The pandemic has given many of us a lot more free time than we had bargained for at the beginning of 2020. To fill up all of that time, many of us took to Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, and various other platforms that feed us media content. Whilst many believe that watching copious amounts of TV is killing our braincells or reading one too many articles about culture is a little obsessive, has this extra consumption of media in the past made us more creative?
The digitalisation of media has made its distribution cheaper and more accessible to the general public. The internet has helped to open up theatre and music experiences to those who may not have been able to afford these in the past. This consumption of new media allows the public to gain new perspectives and ideas, leading to an increase in creativity. Apart from the usual types of media, new independent publications have also been cropping up more frequently over the pandemic creating an environment in which young people have been given a platform in order to spread their opinions. The creative industry has been made more inclusive due to the extra time that the pandemic has given us.
As a journalist with a particular interest in arts and culture, consuming media is one of my main ways of generating new ideas for articles. The media we choose to consume influences each individual’s creative process, whether we like to admit it or not. Passively consuming media can undeniably cause more stress and promote procrastination. However, trying to force creativity when you just aren’t feeling it is just as bad. Taking yourself away from the computer screen to spend time watching or listening to other creatives is beneficial in helping to unclog your mind and invite new ideas for your own work.
The concept of a media diet has become quite prominent in recent times due to the increased consumption of media. Media diets are supposed to help us to manage the amount of media we consume in a way that is beneficial to us, rather than consuming so much that we capsize over into the grey area of extreme procrastination that damages the creative process. Being selective in what you choose to consume may be helpful in filtering out content that has no use in your creative process. Only watching shows that are similar to what you want to create allows can be help in focusing your mind on what is most important to you at this current point in time. Wired has created their own media diet pyramid that offers an example of what a healthy media diet should look like. However, depending on what your job is, this kind of diet may not be able to suit everyone, which is something that we do need to take into account.
Whether you are a casual watcher of Netflix or enjoy consuming media in all of its forms, I think that it is safe to say that our consumption does help with our creativity. Since we have been consuming more media than usual, many creatives have been creating more frequently due to their increased amount of free time and ideas. The argument that consuming media kills your brain cells should be completely dismissed considering that there is clear evidence that media has helped creatives in their daily lives. However, in the future, I can only see the media diet concept becoming even more important to our society.
Image courtesy of Marvin Meyer.