Creativity is in decline because in the digital age we rarely allow our minds to go ‘offline’. Truly creative ideas often emerge from the buzz of unconscious activity in the mind.

  1. Yes, it's actually well researched but still very much in its infancy as you might imagine is the case for almost any neuro-behavioral topic. We understand it's called the

  2. Any media, be it digital or not, keeps our conscious mind busy and our attention on the conscious part of our minds. Which is not an issue in and of itself, but if you always distract yourself, even unknowingly, by focusing/stimulating your conscious mind, the unconscious part won't be able to "surface". Everything is in front of you, "as-is", so there is no need to be creative then. Just like when you had a bad break-up, and you, say, play video games to kill the pain, it won't help you in the long run as you don't take your time to put things into place within your head (so to speak), but only numb the thoughts, therefore, after every gaming session, you will still feel shit because you didn't clear things up in your mind, only numbed the pain/thoughts. The exact same logic applies to creativity, only on the opposite end of the spectrum.

  3. Creative people have minds that are linked to their other selves. That's why they can bring into this world things that hasn't existed. Da Vinci comes to mind.

  4. Not to mention, a big part of creativity is passion Give me a children's cartoon and I can write pages analyzing the characters, themes, and subtext. Give me a test on my creativity, though? I might not do great because I really couldn't care less.

  5. Thank you. This entire piece is a multi-word rhetorical error: begging question, to be precise. The claim about creativity declining is completely unsupported and, as you've mentioned, probably unsupportable (maybe that's why they didn't even try to provide support). Even more silly: the claim is that creativity is declining "in recent centuries"... who did that assessment, and how, given that we've only had reasonably valid measurements of creativity for a few decades?

  6. Gonna be crazy when they find out about digital art. People must think technology is only used for doom scrolling Facebook

  7. Even if you're doom scrolling, most of that time is spent looking at user created memes and videos. Which to be entertaining, generally requires some amount of creativity.

  8. As a digital artist myself, using the internet to search for ideas and watching what other people are doing is paramount to feed the brain

  9. Yeah, claims like that can't go uncited. Measuring something as subjective and (I would say) unmeasurable as creativity, across CENTURIES, sounds speculative as fuck to me.

  10. I was going to say -- this seems like a BIG assumption based on something incredibly subjective and there would require A LOT of research isolating various facets and heavy scrutiny.

  11. I'm not sure I agree with the premise. Creativity also emerges from collaboration among many minds and iterative expansion of existing culture. The internet rapidly facilitates both of these processes in a way no other medium of communication ever has.

  12. I think the article also misses the fact that the internet is a vast database of existing artifacts, to the point where an AI can generate fine art in seconds that only needs minor touch up by a trained illustrator to be a truly amazing piece. It's similar to the "everything has been invented" syndrome. While not true, there are only so many variants that can exist within a given medium. And the media are no longer diversifying so much they are compartmentalizing.

  13. Maybe it is also beneficial to note that in that same period of time the decrease, actually near cessation, of intellectual property entering into the public domain (more specifically in US based cultural media).

  14. I did my best (at least most prolific) creative work in my early 20s when I worked in a restaurant kitchen. Washing dishes, chopping veggies, would daydream or sing to myself.

  15. Yup. I worked several mindless warehouse gigs and saw so many people just stewing in misery for 10 straight hours. It was far from fulfilling work, and I had no physical freedom. But I loved that my mind was totally free.

  16. Your also ignoring how captalism demands either all your energy too just surive, so time for creativty is limited, people arn't getting paid enough being creative or demands when you do be creative, too turn it into a money making scheme

  17. Also, creativity might be fulfilling for some, but its not for everyone, sorry to say, it would be nice if we all had that kind of drive. The fact is, not everyone does, and that's a perfectly valid way to live life.

  18. But the profit motive of capitalism encourages creativity! Just think about how creative that Spiderman reboot was. Or what about that other time that they did another Spiderman reboot?

  19. What explains the dearth of creativity during certain periods without widespread capitalism? The middle-ages, for example.

  20. This is nonsense. The list of masterpieces created by artists who had full time jobs is absolutely immense. I could list hundreds....

  21. This argument has been present since time memorial with every new iteration of media, and often contradicts itself once the newest means of interacting with information comes out.

  22. Sorry but that's complete bullshit, we are in the most creative time ever. In the vast majority of history, most people never had the time, materials or inspiration to make art.

  23. I didn’t know you had to be offline to be creative. Literally let’s stop with the in touch with nature stuff. To each their own but as someone who does graphic design, video and basic image editing I am very creative in more ways than one. People aren’t creative because of mindset and sentiment. Creativity isn’t negatively impacted by tech most of the time

  24. I find this almost paradoxical in my own experience. The vast quantity and diversity of digital media I consume has bolstered my creativity, both in the arts as well as engineering. Perhaps that's because my thinking is most often problem solving, but even in my purely creative pursuits inspiration comes from observation at least as often as from introspection.

