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Imagination and the Information Super-highway 
20th-Nov-2009 10:42 am
Poll #1488059 Imagination

Do you believe that, in more cases than not, the internet enhances or stifles people's imagination?

I'm not sure
Something else (what?)
20th-Nov-2009 07:19 pm (UTC)
The only reason I said "I'm not sure" is because I, personally, have no imagination. Literally. Therefore, any experiences I would have had with anything of that nature doesn't compute.
20th-Nov-2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
I'd say enchances. There are so many mimes born on the internet that it can't stifle imagination. o;

Plus, you should see what people do with photoshop.

Besides, my imagination runs wild all the time and I'm the internet a lot.
20th-Nov-2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
What brought on this question?!
20th-Nov-2009 07:43 pm (UTC)
Personally, I was feeling as if my imagination and creativity were not what they once were. I wondered if this was because there are so many ways to be entertained and diverted today that I don't exercise my imagination the way I did before I could kill time online, or before I could watch movies and documentaries at my fingertips instead of having to wait for them, or before when I actually had to read books instead of downloading them from ITunes and listening to them on my Zune, or before video games. This may be the reason that I feel less imaginative and less creative, or it may be that this is just what happens when you get older.

Edited at 2009-11-20 07:45 pm (UTC)
20th-Nov-2009 07:47 pm (UTC)
That is why I said stifles. For me, personally, I spend too much time playing games and doing totally wasteful things when I could be writing or engaging in some of creative activity.
20th-Nov-2009 08:09 pm (UTC)
Depends on the type of game you play, though. :3 Puzzle games and such are great (even Minesweeper, because you have to apply some logic to it). Also, after I started playing the Ace Attorney series, my imagination got a much needed boost because of the storyline and some of the weird solutions you have to come up with.

But on the other hand, if it's something that doesn't engage your mind at all, that you can play on auto-pilot, that's different.
20th-Nov-2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
I guess I differentiate using my imagination from doing things that expand my brain. When I think of using my imagination, I think of creating things, like writing or art. When I think of playing games, I know a lot of them are helping me to be more logical (like minesweeper) or even better with money or what-not. But I don't feel like most of the ones I play are using my imagination. Just a lot of clicking. :P

I do realize that's just my own definition of imagination, though. :)
20th-Nov-2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
Still, in order to solve some of them, you have to "think outside the box," which is (at least for me) a form of creativity. Anytime you have to stop and think about how to solve something is using your imagination in a sense. But if you actually don't do more than just idly clicking, then yes, I would agree.
20th-Nov-2009 08:22 pm (UTC)
I get what you mean.

I just think I waste a lot of time on the internet when I could be accomplishing some of my goals in life. But I'm not, and I will regret it later. :)
20th-Nov-2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
20th-Nov-2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
Probably a mix of all of the above? Although, in some ways, I've felt a little more creative because I've been doing LJ RP (and, I think, have improved markedly on my creative writing, as a result)... but on the other hand, I'm pretty stodgy in general, so...

And my mom, who has never touched a computer in her life (except when necessary, like the ATM at the bank, etc.) is probably one of the least creative people around. =/ She does, however, watch a lot of TV, do word searches, etc.

So... I don't think it has to do with the Internet per se... it's more to do with how you use it, and how you apply your mind. Also, conditions like depression and such can really kill creativity like you wouldn't believe. ^^;;

Edited at 2009-11-20 08:10 pm (UTC)
21st-Nov-2009 03:48 am (UTC)
I feel the same way too.
20th-Nov-2009 08:50 pm (UTC)
I think it does both, actually. I've had tons of hilarious ideas spring forth after talking to friends, but then I've also just gone with what everyone else thinks.
20th-Nov-2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
It SHOULD enhance and does for many people but ultimately, it so depends on the person. The same goes for TV and other media. Through the fact that things are so... compartmentalized, you can be very limited in your choices, or very broad.
20th-Nov-2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree with your base assumption. If you give a child a crayon and say draw me a picture, the child is required to use his or her imagination. If you give them a colouring book and say "colour this picture", you've put parameters around that imagination. I wonder if that's what the internet does.
21st-Nov-2009 06:42 am (UTC)
Long before the Internet became available to the common folk, I couldn't draw to save my life. Period. And even now, I can barely draw little more than a stick figure or a house or a flower -- and not a very good one.

Also, you can still use imagination in HOW you color that picture. I've seen a number of outrageous color combinations in coloring contests and such.

As far as I'm concerned, the Internet is just an avenue, no more or less than others, such as books, television, and such. As I said in an earlier comment, my mom is one of the least imaginative people around, yet I don't think she has ever used the Internet even once in her life.
20th-Nov-2009 09:58 pm (UTC)
Clearly, it enables expression. But actual imagination? That I think it stifles.

The internet is too big. It's much better at creating conglomerations of like minded individuals than it is at bringing disparate viewpoints together. The ability to look only at what you expect - at what you search for - destroys serendipity. Ideas may grow, but they don't mesh.

Phrased differently, while it vastly expands the possible venues for imagination, it drastically narrows expression within those venues.
20th-Nov-2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
That's a good point and something else I hadn't considered. The internet can create a type of peer pressure to conform under many situations, can't it?
21st-Nov-2009 07:55 am (UTC)
It's interesting that you should phrase it that way. I conceptualize as the opposite. Peer pressure is non-extant, because it's wholly self-selecting. But, honestly, it's the same result, rendering the point a bit academic.
20th-Nov-2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
The internet is irrelevant to people's imaginations?
21st-Nov-2009 12:11 am (UTC)
No, I think you misunderstand the point. No one is saying it's irrelevant. The debate is about whether, in the majority of cases, it's relevance is a positive or a negative factor when it comes to enhancing imagination and creativity.
21st-Nov-2009 01:18 pm (UTC)
I said "I'm not sure." But in my own personal case, it enhances my inspiration. I can't tell you how many awesome science things I read about on the Net that inspire my imagination for my scifi stories.
25th-Nov-2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
Previously, I'd probably have said 'stifles' but I'm not sure that's true. I think it depends how imaginative a person is in the first place and then how they use the internet. The way I use it, if I don't take breaks (which I often don't, to the cost of my health) of more than just a few hours, but breaks of a few days or more if I can do it - then, while there might be plenty of content or triggers or inspiration from the 'net to stimulate my imagination, I don't have the time or energy away from the 'net to use it.

I think mostly it's not that the internet stifles people's imagination, but that being on the internet all the time or too much stifles ones ability to do anything about it.

Also I think 'imagination' needs some defining here... for instance, some people regard it as being creative within a computer game or photoshop, some regard it as being creative outside any boundaries set by a programmer or anyone else - just things coming completely out of their own imaginations into the 'real world'. You can't make jewellery or do clay sculpture or even perform surgery (which some say is creative, possibly not me) with your hands if you're also typing at a keyboard... usually!!

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