Recent studies have documented some of the consequences of our attachment to iPhones and other devices. The Atlantic has some scary articles about the dangers of iPhones for post-Millennials and the ability of smartphones to reduce your brain power even when they are turned off.
But wait, there’s more . . . especially for writers and artists. Part of the problem with the devices and screens on which we’ve come to rely is information overload . . . and this can damage creativity. An article in Open Culture proclaims:
[I]nformation overload keeps us mired in noise…. This saps us of not only willpower (of which we have a limited store) but creativity as well.
Drawing on recent studies and experiments, the article continues:
Our brains have limited resources. When constrained and overwhelmed with thoughts, they pursue well-trod paths of least resistance, trying to efficiently bring order to chaos.
When it comes to information and knowledge, sometimes less is more. What we need to do is unload:
When our minds are “unloaded” . . . such as can occur during a hike or a long, relaxing shower, we can shed fixed patterns of thinking, and explore creative insights that might otherwise get buried or discarded . . . Getting to that state in a climate of perpetual, unsleeping distraction, opinion, and alarm, requires another kind of discipline: the discipline to unplug, wander off, and clear your mind.
It seems that the internet and smartphone age will need to birth a new spiritual and creative discipline . . . that of (literally) unplugging.
Reflection: How do you practice the discipline of unplugging and wandering off?