The world of technology is growing very fast. As this happens, research indicates that many people are overrelying on the information communication technologies to perform their daily chaos. The highly affected population is that one comprising of college students. For example, phones, computers, and calculators. When doing a research in the higher learning institutions, almost all the students own a phone or a computer to depend on. Almost every working person owns a phone which he/she relies on in communication, computation, and storage of data. In the learning institutions, students carry along with them technologies to simplify their calculations, for example, using calculators and mathematical tables (Brackett, Hoffmann & Ivcevic, 2016). There are several impacts of these technologies in the community, and the growing concern is that one of creativity. Most people in the society rely on the ability of technologies to perform even simple tasks like simplifying simple math calculations which they can do without technology and over time, their creative skills like critical thinking reduce as a result of overreliance on the readily available procedures/computation provided by technology. According to many psychological theories, creativity is the product of differences in the human race. It is vital for people to be different. However, looking at this age of technology, our way of thinking is fixated by the information technologies we use. We let the devices think for us. It is due to these reasons that a professor in a university setting will find almost ninety-per cent (90%) of her students having similar answers which can only be traced to one website. Some even download and copy-paste the content directly. With ninety per cent of the class having similar responses, sometimes word by word, where is the next generation heading? Does it mean there are no other ways of solving problems which will yield different answers and bring heated debates that lead to increased creativity? No. there are many perspectives to approach educational issues. The main challenge lies in the existence of the information communication electronics which provide them with ready answers. The youth have become lazy and not prepared to explore more. Exploration, hard work, and smart thinking are some of the components which lead to increased levels of thinking and creativity. This is an important issue to address since creativity is needed to make the world a better place. The best solutions will include educating the people how to engage in creative thinking as well as exposing students in schools to situations that force them to be creative in coming up with solutions. To explore more about technology, I will engage in literature review. Nevertheless, I will observe how students in the institution make use of their devices.
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When focusing on the innovations we have, there is none which was made by a single day. For some, it took hundreds of days to make something work. As a historian or physicist, ask yourself, how long did it take Thomas Edison to make the bulb work? Or what about the aeroplane, how long did it take to fly one? A bulb appears to be a simple object, but it took hundreds of days to discover how to make it produce light. Creativity is not instant; it needs time: it requires exposure to different situations as well as testing to come up with accepted results. With the internet of things, most people spend their time on social media chatting and viewing what others post. When they are off the internet, they are at work, where I time for creativity in this? statistics show that most people over social media discuss very little about creativity. A significant percentage focus on relationship, sports, and politics. There is no creativity at all because they even keep reposting what other people have already done.
Technology has killed creativity even in the simplest things of all, texting friends and family. Almost everyone has got a message forwarded from another person at some point in life. There is no creativity even in sending Valentine’s message to your lover! One just copies what has been sent to him/her by someone else, they paste and send it as his own. By the end of the day, hundreds of people will have similar messages. If we cannot take time to compose a text for the loved ones, how can we spend an hour thinking of improving the technologies that exist? It is evident from several industries that the creativity levels are fading. A good example is the music industry. In the past, composing a music piece took weeks. This was music which educated the community. However, presently, music is even made in an hour by picking lines from other musicians from the internet, combining, and producing them. This leaves the media houses playing songs with similar themes by different artists.
How does technology lead to reduced technology? This is an important concept to look at. First, it is crucial to know that creativity cannot be measured and every person has his/her own level. What is common though is the idea of involving specific steps to enhance the efficiency of your creativity. One needs to be committed to taking creative practices.
Before technology expanded its use, the levels of creativity among individuals was high. People communicated, exchanged ideas, and came up with great ideas which became the inventions we are witnessing in the twenty-first century (21st century). It is from this sharing of information that we have trains, airplanes, phones, rockets, among all the helpful technologies we are surrounded with. What has changed? When one walks into an office, during breaks, it will not be a surprise to find everybody on a smartphone texting, watching videos, among many other things. There is actually no time for facial interactions, which improves creativity even among the office members. Instead of sitting and discussing topics of great value, people are busy making use of what has been created.
