One evening I was trying to write something, a poem, a verse, or just a beautiful line. Well, I tried and did write something. Suddenly I got the feeling that whatever I have written is not mine. The blueprint of all my work was someone else’s idea and that was terrifying. I could not process where I have read or heard those ideas, probably on television or the internet. It’s like when you are asked to write a slogan, movie dialogues are the first that strikes your mind because there is effort and the result sounds wonderful. I could blame books but I do not give much thought to fiction and non-fiction are love. Movies, tv-series were like nutrition to me. After the incident that I described earlier, separating those (movies, tv-series, anime) addiction from my routine seemed necessary. Do not get the idea that I have completely eroded the creative part of my brain, though I have suffered some loss.
A study from a psychology lecturer Dr. Sarah Rose (Staffordshire University, UK) says that 15 minutes of children’s television temporarily reduces the originality of the ideas they come up with. Learn more here in an article published by The Economic Times.
Addiction to Animated Series
Kids are watching them all day but did you know that Shin Chan has PG (parental guidance)-13 ratings. It means children above 13 years should watch this show whereas its original manga is only for adults.
Doraemon has some science in it, a child can learn more from it, proper guidance is necessary. For example; his 4D pocket relates to an extra dimension said to exist but not proved yet, anywhere door is correlated with teleportation.
But what does a typically optimistic person see? Humour!
Teens & adults’ addiction
This age group has an addiction to 70MM screens. Hindi or English Tv dramas have occupied bigger spaces in their minds. Are they bored, tired, or need a break from the study? Something is new in the theatre? They are not even sure about what or why they should watch. Youngsters of our country had two addictions; one Tik-Tok and the other PUBG. A part of this generation took creativity to a whole new level, the ban of Tik-Tok might have knocked some sense out of them.
The Elders’ addiction
They have contributed enough and are free to watch or do whatever they like, can’t argue. They know what they need. But if you notice they have their eyes on News, politics, and the Aastha channel. Let me warn you about one thing though, withdraw from any argument with them as soon as they say it’s on WhatsApp.
The reason that I’ve mentioned these examples is that we don’t have a purpose to look at digital screens. Audio or video devices are running all day like some background theme of our daily life. Visit a school, hospital, museum, hotel, restaurant or a bank one can always find a television with advertisement repeating during working hours. They have commercial advantages whereas they’re also deteriorating our health.
Effects of screen addiction
The effects of high screen time are sleep deprivation, weak emotional judgment, low self-esteem, etc. They don’t seem lethal because they are mere technical words. You lose comprehending your own feelings and it’s addictive, so is loneliness (a simple by-product). I don’t know if there is a reason for this addiction but it is certain that they are made to be this way.
A highlight of Indian cinema
India now has over 850 TV channels (2018) covering all the main languages spoken in the nation. And over 1600 channels broadcasting in our country, Television in India. According to Ficci-EY media and entertainment industry report 2020, India had 6,327 single screens and 3200 multiplexes as of 2019 (total 9527 screens).
Initially, movies were made to depict social malpractices, religious beliefs, historical events and to spread awareness or some hidden message. Imagination has a good grasp of this industry now. Now more than 1800 Films (2446 in 2019) get produced in various languages in India, also we rank first in annual film output worldwide. More than 350 films alone in Hindi (Bollywood), with a rough estimate we have 6-7 films a week. We learn about only those with some popular film stars or if they have a good story or message, others don’t even reach our ears.
The last Hindi movie I enjoyed is Andhadhun for its teetering story. It screams the tale of urban society. My favorite tv series (Hindi) is Panchayat, mirroring a rural society. I have added them to my favorite collection because they are somewhat close to what I’ve seen. Stories of the afterlife, rebirth, aliens, or launching a rocket with bare hands do look hypnotic. But I still recommend you documentaries, biography, and dramas over sci-fi, superhero or horror.
Have the performers lost their touch?
Everyone loves a good story, a nice song, and beautiful music. I wonder if songs about affection, sorrow, and bravery will ever have a different meaning than it did earlier or does now. With remakes of movies and recreated older songs with some advancement in story, music, or lyrics, they surely have lowered their standards. The originality and the excitement to see something new is narrowing. It is painful to hear such music at every party; maybe I care more about the lyrics and their meaning than the song as a whole. But, don’t you crave a new morning every night you go to bed? Is it also that they all are trying to express the same feelings since the beginning and now there is no other way?
Tips to Boost your creativity
I would suggest 4-6 hours of screen time a week for balanced physical and mental health. This number(4-6 hours) is not some magic number but a personal assessment. For almost 5 years I was allowed to watch television on Sundays only. I also did a 15 days experiment by minimizing screen time (Nearly an hour a day) and got rid of a regular headache. In order to do so I limited my phone to calls only, no laptop, participated heavily in social functions. One should try traveling or reading books. You can not eat a pill and become creative, you just need yourself and your surroundings. There is still so much to be discovered in science, human behavior, and feelings, cool lyrical songs of course.
Science is a boon or curse, depends on how you use it. So don’t use it extravagantly, utilize it with proper care of yourself. Screen addiction is affecting your creativity. Movies and games are designed to be addictive and you know it too. You should look at any digital screen only when you have a reason to. This will save your time, health, and resources. And while you are not using your phone you can visit a friend or family, learn an instrument, or Calculus!