Technology: Does it hinder or help creativity?

Technology: Does it hinder or help creativity?In our most recent blog post, we explored the idea of technology hindering communication skills, but could it also affect our creativity?  With technology, we have the capability to create higher quality work in less time.  We are almost limitless with what can be accomplished thanks to technology, but could these tools actually be limiting our creativity?  Many business owners can probably remember a day when technology was limited and creativity was necessary to success.  Advertisements started as drawings and pictures, not stock photos and Photoshop.  Newsletters were mailed traditionally on the company letterhead, not electronically for viewers to receive in seconds.  Writing started with blank paper and brainstorming, not Google. Now, with all of the tools available on the internet, it’s easy for anyone to appear innovative to the naked eye.

It’s true that the graphic designs on websites, brochures, advertisements, or other marketing efforts would not be as advanced without technology.  Not to mention, the design and printing process would be slowed and more costly.  However, curiosity brings me to ask, what would these designs look like if there wasn’t so much outside influence or shortcuts?  The quality would probably be lower and time to produce longer, but how unique would the work be? While outside influences can be refreshing and help inspire creativity, they can also make us become dependent and unable to use imagination.  Higher expectations have evolved for design work along with technology.

Creative writing also may not be as thoughtful as it once was.  It’s so easy to start with an idea, search for it online, and then read multiple articles before writing.  It sure is easier to conduct research now than it once was, but the present problem is that research starts before ideas are formed.  It’s important to take a moment before beginning writing and think about your topic.  Brainstorm.  Form your own opinions and ideas, and then research the opinions and ideas others have on that topic.  This allows room for creative thinking and broader interpretation.  However, don’t grow weary if your ideas change during research.  There’s a possibility that your initial “ideas” won’t be factually supported, but you can still mold those ideas (with a little creativity) to write something that people will want to read.  On a different note, there is so much information available that it can be overwhelming.  Be sure that your researching methods are efficient so that you will not waste time.  Ensuring the accuracy of the information you find is of utmost importance.

Susan Maushart, a single, mother of three, could not take the effects of technology on her family’s life and wrote a book (The Winter of Our Disconnect) that depicts the six months she and her children went without technology, what most would consider mainstream convenience.  Maushart noted that the six months were as hard for her as they were for her children.  She was more dependent than she realized.  One effect of technology that the book examines is the idea of multitasking: we think we can do everything at one time because each gadget does something different.  We can watch TV, surf the web (which can encompass mass-multitasking itself), listen to music and talk on the phone all at once, but this can actually be counter- productive.  I must admit that as I’m writing this blog, I currently have nine programs open on my computer’s desktop.   It’s almost ridiculous that we feel that this type of multitasking is helpful.  After Maushart made it through the six months, she did return to technology use, but with a much more focused perspective.

McCauley Marketing Services is in no way stating that technology is bad or shouldn’t be utilized.  The ever-advancing technology around us is remarkable.  Our point is that we are so immersed in technology that if we aren’t careful, creativity can unknowingly be hindered and marketing efforts will lose individuality.  For constant marketing and public relations news, find us on Facebook and Twitter.   Also, visit our website and keep reading the blog for other marketing tips.