less often. In fact, many schools have recently been specifically promoting Computer Science classes, emphasizing the importance of being able to use technology in our ever-advancing world. College Board has even designed new tests that accommodate the new Advanced Placement Computer Science classes.
However, these changes in the classroom are not as effective for students as people claim. Although students gain useful information such as learning how to code, research, or make presentations, these classes also unintentionally endorse the plagiarism of others’ ideas through the use of electronic media.
For example, when one presents something, they often compile information from different online sites, along with the different opinions already embedded into their sources. Thus, although the presentation is supposed to be a demonstration of their own thoughts, it turns out to merely be a series of online statements. These widely promoted technology-based classes are then also indirectly promoting a robotic, technologically-driven new generation.
In addition, internal influences hugely contribute to society’s diminishing creativity. Prior to the widespread use of technology, people had to come up with ways to pass time, which led to many creative games and inventions.
An interesting example of the creativity people fostered before the technology fever was the stringed telephone, which was constructed by stringing various cans together from one end to another. Although not always effective, this creation fascinated children.
However, with the invention of the telephone, this was seen as obsolete, and many lost creativity when it came to communication. The ultimate goal they had strove to attain was already created, so there was no need to dwell on creation of the telephone any longer. Similarly, the inventions of other forms of technology, such as the computer, also impeded people’s creativity because there did not seem to be a need for new inventions. Obviously, as more technology has been invented over the year, there is a diminishing need to brainstorm new ideas for inventions, as most of the ideas are taken, leaving society without a sense of creativity.
Finally, the amount of information presently available to us has increased as a result of technology use, which means that the average tech user has a lot of new ideas to absorb, leaving very little space for someone to come up with completely new ideas.
Pinterest, for instance, is a widely-used social media platform on which users can “pin” ideas and pictures that they like onto their page. Then, after it is pinned, the post circulates through the platform onto other users’ feeds.
If another user decides that they also like the circulated post, they can pin the post onto their account as well. However, there is a clear problem in this practice: there are no new ideas, so everyone simply feeds off of each other’s non-unique ideas. Since people are too inundated with already-posted ideas, most do not come up with new ideas. Therefore, the use of technology to develop positions on issues plays a huge role in preventing any progress in society’s fostering of new ideas.
Overall, today’s technological influence on people’s lives have greatly hindered our ability to be imaginative and has, in turn, allowed for a largely repetitive nature of media to flourish.