Disconnecting Can Fuel Creativity

By Paul Halpern

The Philadelphia Inquirer

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Modern technology has allowed us to communicate with anyone, anywhere at anytime. While this has allowed women in business to connect with people from around the world, it also keeps many of us tethered to our phones.  Is it important to disconnect every once in awhile and “take a break” from tech.  The author of this article sure thinks so.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

One of the stunning breakthroughs of the 21st century is the ability to share massive amounts of information instantaneously, virtually anywhere around the world.

Communication is no longer confined to particular locations or times. A boy in Malaysia can play chess with a girl in Brazil while posting on Facebook, based in the United States, and commenting on a Reddit thread started in the United Kingdom.

Scholars no longer have to travel to distant libraries and archives if the information is available online.

These possibilities for connection have led to untold collaborative, creative efforts, such as writers in different locales working on pieces in tandem, and musicians combining their tracks remotely.

Yet, as with any innovation, one must balance convenience with other factors pertaining to the human condition. People are not wired machines with the capability of communicating 24 hours a day and still being able to function. The brain needs time to process information and reorganize itself accordingly. Moreover, some people are more introverted and private than others, requiring even more downtime.

Despite modern technology, there are many pleasures and insights gained by communicating in person, rather than electronically. People’s glances can be more revealing than what they say. There are joys observing nature in peace and quiet.

Creativity often happens in silent, thoughtful moments.

My grandmother was someone who loved to talk with anyone about virtually anything. She enjoyed sharing anecdotes with friends and neighbors. Yet ironically, one of the most open, social people I’ve ever met never liked chatting on the phone. Even if I hadn’t seen her for months, when I called her up she would say little more than “Hello. I’m fine, how are you? Hope to see you soon.” Part of that, no doubt, was her childhood experience with phone calls being rare and expensive, but another part of it was her temperament.

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