I find it remarkable how something small can set of a chain of thoughts which snowball into the ramblings of my blog. I have been very… um what would be the word… organic? about how I have written so far; I tend to just let it happen and when I feel I have something definite I want to write about I just write it. So far I have been lucky in that any time I went to write I had something I wanted to talk about but the last few days nothing was happening for me. I kept thinking ok well I still need to write something down cos I don’t want to leave it too long between blogs but I wasn’t happy with anything I came up with, it felt forced. However, about an hour ago I was floating around on twitter reading bits and bobs when I clicked on a link sent from one of my work friends to another. Looking at the site, out of nowhere I flowed with different things I wanted to talk about, the main one being creativity and individuality.
Technology is fantastic. We can do more in an instant now then we could do ten years ago in a day or possibly a week. It allows us to communicate with people anywhere in the world as if they are sitting in the same room. We can have instant access to knowledge, music, art, movies, books – you name it, you can probably buy it or download it online. We can express ourselves online in an on-going public format, we can create a persona that we can control, we can learn about society in general without even leaving our sofas (or in my case often my bed) and it is also a great outlet for creativity.
You can find loads of websites dedicated to art and graphic design, some with tutorials about how to recreate images etc. etc. and of course without the assistance of my laptop, the electricity that’s keeping it running, the internet that it’s connected to and the countless other forms of technology that it interacts with between my house and yours, you would not be currently reading my haphazard formulation of thoughts on your nice bright screen. I love technology.
Now don’t pretend - you all knew there was a but coming it was only a matter of when! Within all of this advancement I do have 1 large concern - that we are losing some of our individuality. By that I mean what sets us apart from each other… These days everything seems to be computerised (is that even a word?), everything is uniform and spell checked and perfect. The human qualities are slowly being taken out of the equation.
I often watch the program “who do you think you are?” where celebrities research their family history. They travel to places connected to their ancestors, check records and find old pictures which shape the story of their family tree. Usually one of the most important pieces both emotionally and of course from sociological point of view would be a birth certificate or log book which displayed the signature of the person. It was something that they touched and left their mark on. It was also something that no one else could replicate, it was their unique signature. Recently my uncle found the signature of my great grandfather on a census taken in 1911 and sent a picture around so that we could see it. I was fascinated – here was the actual signature! It was really neat and cursive which surprised me. I don’t know why but I had assumed that he would have been an ordinary man with basic skills (I had no reason to believe this, I just assumed) and here was a beautiful, well-practiced signature. The thought that crossed my mind at this point was in 50/60/70 years’ time when a member of my future family look back at records, all they will see are computer logs and printed names and my signature will be lost forever.
With all of this uniformity and perfection there seems to be a general attitude change too. It’s an instant gratification syndrome; why make something when you can buy it ready and perfect in minutes? why learn something when you can just Google the answer when you want to? why read something when you can just watch the movie instead? To me humans aren’t perfect, we do our best, we make mistakes, we come up with solutions and we learn then for the next time. So why should everything else be perfect? You bake a cake from scratch, it flops so you go back and try again. This time it tastes great but its lopsided, you got most of it right and it’s homemade. To me that is more satisfying then just picking up one around the corner as I find I care more about things that I invest my time in.
I just worry that I too am getting sucked into losing the creative impulse I used to have. I have noticed that I would happily express myself online faster than expressing myself in person. When I spend excessive amounts of time on my laptop, I don’t create or make or bake or explore my artistic side. I sit blankly at a screen and take in useless information instead of tasking my brain. So that’s something I am going to change. I’m going to try and have some creative influence in my everyday life; be it cooking food from scratch, trying new things, making some things instead of buying them, growing plants, coming up with solutions myself instead of instantly searching online for the answer – anything that gets my brain active and expresses who I am away from the curtain of the internet. Can’t hurt to try right?
Like I said, I’m on here writing to you through modern technology, I’m not knocking it. I just don’t want to become a generic person with generic ideals and a generic lifestyle. Oh yes, here is the link that I clicked which resulted in this blog: http://www.drawastickman.com
"I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that call others weird that are weird." Paul McCartney