Kid’s Boundless Creativity
Here we’ll be diving into the relationship between kids’ tech usage and their ability and desire to be creative. There’s been a lot of (mostly negative) buzz over the last several years about the rise of technology and how it might be affecting today’s children. Social media, mommy blogs, and even the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)’s guidelines are clear: limit screen time, ensure that content is educational, and promote analogue, creative play alongside digital engagement. But how is technology actually affecting today’s generation of kids, and their creativity?
Generation Alpha are the first truly digital natives, born with iPads in their hands and technology acting as an extension of their real-life world. With this as their background, is their ability to think and be creative truly at risk? Will they lose agency as they submit to the passive experience of tech? Will they abandon pen and paper completely?
At The Pineapple Lounge, we have seen quite the opposite. Not only are today’s kids using technology as a way to be creative in and of itself, allowing them to be able to express themselves in new and different ways, but they are also gravitating towards alternative methods of creativity outside of technology to get the sensory stimulation they’re missing and craving (hence the explosion of slime, ASMR, and other hands-on creativity like beading and baking).
“What do you get from being creative without technology? Really the same as what you can get with it. Whatever you think, you can bring it to life. The second you think something- that’s being creative, that’s you making art. You can use literally anything.” – Jessica, 14, Australia
“When I use technology, I have more accessibility and points of view when creating something like textures, colors, or shapes.” – Jonas, 13, Argentina
Not only that, but kids today see true benefits to creativity: not just in expressing their ideas, but in expressing themselves and who they are. Because there are a plethora of mediums at their fingertips, they are hyper-aware that everyone can find something that works for them- there’s no “good” or “bad” at being creative.
So no, today’s kids aren’t zombies at all- in fact, quite the opposite, as they seek new and different ways to showcase their creativity and who they are. For Gen Alpha, “being creative” is no longer limited to the arts and other traditional forms of expression: they’ve changed and expanded the meaning of the word to be more of a mindset, and about process and feeling, rather than about output. And between Minecraft Creative Mode, putting together outfits every day, re-creating dolls, making music, and thinking in different perspectives- there are few untapped methods that they haven’t used to tap into that mentality.
“It depends on my mood. I prefer being creative with Minecraft when I’m in the mood for building something. I prefer to paint when I want to express myself.” – Liza, 8, Ukraine
“There’s no way you can’t be creative- the world is created around creativity- our clothes, our houses- it’s all a form of creativity. When we get dressed in the morning, when we choose to wear something- what we choose and how we style it or if we don’t style it at all- that is a creative choice. No matter what we do, no matter how we act- it’s all a form of creativity ” – Jessica, 14, Australia
SO, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR BRAND?
Gone are the days of polished finished products and perfected, somewhat unattainable works of art: for today’s young people, think about how the process of creation (in all its messy, twisty, exploratory fun) can be the beginning and end of the process. Rather than having them work toward a specific goal with your products, give them the power to be free to express themselves, however their creative mind chooses.