In ancient Europe before the renaissance era, the ability to be creative was reserved only for God. And given that he is the creator, no man was therefore deemed worthy of the gift of creativity. Simply put, there was no such thing as a ‘creative licence’ at that time.
It was therefore no surprise that anybody with ability to create was rendered a conduit of the divine and that the only reason he was able to do so was because of ‘divine enlightenment’. Interestingly, this belief stayed around until the world decided enough was enough with ancient beliefs and started the transition in to what we now know as the modern age.
It was here that it then graduated from a spiritual gift to being referred to as a special ability but even then it was only reserved for ‘great men’. The way I see it, if this were still the case today, I can guarantee very few would make the creative club. Luckily we have technology to thank.
Indeed there is no denying that man’s ability to create novel ideas as well as his ability to successfully implement them has been greatly influenced by technology.
In fact the impact is so great that somehow the perceptions surrounding creativity have changed. Take us millennials for instance, we grew up at a time when the closest you got to being a celebrated creative mind was if you partook in any of the arts.
That meant you weren’t an artist or a dancer, you were a fiction writer. Outside of that, the chances of you being considered creative were pretty slim. This obviously left those of us with no artistic bone in our bodies as helpless bystanders that didn’t stand a chance in the creativity race. Fortunately, that was then, now we have technology to thank as it has managed to alter the rules of the game.
While in the past, creativity was mainly attributed to one’s gifts, talents and imagination, today it isn’t just limited to that. With all exposure made possible by technology, one is able to attain certain skills which when added to practice and ideas are enough to make a creative work.
For a long time tailors in Africa have been looked at as just tailors but take a tailor’s work and post it on social media and you’ll get a designer. Get a computer programmer looking to find easier and simpler ways of communicating with friends and family in different parts of the world and you’ll get the creator of Facebook.
The era in which we are today is known as the digital age and one of the reasons for this is that we happen to use a lot of gadgets and therein software to go about our daily lives. Spear heading this digital era of course is social media, and we can all agree that it is doing a lot in contributing to the creativeness in this world.
For instance, In the past many artist’s work was not considered creative enough depending on the opinion of just a few ‘Art experts’ but today with an estimation of about 300 million photos are uploaded on Instagram every minute the chances of getting a wider range of opinions are much higher all thanks to technology.
This in turn helps us by showing that creativity cannot be limited to just one thing and it is therefore a diverse field that technology is only helping to expose. Today even coming up with a social media strategy is considered creativity depending on the way you look at it.
If you ask me, technology has helped change the lens through which the world viewed the concept of creativity.
Many argue that technology such as social media has become a hindrance to creativity as it encourages consumption in lieu of creation hence not allowing people to think outside the box.
I think technology has instead opened us to a whole other dimension and could more helpful on our part to figure out how to take advantage of this instead of complaining about it.
The author is a student at University of Rwanda, College of Science and Technology