Technology empowers our creative sides

Ria Parikh | Staff Writer

Recently, I went to a craft show at Lakota West. Contrary to popular belief, it was full.

With technology crowding every corner of our lives, a common argument is that we have lost all appreciation for little, more trivial things. It has surfaced almost everywhere; when a technology conversation comes up, it is usually joined by an assertion that we are turning
robotic ourselves.

I disagree. Although we have definitely lost some patience with our constant goal of making life faster and more efficient, I do not think all is gone.

I bring up craft fairs because they are perfect resemblances of the little things for which we seem to have lost appreciation: the gym and cafeteria at Lakota West
were filled with booths of people making homemade salsa, greeting cards, pepper jellies, Christmas ornaments, journals, jewelry, pretty much anything imaginable. Not only was there a wide variety of booths, but a sea of people surrounding them.

The atmosphere was lively and excited as people walked from floor to floor shopping. People were not only willing but eager to sacrifice their time and energy
for more creativity, innovation, and personality, despite the technology that would have made the process faster.

I have been going to crafts fairs with my mother for years and this story has never changed. But, obviously, it can be argued that craft fairs are well known to only a subset of people. On HGTV, a show called Flea Market Flip premiered in 2012 and is still going strong. The show is a competition where two teams go to flea markets and try to upcycle and sell whatever it is they buy.

The show currently has a rating of 6.6/10 on IMDB and has even won an Emmy. All this is to say that a large population out there enjoys watching people work from the ground up, and plenty of people want to do it since the show has been successful for almost six years.

The popularity of craft fairs and Do it yourself (DIY) television shows stand to contradict the accepted notion that technology has taken away our ability to both exhibit and appreciate creativity.

Although technology might have, in some cases, blinded us from our creative sides, it has not overtaken us and turned us robotic. In some cases, such as with upcycling and DIY, it has even inspired us to tap into creative sides we didn’t know we had.