The Internet as a creativity killer

When reached out to sponsor the blog this week they also proposed an article about the pros and cons of utiziliing the web for creative inspiration. I thought the idea was great, so here’s Clément Dietschy of Seizam and his thoughts on the web as a creativity killer.

As creatives, we travel the web often in search of inspiration and ideas, but should we?

We go around reading, listening, watching, and everywhere we find great content. Content which can inspire our next creation, wikis which teaches us how we will make them happen, or social networks to share and discuss them once done. Great.

But have we fully considered the damages browsing the web can cause?

First, there is group thinking. One could argue that consensus is a great democratic achievement, but when it comes to creativity, it can more often than not, become a pain point. As the communal nature of the Internet tends to favor the majority, we the creators, who are by definition a minority, have to be careful not to be drown by the mainstream buzz. So, when looking to be creative online, beware of the broader feedback derived from that content.

Then, there is criticism. As we question our ideas and worry about our skills, the Internet can be a very discouraging place.

There are so many great projects out there that when we compare our work to what we see, we often feel “below par” with others. But feeling like lesser of a creative can be a good thing. Feeling judged and criticized, even self-criticized, can be natural and healthy. Doubt is actually an important part of the innovative process, it shows us where we can improve and can often spark new ideas. Just remember to treat criticism as a step and not as a state.

Third, there is dependance. The more we make a habit of using the web for creative inspiration, the tighter the bond between it and our creativity becomes.

Let’s face it, we rely on the Internet quite a lot. Could we still be creative without it? To make sure, make another habit: work away from the screen from time to time – one hour a day, one day a week, one month a year. Remind yourself that you are creative without the hustle of the web.

All of this said, the Internet is still a much more beneficial place than it is a problem for creatives. As long as we’re aware of potential problems and realize how much we receive from it and how much we sacrifice for it.

Clément Dietschy is editor of the blog David Can Win and founder of Seizam.