Category Archives: Art + Social Media
Mixing multitasking with creativity and “you and your true love – your smartphone. Think about it. Are you lost without it? Inconsolable if the two of you are separated? Willing to walk into a lamppost rather than look up while texting? Is it the object of your desire? Isn’t it?”
–Ira Flatow, Talk of the Nation host at NPR
And if it turns out that constantly buzzing from one tweet to the next website to the next text to the next blog post to the next email to the next link to the next song to the next YouTube is killing your creativity, can you give it up? Can you even recognize that it may be killing your creativity?
That’s the compelling case being made by more than a few researchers, including Clifford Nass, a psychology professor at Stanford University. Nass told NPR that “the research is almost unanimous, which is very rare in social science, and it says that people who chronically multitask show an enormous range of deficits. They’re basically terrible at all sorts of cognitive tasks, including multitasking.”
So the laugh’s on the multitaskers, who are so terrible at multitasking that they don’t realize they’re terrible at it. In the meantime, their creativity suffers, since they cannot filter out irrelevancy, Nass maintains.
Sue Shellenbarger reports in The Juggle blog for WSJ online that multitasking blocks your best ideas. In her terrific piece Tactics to Spark Creativity, she suggests that “even people who lack ideas can set the scene for inspiration; just walk away.”
Creativity doesn’t seem to find me when I’m searching for it in the midst of millions of other distractions. It comes to me randomly when I’m on a hike at Big Bend, or sautéing some kale, or driving along a Hill Country road (without the radio) or when I’m just relaxing on my deck. There’s no room for creativity to drop in unexpectedly when I’m in the midst of a million things. Multitasking, that is.
I’d like to hear from other creatives on when they’re feeling most creative—at the computer? With iPhone in hand? Or elsewhere?
And now it’s time for me to just . . . walk away. To preserve my creativity for another day.
Welcome to 2012. The day that experts’ columns appear with abandon, advising us on New Year preparations and goals. Generally the best recourse is to read these columns, save them in a location where you’ll never find them, and then procrastinate until it’s too late to act on the advice. For the procrastinators among us, here are some timely tech things to do to start 2012 off with a clean slate (or a clean iPad). Most are guaranteed hangover cures—since you’d probably rather have a hangover than do any of these tasks:
1. Take the trouble to actually “unsubscribe” to every junk email you’ve marked as spam and allowed to accumulate by the thousands in your Mail junk folder.
2. Update every person in your Address Book with current phone numbers, emails and addresses, and delete the duplicates.
3. Go to every website where you’ve entered a password that you’ve forgotten, and change them all to passwords you can actually remember.
4. Delete all of the duplicate songs in your iTunes library, delete all of the stupid playlists you made when you were younger, and create new playlists for your current favorite songs.
5. Load every CD you’ve never copied into your iTunes library into your computer to copy over the songs. Then put the CDs on some dusty shelf somewhere.
6. Visit the websites of all of your credit cards, loans and cell phone carriers to examine their privacy policies and opt out, since you’ve already been automatically opted in.
7. Organize all of the apps on your iPhone into meaningful folders and delete all the free apps you downloaded while drinking with friends.
8. Ditto all of the apps on your iPad.
9. Investigate the latest software for erasing your online identity in the (unfortunate) event of your untimely death. Then pick your software poison for making all of your stupid Facebook entries (yes, they were stupid) and your self-aggrandizing tweets (yes, be honest, you were trying to make yourself look good to total strangers) leave the universe with you.
10. Or just clip this list to a safe but obscure location where you’ll never find it again, and pour yourself another Bloody Mary.
9. You’ve actually begun to look forward to telemarketing phone calls, and they’re hanging up on you.
8. The accumulated toe nail clippings surrounding your desk have amassed to form an anti-Facebook union.
7. You’ve been staring into your refrigerator for so long that you missed the deadline for the only paying account you have right now. And the interior light bulb in the fridge burned out.
6. With your only paying account now searching for its new national brand on the free logomaker.com site, you desperately resort to more futile forays inside your (darkened) refrigerator.
5. Upon further scrutiny, your dark refrigerator remains empty, but a quick bathroom scale check-in reveals added baggage. And it’s yours.
4. Thanks to your flying-solo freelance ethic, your senses are now so heightened that any high-pitched whining sound, no matter how distant, becomes the dominant drone of The Giant Gnat That Ate New York City.
3. No one calls. No one texts you. No one posts on your wall. No one retweets your tweets.
2. Your mother is posting recipes for quinoa casseroles and photos of her friends in restorative yoga postures on your Facebook wall, and you lack the energy to hover your cursor over the ‘block’ pop-up.
1. After four long days working from home alone with your indifferent dog, a noisy gnat and your empty refrigerator subbing for office camaradie, you resort to Starbucks. Where you pay $4.87 for your first Frapp of the day (it’s 9:50 am, do the math and add up the calories)–and another lonely freelancer at the next table offers to watch your laptop during your 7-second pit stop. Except he’s not a freelance designer, he’s just a freelance thief.
While mourning the loss of all faith in any humanity, you might just consider coworking and collaborating in a community of your peers–where your laptop, your creativity and your soul are not stolen. And great coffee is free.
Powered by CoCreate in downtown Austin, Texas.
Cowork + Collaborate = CoCreate.