Musing: Creative Toolkits – Hating on Technology.

How you do it is less important than what's created, right?

How you do it is less important than what’s created, right?

I think a lot of people misinterpret technology in terms of its contribution to creativity.  It’s a stereotype at this point, older people damning people for sitting children in front of techno-toys rather than adapting to more traditional venues.

I’m going to agree and disagree at the same time.  I think it’s important to take more details into consideration.  Just like traditional equivalents, there is technology out there that provides tool-kits to spark creativity.

Let’s start with a fairly straightforward one.  I like writing stories, but I hate writing.   No I haven’t gone crazy here, I mean it in a literal sense.  I have terrible handwriting.  I don’t enjoy writing things with a pencil or a pen.  It’s just that simple.

Most of my disdain I’ve had with homework in school has come from the physical act of writing down answers.  Does that make me a lazy person?   Perhaps.  It doesn’t make my writing any less viable though.

There isn’t a strong connection between the act of writing and creating for me.  I think that as we move forward in humanity, it becomes important to respect the needs of the upcoming generations.  Some children may not find much pleasure in playing with blocks, but they enjoy building things.  So, stuff like Minecraft is a no brainer for them.

I think it’s important to identify what works best for you as a person.   If you write best with a pencil, write with a pencil.  Maybe the sound of graphite against paper helps you focus.  For me?  I like the freedom and peace of mind against errors.   Ugly smudges on the paper dishearten me, and I find myself being too self-conscious when said smudges show on the paper.

I love my backspace key.  Sometimes I’ll type something random and delete it out, just to get myself back on track.   You can’t do that (seamlessly) with paper and pencil and certainly not with a pen.

A pen is a tool for a perfect person.  A pencil is a tool for the perfectionist.   What if you’re somewhere in between?

People vilify technology, calling it soulless and lazy, but you can do things with tech you could only dream of with imagination.  The thing is, it doesn’t limit imagination so much as it makes turning it into reality easier.

You can eat soup with your bare hands rather than a spoon, but why would you?

Now you can argue that technology isn’t free.  You still need to power it, which sparks the debate of how much energy a person drawing on a tablet uses versus the paper and pencils used up.  I think tech might edge you out there.

The point I’m getting at here?  Creative Toolkits are valid options.  There are good and bad out there.  I agree children shouldn’t be exposed to Angry Birds without an educational equivalent presented as well.  There are people out there that see video games as mindless, but you can make some impressive stuff in Minecraft and it doesn’t cost you hundreds of dollars in little plastic blocks—a perfect alternative to poor households that want to give their children creative outlets.

The people complaining about games are typically upper middle class (or above) but it’s an interesting point that a kid in a bad neigborhood with a cheap tablet may be using the same tools as a more entitled child hundreds of miles away.

Technology has the potential to be the bridge.

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