  25. I’ll buy it. Digital technology keeps you transfixed on whatever screen you’re looking at. Your mind is too busy processing that information to come to any conclusion about it. I’m sure “creative ideas” still flutter around in our brains during this process, the difference is we have less cognitive bandwidth to capture them and take them from unconscious to conscious. I get my “best” ideas, insights and realizations after just waking up, or just before nodding off.

  26. From my perspective. School tried really really hard to kill any creativity in me. Then boring death end job too...

  27. I think one of the reasons creativity is in decline is because we have become an achievement-oriented society, and we are constantly shifting our focus from one goal achieving activity to another. Our days are filled with urgent tasks we have to take care of, and we feel like taking mental health breaks is a waste of time, and in doing so, we're not giving our minds any time to rest to allow the creative process to happen in the background.

  28. “Research suggest” without referencing the research and how it argues about measuring creativity.. you know THAT incredibly easy thing to measure /s .. means this whole article can be and should be ignored.

  29. I wish that was included, but I don't think that warrants discounting the entire article. I wish there were some clarifications, as I do agree that the internet has a measurable affect on creativity, and not all of it has been negative. Also, you can't play in the same internet twice. The online world in its early years was a creative dreamland.

  30. The "digital age" has not stifled creativity but, instead, it has narrowed the focus of what forms creativity takes. That is, at least, on the public scale. We still have the same forms of media - books, music, art, etc. - but digital means have this generation focused on electronic means of both production and distribution. In turn, this has created a new form of creative endeavor: the eShop. And, through the necessity for a gatekeeper of this new art, creatives all over the internet have created services, such as Amazon's Kindle Direct, SoundCloud, Printful, and Rarible. So, the creativity is still within not only the youth of this generation, but in the previous generation who create the platforms to facilitate those innovations.

  31. Creativity is dying because people are being told that it does not have value in society. How many people have ever heard that they are wasting their time painting and should go to college so they can get a "real" job. We've created a culture of utilitarianism. As a global society we don't approve of artists unless you're a celebrity. Otherwise you're just a deadbeat drug addict (statistically).

  32. There are innumerable behaviors and activities that people engage in that do not have value in society. There are even a whole bunch that have negative value; the behaviors and activities are still there, some are absolutely thriving, so surely the value whether it be financial, emotional, or communal is a variable with limited correlation, particularly when you regard prevalence, many of these which are on the uptick.

  33. Ok. Article writer defined creativity as producing things that are novel and are of value, but listed products made from "online" creativity that are very much in demand. Rap music alone changed music as a whole. There was a time where not using a pen and paper was seen as a plus, Drake,Lil Wayne, Jay Z all bragged about not writing their rhymes down.

  34. I personally do agree with that. I have been thinking for quite some time about how wast amount of information coming out of smartphone is filling my mind and replacing my own thoughts.

  35. All of these haters are low-key revealing how much they are attached to online activity as a source of their self constructed identity.

  36. I don't even necessarily disagree with the premise. The idea that this unceasing flow of information is jeopardizing the sort of quiet contemplation needed for creativity I think is very true, but this particular article just seems sloppy. It's not exactly a novel thesis either, and it's been discussed in depth in plenty of other places without relying on unfounded notions like standardized creativity tests.

  37. I would guess that the under 30ish crowd, which has lived a mainly digital life, are the ones that are vehemently pushing back against this idea. And you cant really blame them... a digital life is really the only one many have known. Can you understand something was lost if you never experienced it? I suppose some can, but many cannot or would not be bothered with the idea. To them its an attempt to diminish the world they know and its an offensive thought to consider.

  38. Just speculating here, i get the feeling about being creative also means having the courage of being yourself.

  39. Creativity is somewhat dead in this post-modern time because it isn't rewarded. Everything needs to be functional and as most cost effective. Real creativity has no place in a society where consumerism reigns. We had our peak in Europe. Now everyone feels it is declining. What should be done or not be done is a totally different question. Honestly, most people don't care at all, which is unfortunate.

  40. Intuitively I agree with this. Social media encourages a type of conformity, and capitalism dismisses everything that doesn’t generate profit.

  41. I got 1000 crazy ideas. But it doesn't matter at all because there is no one who wants to hear them. If I invent something awesome, theres no outlet to produce it.

  42. 'Creative' literally means to c r e a t e. So if technology is our only major 'creation' in the last 150 years yet it's causing a majorly destructive or anti-creative force (climate change), then it can't be truly referred to as 'creative'. Creativity also has to include longetivity; meaning things we make need to last and have an overall positive benefit.

