Where Science Meets Muse

Can an iPad Cripple Innovation and Creativity?

Posted by Plish on June 30, 2010

Came across this provocative piece at Harvard Business Review .

The author, Peter Bregman, returned his iPad because he found himself filling up his time with ‘stuff’ via the iPad as opposed to taking advantage of the ‘downtime’ that we all experience.  Bregman calls this downtime boredom, but in essence it’s the time when we’re not focusing on particular problems- that valuable time when the brain is able to make connections and build insights. It’s that time before falling asleep, the time in the shower, the time during or after a workout.

His point is well taken even if his solution to being an iPadoholic was slightly radical. 

We need to take time to relax – to disconnect, to experience the feeling of being and not necessarily doing, as Bregman poignantly points out at the end of his article:

“We have a new ritual now, and it really has become my favorite part of the day. I put (my 8 year old daughter) to bed 15 minutes earlier than before. She crawls into bed and, instead of shushing her, I lie next to her and we just talk. She talks about things that happened that day, things she’s worried about, things she’s curious or thinking about. I listen and ask her questions. We laugh together. And our minds just wander.”

‘Doing’ as part of the ”cloud’ 24/7 isn’t always a good thing.  Great ideas and innovation have their origins in those times when we pleasantly have our feet on the ground and are simply being.


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