Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The decline of creativity

I read the beginning of an article the other day that said that social networking is causing a decline in creativity. It basically indicated that our brains NEED boredom and downtime in order to be creative. This makes lots of sense to me.

I had always sort of figured that my blogging days were over because I'm a mom and I don't have time. Or maybe because I'm a mom and I've nothing to write about. But it never occured to me that I stopped writing because my creativity had up and flown right out of my ears. And it has actually NOTHING to do with motherhood.... But everything to do with Facebook.

It's supremely easy for a girl like me (who finds everything about human interaction exceedingly fascinating) to get caught up in social networking. It's so thrilling to see the highs and lows of my friends and pseudo-friends as life comes at them each day. The joys of pregnancy or wedding announcements. The reactions to breakups and losses. The frequently coded statuses that always mean more than what they say, but that are too encrypted by the writer to be fully understood. These things are fun. They are fascinating. They are human.

And yet... They are zapping my Kristi-ness. My brother once told me that I was always filled with hair-brained ideas as a kid. Always wanting to redesign my room to look like a jungle. Or make a new dance routine for my amateur dance group. Or design a float to be in the town parade. Or orchestrate a garage haunted house for the younger trick or treaters. And that creativity spilled over into my blog as a young adult. But then it died a slow and painful death... Or at least suffered from a disease called Facebook.

The thing is... I cant really blame Facebook. I have to blame my excessive use of Facebook instead. Because the creativity that lays dormant does-every now and then-awake for a fun project. Lately it's been cooking. Right now in fact I'm attempting to make from roasted red pepper hummus from scratch. And last Halloween I loved every minute of brainstorming and creating Mia and Vince's cookie and milk costumes. And I miss creating things. I miss feeling that lightbulb ignite in my head and get me so excited that I've got to put it down on paper before I forget. Or the way a really good idea just eats away at me until I act on it.

So what I'm saying is this: Dear Facebook - You are fun. You keep me connected. And you keep me entertained. But you do NOT inspire me... And thus I need to take a small step away from our relationship. It's not you... It's me. Or it's actually the part of me that I've lost to you. I want me back. So over the next few months I plan to spend less time with you and more time with me. Even if that means unforesaking boredom. Because experiencing boredom means that creativity awaits. Huzzah! Take care, Kristi


  1. That makes sense... although I can't help but think that my children sucked a good chunk of my creativity when they were "borrowing" things from my body while inhabiting it. I feel like I've lost a ton of what I learned in college since I had children. Do you find that as well? Or is that totally unrelated?

  2. Yup, I'm totally with you on this. As a guy who has to write as part of his job, I find that I typically have to have facebook turned totally off or tuned completely out if I'm blogging or similar.

  3. Kristi, as much as I hate to see you "go", I can see where you're coming from. If not for work, I wouldn't be on facebook, so I rationalize my use. But, when I have a big work project or want to concentrate on my ancestry things, I turn off facebook. Like Nathan, I can't have it on while trying to do something else.
    You've made some really good points here. And you are a very creative person - it shows in your writing.
    Good luck!

  4. My mom mentioned this weekend how us girls were at the park learning dance routines and Derek came over playing hockey and kept hitting his ball at us so I threw it in the pool. And he called my mom and said "Margaret, Erin threw my ball in the pool".

  5. Great post, Kristi! It's so true, makes me want to cut back too.