  43. I'm no philosopher or great thinker, but these claims square with my completely anecdotal experience. Popular film, for example, seems to be in creative decline - at least from where I'm standing.

  44. No idea about it affecting creativity for me but I'm finding that spending even a few minutes a day with as little brain input as possible but not sleeping is very beneficial to my mood and energy level.

  45. I have to write a lot in my line of work. When I get stuck, I can browse reddit or otherwise distract myself until an idea pops up from the the void and I can continue. If I just stare at the half-finished work, nothing comes to mind and I get stuck. People say I am goofing off but it is legit part of my process lol!

  46. With the digital age I would say the amount of art produced and creative ideas made real has exploded not to mention the cross connectivity that would never have occurred in a vacuum of solitary thinking.

  47. Maybe people are more creative in the way creativity matters in the digital age, while the researchers measured creativity in ways that mattered in the 90's.

  48. I have a question. For some reason I get deep dreams after I take a dump and go back to sleep. Some times I rember these dreams. Recently I had one where I was in chapter 5 of the book and was in sand dune turning into ocean as the world turns fast and trying to hold on to the ground. And then continues to chapter 6. I'm not making this up lol. Not sure how I remember this.

  49. For some years now I’ve been in a bit of a ‘funk’ creatively, or so I thought. I’ve realized tho that my ability to think in abstraction has just changed: the parameters of how to create have changed in subtle ways based on how I absorb information.

  50. When there's so much to consume, it's easier to do that than create. Smartphones are addictive. Previously artists did not have this distraction. Before the internet you really had to make your own fun, and being creative came into it. Now people just go online or play video games. There are still plenty of artists and writers though, and likely always will be.

  51. I totally believe it and can give my own anecdote to this, whenever I'm feeling down I can just use my digital pacifier to occupy my brain and just essentially go offline. I find that most of my creative thinking happens when I'm in a good mood and in the right space for it. So not only things like mood can interfere with creativity, but just constant access to escape is what can really do it. It's just so easy to be so comfortable and complacent in the modern era.

  52. Seems to be true. Many people are becoming more simple minded and reactionary. There's a lot less original and complex thinking going around nowadays.

  53. And so the audience suffers because the gap of recognisable value between it and the artist/teacher grows wider with both sides claiming the other to be at fault rather than everyone recognising how much we should just submit to needing each other.

  54. i got an Imac in April of 2020, the software that came with it finally allowed me to record songs in a real, workable way.

  55. We are living in an age of heightened creativity. There are more fully employed adults taking advantage of technology and easy low-cost access to supplies and information to be creative in a way never seen before. Its not limited to younger people either.

  56. I think it is general interconnectedness. Which isn’t a bad thing by any stretch of the means, but it leaves us too inspired, as I like to put it. What I mean is that we have constant exposure to each other with little time to develop our inspired ideas, so we make more of the same stuff. However, it could also be the organization and academic takeover of creative media. You don’t learn how to make a painting that makes you feel anymore, you learn cubism, you learn realism, or cartoon; or with western music, you learn that the only way to make good music is by using western music theory, by writing music in this style, or that; you learn formulas to make this and that, you learn rules that restrict your creative ability. If I wanted to write a song but music theory as well as all of the music around me are based on the same thing and my only experience, I will never be able to write a song all too dissimilar to these things. Also, there is capitalism. What else has been going on for the last few centuries? Capitalism. And it is ruining everything. The arts have been commodified and the artisan has become a wage slave. Not only does this make art confined to the will of the “free” market, but also discourages art in general. You tell someone that you want to be an artist and they ask you your backup plan or tell you there’s no MONEY in it. And that is the bottom line. Money. Corporate art is cold, heartless, manufactured, and insultingly simple. Corporate art is either a backdrop to a product or logos. Maybe you could commission art or make portraits, but you will either be at the whim of the employer or consumer. You cannot explore your emotions and make a large, time consuming, well thought out, project for yourself in any normal case, and it certainly wont give you money to make ends meet. Capitalism is a system where the bourgeoisie rules over the proletariat and notice I said nothing about an artisan in that sentence. Creativity leads you to think of new solutions which provides competition to the already established systems and/or cause you to question those systems. So maybe creativity is dying, but it’s probably being killed by uppity academics and capitalism.

  57. This sounds like some boomer "go back to work in a real office" propaganda, there is very little research done in this article.

  58. Who decided that creativity was seperate to anything else the mind does? I think you’d be die fairly quickly without any.

  59. I forget the exact statistic, but in terms of data creation, it’s something like the world has created more information/data in the last 10 years than in all the years prior combined.

  60. You drug the fuck out of everyone who's even a little different whether they are mentallly ill or not what do you think is gonna happen? Pysch meds kill creative thought like it's their job.

