Does My Phone Make Me Less Creative?
First, I’ll establish this: the biggest factor in my life that hinders my creative energy is my job. My job is particularly uncreative, only letting me take refuge in my own imagination when it’s slow and nobody’s around. The type of tasks I do, the amount of mental energy I dedicate to them, and the time they occupy are all reasons why I don’t doodle like I used to, back in class in university or in crappier jobs in the past. Combined with other general responsibilities like errands and cooking, turning into a financially stable adult has distracted me from creative hobbies more than anything else.
When I do have free time, I don’t have to sit at a table or a desk to check things on the internet, so I’m not in a position conducive to using a pen and paper. My creativity tends to be sparked by boredom, but it takes a certain level to build up before that spark is lit and playing with something on my phone can nip that in the bud to a detriment. There are some ways, then, that being able to use something so easily (although when it malfunctions all the fucking time, not so much) may hinder my creative motivations and quality of anything I do still put out. Fair assessment.
But writing and drawing by hand aren’t the only ways I can be creative. I can get inspired at a keyboard just as much as with a pencil. I used to make comics using Paint (sometimes still do) and lately when sitting at my desktop, the scanner so conveniently attached makes it much less work to doodle and post something somewhere online.
And where do I post this? Mostly on Twitter. Being a short-form medium that’s both an outlet for creativity and a source of information/entertainment, it’s interactive with much more immediate gratification. What other people post can be very inspiring and spark passionate dialogue or silly thoughts or both at the same time. As long as I can contain each segment of a thought in 140 characters, I can put out a lot of inspired pieces of wit. This is (nearly) just as easy on my phone as it is on a computer. The convenience makes it more accessible for me to translate my stream of consciousness into the written word. Are my tweets creative? People can argue this however they like. Are tweets in general creative? It’s a huge sphere of communication; of course some of them are going to be and a lot of them are. People wouldn’t use Twitter for anything less creative than they would want to do if it weren’t around, unless they drew and wrote and painted works of art that they never intended on sharing with anyone – in which case, what would be the original point?
So no, I don’t think my phone makes me less creative. I think it nets positive, even if there are losses out of laziness. That laziness is something I have to take personal responsibility for, but it’s also completely voluntary that I contribute thoughts and ideas and bad drawings to a universally accessible vortex of stuff. For my personal well-being, that there’s an outlet that I can throw terrible and good ideas into at all hours in all places should encourage me to do this more. For the most part, I think it does.