Jordan MacMahon gives it to us straight: technology is limiting our creativity and is making us lazy!
When we think of a stimulating thing to do in today’s society we often think of watching something on Netflix, playing a video game or surfing through pages of our peers on Social Media. However, many may find it hard to believe that before the world of the internet, streaming and even TV, people had to find their own forms of entertainment. Look back four or five hundred years and the list of recreational activities is very different. People would go watch a play or spectated in an archery competition. There are still many similarities in today’s society, for example people still hunt and many millions spectate at football matches. But why has entertainment dwindled from intellectual and imaginative forms of art such as a Shakespearean play, to reality television like ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’? And has this decline in intelligent art forms and sporting activities led to a loss of creativity in today’s youth?
It all comes down to the fact that as society has developed and become more advanced mankind has become lazier. We have machines and computers to do almost everything in our daily life and this has led to a loss of imagination and in many cases a “lazier” mind. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that things are often invented when there is a problem that needs fixing.
Obviously no one is complaining about living in a society where we have bomb-disarming robots, space exploration and depth and understanding into to medicine and health, but it makes one wonder whether or not we’ve left room for new ideas. Wonder, but not worry as a prime example is to look at the film Back to the Future, where they predicted hover cars and smart glasses but not Mobile phones (perhaps the biggest new technology since the automobile). This just proves that mankind cannot predict future technology but it is no doubt becoming harder to imagine and invent.
What do you buy a man that has everything? This is a similar question many parents will be asking themselves at Christmas and at birthdays. You don’t need to have every new thing to have everything in today’s society; we have electronic updates and gadgets that have multiple uses. So surely, if you have ‘everything’ you need then you don’t have to imagine the things you want. (Stay with me here) This, I believe, is what is leading to the loss of creativity in today’s youth. The lack of need or desire for “new” things OR the expectation that someone else will invent something anyway. After all, don’t we all expect the launch of a new iPhone every September? The evolution of the iPhone is a prime example as if you look at the first few iPhones (1-5) each one changes rather dramatically, whereas today the most recent releases have all been relatively similar just with more pretty software or curvier edges, claiming to be the ‘best iPhone yet’.
Studies have shown that since 1990s children have become less able to create unique and unusual ideas, suggesting a lack of imagination and creativity. Experts say the reason for this is likely down to games consoles and social media, which separate us from reality, and takes away the need for imagination, unlike a book would.
Is this damaging to society? Probably. Will we do anything about it? Probably not.
Reality TV, social media and games consoles are multi-billion dollar industries that feed off humans desire to live as easy lives as possible; as does the fast food industry, the appliance industry and the transport industry (i.e driverless cars!). That is how the most money is made in the world, via exploitation in one form or another. It is an effective method, why would we change it?
500 years ago the exploitation came from the church and everyone’s desperate need for forgiveness and a way into heaven. The church would, in short, charge people a fee to “forgive their sins”. Peoples’ lives were based around religion, sports and art. These are the generations of people that led the way to sewage systems, the industrial revolution and modern day transport. These people didn’t have the choice to sit around watching television or ‘facebooking’. You just have to compare art today with art from centuries ago to see the loss of creativity before your eyes.
We know that new entertainment is making people lazier and less imaginative but is it destroying the creative minds of the future? Some would argue it is actually inspiring creativity. It is up to you to decide.