  61. Creativity is being stolen it isn't in decline and when people lose their ideas to scam artists and greedy maniacs the true artists keep their art to themselves.

  62. Like everyone else is saying, just categorically wrong. Even then it has more to do with wages, capitalism, indendence etc. Back when an 18 year old couple could buy a house and education was relevant

  63. Creativity is not in decline. This is an issue with perception. The digital age has made it easier to consume a much greater quantity of different forms of art, therefore - the percentage of things that will be "new" to you are decreased.

  64. So we were MORE creative from 1100CE to 1700ce? Gtfo the technology is pushing us harder to achieve more. It’s WHY everyone is on their phone. Yeah we have the lame “influencers” but there’s so many using the free knowledge given by apps and online academies. We have flying “cars”. Electric vehicles that are faster than fuel driven. Supersonic airplanes. I have three welders in my garage that uses electricity to weld metal. I get great ideas from other great ideas online. Silly ass.

  65. Sorry but what the actual fuck are you talking about there's literally billions of people producing creative content of some form on a daily basis now. Just because people are making videos instead of paintings does not mean they are less creative.

  66. In my experience most people go about their daily lives without much reflection or creativity, in fact creativity for adults is left to eccentrics, artists and crazies, maybe also tenure. The proverbial blank canvas has always been the most painful thing of the creative process and very few people would willingly submit themselves to this process. To get to "creative spot" as an artist you have to swim past the urge for realism, bob ross, magic hour landscapes, tracing doodles and taking selfies with sharpened pencils. You have to be a raging maniac to run past everything that has been done already and come up with something truly original. It is a real pain and involves daily battle between a breakthrough and the daily bread. To be creative is to stare in the abyss and mostly be alone on a mountaintop, after many years as an artist I still have family tell me "there's money in architecture" , "I know you don't do commercial art, like the one that everyone likes" and "what are you going to do if you have a lot of money". I don't dare think many people consider creativity valuable unless their job demands it in some way. I am working on a painting in the studio and a University professor friend walks in a says "wish I had time to do that kind of thing" but I am really busy with real life. People don't even realize we live in a magnificent universe with all kinds of marvels and mysteries.

  67. As a teacher, I have my best ideas when I'm sat in the car with nothing to do. Or when I'm out walking without my phone.

  68. Bullshit, is my first thought. My evidence is relatively anecdotal though, and an intuition pump ain’t exactly accurate either. I can accept we need more “down time” to process, but creativity doesn’t always emerge from it. If anything I find creative endeavours, such as writing, expanded by consuming content. Creativity is also not an absence of structure, or lack of content it’s the reusing of it or meshing of ideas to form a newish product. Anyway that’s my rambling.

  69. I dispute that, I think you will find plenty of creativity in neurodiverse people. But they are rarely given the chance to show it because capitalism favours neurotypical ways of doing things. ADHD people especially are creative. But the world doesnt like it. I am super creative in my essays for example and often get comments from lecturers that I have great ideas etc. But because of the way they have to tick the boxes you have to give whats needed so your not marked well for being creative but rather for ticking the boxes.

  70. Anecdotal: in the middle of a big unplug, and I've added more to my "ideas" note in the past few days than I had in the prior months combined.

  71. I work in the performance arts and teach. I can tell you my current crop of young adults seem to not have much body awareness and are uncertain how to play “pretend”. I feel like it is certainly related

  72. I also think the internet has tampered the creativity of the aspiring artist. All we see are these fabulously beautiful pieces by artists around the globe and for people still processing and learning it can be discouraging. It used to be your art was just judged against your immediate peers and seeing their great work sparked inspiration to grow. Having the entire world show their enormous talent all the time makes those in the middle just want to give up.

  73. Technology is not a death to all creativity, there are plenty of things being made digitally that would have never been done before. Though in saying that I myself am a statement of done truth. As I go about the internet, inspiration has changed to bombardment. I am so busy thinking of the world of others that my own mind is drowned out. I used to be a lot more creative. Now I feel blank like no idea is mine. In short, to an individual there is some truth, but collectively, I'd say we are still very creative in the digital age. There's no one size fits all. It depends on the person.

  74. Jokes on you I have ADHD so I NEVER run out of ideas! This is a serious comment tho, the idea presented above is severely flawed like a lot of philosophy that never takes into consideration mental illness.

  75. This is also an ‘acquired’ facet of intelligence that is qualitative & emotionally driven, it’s how someone who is ‘interested’ in a field of study experiences more ‘thought’ related to that field, and, is more able to perform problem solving tasks related to said ‘area of interest’.

  76. I think this is more a problem with the observer than the creator. We see A LOT of stuff today, literally hundreds of websites and videos a day. So it's very difficult to find something that's fundamentally new.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may have missed