“When you have fewer resources, you use them more creatively.” But the digital world is curious in this respect. Yes, technology encourages us to create by restricting the options available, but it tries desperately to guarantee pleasant results with minimum effort. We’re discouraged from pushing our creative boundaries. As a result, the likelihood of producing something new, surprising or valuable is diminished.”
I know that technology has made it possible for millions of people to by-pass learning the basics of crafts such as photography while getting the results of those that have invested years learning crafts from the ground up.
I’m going to use photography as a case study.
I’m not knocking the advantages technology brings to photography, instead, I’m looking at one big pitfall that stems from those advantages.
The stymying of creativity and knowledge.
When I first got in the photography game with my Nikon FM2 one had to know at least the bare minimums about light balance, shadow control, ISO, depth of field, perspective, shutter speed in relation to aperture, and the list goes on. Most people shooting photos today that just read this have no idea what I’m talking about because technology takes care of a lot of the things I just mentioned.
By relying on technology solely, we are turning out a plethora of run of the mill results which is okay if one is just snap shooting and capturing milestone moments.
But for those of us that want to produce signature works this is not okay. A lot of people are going to be frustrated when they try to seriously explore creative boundaries because they don’t know how to manually capture what they envision.
That’s a perfect example of “technology is dumbing us down”.
I’ll use most of you that read this as an example of how technology sucks the creativity out of us.
Ninety-nine percent of you that read this have a camera built into your phones. On that camera is a manual mode that allows you to manually set all the controls before capturing any photo. Have you ever used the manual mode to set aperture opening, shutter speed, or the iso rating? I’d wager a few do. Those few are probably turning out photos with a different signature flairs to them.
Technology’s impact on creativity and individuality extends beyond photography. No one has to remember phone numbers anymore. Emails and texts, oftentimes with their auto-generated commonly used words and phrases have replaced letter and note writing. A lot of the major music we listen to is put together using auto generated beats and tech tuned “voices”. More and more every day mechanical and health issues are being diagnosed by computers as opposed to relying on the training and skills of professionals. There are ongoing conversations and debates about keyboards making handwriting obsolete.
Think about some ways technology may be corralling your creativity and you just might find you could be better at a whole lot of things if you relied more on your skills than the helping hands of computer code.