A Turncoat Argument Concerning Creativity Levels during Lockdown

Firstly, I would like to talk about how the lockdown has not increased creativity. 

From living room gigs, live-streamed from the homes of the famous, to practically every cultural organisation under the sun having to make-do, it seems that CoVid-19 has unleashed a wave of creative talent that was lurking and supposedly pent up in all of us. But was it? Were we all frustrated artists and poets, just waiting for a little enforced downtime? Are schools so mind-numbingly stultifying to children’s minds that it took home-schooling to let their inner artists run free? And what is creative talent? Is it a tautology, or are the two terms very different?

If anything at all, the lockdown has separated the creative from the rest – those who only earlier only claimed to be creative but with oh, no time to spare, now have all the time in the world to create pieces of art, to write that novel or to learn that new skill they always wanted to. It is not entirely the person’s fault, though. With the amount of uncertainty, it becomes difficult to let our mind wander and come up with its beauty.

Another factor which comes to play here is the fact that with the lockdown in place, and over 100 days of isolation, social media has come to the rescue of most of us grappling with ideas on how to kill boredom while stuck at home for long hours. There has been an upspurt of challenges that revolve around posting a picture or video, and then nominating friends or family to take up the challenge and do the same. While this is an interesting way to keep yourself busy, it ultimately crushes one’s creativity.

Now, talking about the other side : 

The most essential thing lacking in modern-day, fast-paced lifestyles – lack of “bored time” i.e. those times in your day when you are doing nothing – maybe a 15-minutes ride on the bus without opening your mobile, or those 10-minutes when you are waiting for your friend in front of the mall. 

And now, with more time than most of us can ask for, we are finally able to let our mind breathe and regain its life back. From stunning paintings to beautiful poetry, there has been a creative boom of sorts. 

Sandi Mann, senior psychology lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire has carried out research to prove that boredom can be a creative force. 

She did a mini-version of lockdown near her university in Preston in the UK, where they got people into isolation cubicles. She saw what happens when people are really bored, and it actually makes them more creative. Mann emphasises that it’s crucial not to fight that boredom. She said and I quote, “The key to creativity is to let your mind wander, to daydream. So this period of lockdown that we’re all experiencing all over the world could turn out to be our greatest period of creativity in the whole history of mankind.” Her words provide an interesting perspective into this concept.

One misconception which needs to be addressed here is that creativity is not limited art and literature. A creative mind is one that can find innovative ways to solve problems or more efficient ways to go about the same monotonous tasks. It doesn’t matter what subjects you are pursuing or what profession you are in, this is the perfect time to unleash your creative self and do something, if not for the world, but for you, yourself.

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