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My Creativity vs. The Internet

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My professional background is in Information Technology.  I spent many years as Information Architect and Business Analyst.  Much of my time was spent helping businesses manage their internal content better.  Just as you have probably had to contend with a computer full of useful, yet forgotten documents you can't locate, many companies find themselves in the exact same boat, only it's about 25,000 times bigger.  You can imagine the challenge of distributing critical information to an employee in another country in a timely fashion when that employee doesn't realize what they need exists.  How I enjoyed designing solutions for the modern information worker. 

Obviously, my role today has changed drastically, although my past experience leaves me with a strange fascination with the movement of data through the Internet.  As someone who was highly involved with technology before the Internet was readily accessible, I have been in awe of how quickly it has progressed.  Gone are the days when you had to submit your website to Yahoo and specify the category it should be filed under.  Now we live in the age where "Google" is a verb.

In the past six months I have developed a deep dependance on the Internet for my learning and growth in many aspects of my life, particularly parenting and Montessori home schooling.  Google Reader and Pinterest are enough to provide more ideas then I could ever possibly implement in my home.  While I am grateful for everyone who is willing to enrich my life by freely sharing their ideas, I am starting to notice a decline in something that was once a very prized attribute.... my own creativity.

These days it seems like I have no original ideas.  It's a bit discouraging when I think I've come up with something new only to discover that not only has it been done a million times but those efforts far exceeded mine.  As I spend time each day awash in the vastness of the Information Age, I find myself losing the connection between those ideas which developed within me and those that were the brainchild of someone else.

I fear that my loss of creativity may be, in part, due to complacency.  When I can perform a simple search for ideas and inspiration and in an instant receiving thousands of responses, why bother putting in the time and energy to vet the creative process myself?  Of course the issue is that I'm robbing my mind of something it is longing to do.

So what is the solution?  I'm not sure.  I'm not certain this is really an issue in the first place.  I do think it's important to occasionally let my brain have its fun.  I also think it's important that I maintain my own sense of identity.  But perhaps this is a paradigm shift in how the creative process plays out in a connected, global community.  Or maybe I just need to plan for more time outside without access to the Internet.


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