How Technology Is Disrupting Creativity

It is extremely difficult to be bored in today’s society. This is because we are constantly using distractions like texting, emails, social media, notifications, games, the news, and tweets. There is always something to distract us at the time we are “bored.” However, when was the last time you or your family was actually bored? We mean like “reorganizing the whole kitchen just because” bored. It’s probably been a long time! With the rise of technology, our creativity is slowly being killed off, and technology doesn’t solve all our boredom problems.

This rise in technology is also affecting children's creativity levels as well. A child is sat down in front of an iPad or smartphone to give them something to do (or keep them quiet). For most parents, the solution of allowing their children to play on a tablet or smartphone just seems more convenient and just common.

The technology we constantly use is changing our brain as well. Our brain is learning to disregard short-term information. This causes less long-term memories, which help us learn and adapt in our environment and the world around us.

Once we allow the magic of the iPad to take over playtime, it takes away from play in real life. This affects what is called, Deep Play. This allows for children to create narratives and images in their head and transcribe them into imaginative settings and situations. This is the ability for a child to take a cardboard box and make it into a pirate ship with crayons and an outfit. Furthermore, it’s when the princess is stuck in the castle and the dragon is coming to get her; and all that is used is a stick for a sword and a swing set for a castle.

The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that American children spend a whopping seven hours a day in front of electronic media. In 1995, a child was spending around three hours a day in front of a screen. By 2004, this amount of time increased by four and a half hours and fast forward to now- to seven and a half hours!

The effects of all of this screen time can range from:

  • The inability to work in a team
  • Lack of innovation
  • Lack of engagement
  • Shorter attention spans
  • Lack of communication and interpersonal skills
  • Lack of vocabulary

Furthermore, too much screen time too soon can hinder development of abilities that parents are so eager to make sure their children hit. The problem lies in what makes the internet and games so amazing, the amount of stimuli at your touch. This means a young child has way too many actions going on at once, and can cause more harm than good.

There are symptoms to look for if your child is overstimulated:

  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Irrational demands
  • Crying more than normal
  • Disobedience

All of these symptoms can lead to parents and their children being extremely frustrated. Over time, these symptoms could be mistaken for behavioral issues and learning disabilities. When in reality, it could just be a simple cause of sensory overload and overstimulation.

While it’s convenient to put a tablet in front of your “bored,” or crying child; let them be bored. It will allow for them to understand that not everything in life is immediate, and to expand on their creativity. It allows for them to have creative ideas and let their minds wander to different places. Boredom is not the enemy and neither can tablets and smartphones with limited time. Both are necessary parts of life as we know it.

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