The overreliance on technology has reached an alarming height. One will find a student in class using a calculator to compute a simple math problem like nine multiplied by six (9*6=). This is simple math which does not require the need for technology. In the olden days, our ancestors sat in class and using their brains with no help of technology, did complicated calculations than this one. Thinking helped them expand their minds thinking capacity, and in the process, they were able to come up with formulas to derive different functions. Nowadays, computers are equipped with all these formulas, what is the need to do things manually? By the end of the day, an individual’s mind is just fixed to what has already been done. There is no need to struggle. The good thing about struggling is that it lives one with many options which need creative thinking to arrive at the best solution.
The youth is the highly affected generation. The college students take the largest percentage of those whose creativity is affected by the use of technology. When high school and college students are provided with takeaway assignments, they know where to find direct answers: the internet of things. They do not have to go through hundreds of pages of hard copy material to find what they need (Gopee, Samy & Ramma, 2015). This is an implication of how much they miss. Thus, become poor decision makers in life. The best problem-solvers need to be equipped with a wide range of information which can be obtained through critical reading, sharing of information, and understanding concepts. Where is your knowledge if the only thing you know is the answer and not how to arrive at it? This has killed creativity in industries. Human resource firms are even questioning the abilities of their employees in various fields. They employed individuals who do not know how certain things are done. They only depend on what is there bringing no innovations nor creations of their own. This is the problem with advanced technologies. If the organization’s systems fail to operate the way they do, what new things can you introduce as an alternative?
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Curiosity arouses interest in research and creativity. Through reading books and other literature materials, an individual gets exposed to some things he/she does not understand. This leads to a desire for research. During the process, one gets exposed to diverse perspectives. To pick the right way, critical thinking has to be engaged. It is through such kind of thinking creativity emerges. For example, one will as herself, “why not do this thing this way and see what will happen?” It is through this process that new ideas are born.
There are several counter-arguments about the fall down in the levels of creativity. Some researchers argue that technology is increasing creativity levels. Is this true? They base their arguments on technologies like gaming machines. When children engage in computer games, they have to involve their brains (Green & Kaufman, 2015). They have to think creatively to take a win. In the process, their thinking speed also increases as they get exposed to scenarios that need immediate solutions. This is true beyond any doubts. The question is, can they apply this concept in the real world? What about for adults, does the same thing apply? There are several kinds of games. The ones which have proven to improve the levels of thinking are simulation games. For instance, those that provide the audience room to create and run their empires. Most involve themselves in violent games. What leaves the gaming researchers surprised is the percentage of gamers who apply the concepts in the real world: very small. Most just get entertained, and it is over. Nevertheless, the computers just make them think of the solutions installed on those programs: this means, no creativity since everything is already made available, and the only thing to do is execute (Klass, 2018).
Creativity needs more interaction with the real and not the virtual world. People need to perceive the world from their own angles and not the ones that the technologies create for them. Most technologies just give new concepts. This makes individuals forget about the old ideas which contribute to the emergence of new visions in society. Thus, it is valid to say that advancements in technology has an adverse impact on the growth of creativity in the community.
- Brackett, M, Hoffmann, J, & Ivcevic, Z. (2016) Creativity in the Age of Technology: Measuring the Digital Creativity of Millennials, Creativity Research Journal, 28:2, 149-153, DOI: 10.1080/10400419.2016.1162515
- Gopee, A, Samy, M, & Ramma, Y. (2015) “Creativity and innovation in science and technology: Bridging the gap between secondary and tertiary levels of education”, International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 29 Issue: 1, pp.2-17, https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEM-05-2013-0076
- Green, G., & Kaufman, J. C. (2015). Video games and creativity. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
- Klass, P. (2018, December 17). The Case for Creative Play in a Digital Age. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/17/well/family/the-case-for-creative-play-in-a-digital- age.htm