A Disagreement On Tools

I read the following article/posting on Mashable.com this morning- “10 Fun Doodling Apps to Unleash Your Creativity.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that the internet is changing the way we function, think and work. But I’m still not in the bandwagon of the internet’s greatness.  As a matter of fact, I’m considering deleting my facebook profile on my 30th birthday (December first, this year).  My reasons behind the facebook deletion are thanks to a great article by Zadie Smith, “Generation Why?” in The New York Book Review.

The idea of deleting my facebook account brings up many questions such as my S2 Stationery fan page. I have about 150 members who use the page for updates, etc.  More importantly, the idea of deleting my account brings up more questions about what type of vendor I want to be.  As I work on a marketing and in depth business plan, I get further into what it is that I’m trying to achieve with my business.  While I’m know 100% positively that I don’t want to remove my business’s online presence, I also know 100% positively that I want to engage with customers and individuals on a real basis. I want to send thank you cards to customers and I want to directly respond to emails and any other inquiries that come directly to me. Why? Because that is the point of social media after all. It’s rapidly moving toward engaging with your customers.  Which is what causes me to stop and question.

If we are supposed to engage with customers, then why not engage with them in real time?

I get that the internet is “real time,”  and I don’t want to come across as some anti-technology/change individual because I’m not, but what do you actually receive when someone who gets paid to keep up a twitter or facebook page responds to your comment? Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for it and heck in a recession, any form of a job is preferable to none, but don’t you, the customer, want to talk to someone who means something more? Do you honestly feel close to a large corporation because someone responded to your email, or twitter comment? I don’t. I mean, I do appreciate the step, but when I get letters from Presidents of corporations thanking me, well, I feel better. Especially if it’s hand written.

Which brings me to the following point, the original point…

Apps for doodling do not unleash your creativity much as the article on Mashable would have you believe. I think my two bones to pick with the article are two sentences, or what comes across to me as bold statements. The first being, “Pen and paper may be on a fast track to obsolescence, but the doodle will live on forever.” The second being, “Besides, the worst part of art class was cleaning up the mess afterward. Now, the marvels of the Internet can let you doodle, draw or just play around online. No mess necessary!”

What exactly are my points of contention with these two statements?

The fact that the writer is cheapening the actual art of creating art and a doodle and pen and paper.  Computer graphics and animation while quite advanced, do not offer the same skill, eye coordination, or for that matter creativity that pen, paper, erasers, pencils, pads, paint and piles of rejected pieces of paper with sketches on them.

As a young child and teenager in school, I never thought of myself as a doodler. I did write out my name and draw stars and circles, but if you could have seen some of the advanced sketches my classmates were drawing, you’d have been amazed. Compared to them, my doodles were nothing! But I excelled in other art classes- ceramics for example. Now as a stationery designer, I sketch out rough sketches and sometimes detailed sketches before I start anything on my computer. As a matter of fact, often times I can’t put on my computer what I want without drawing it first. THAT is when the magic happens. When the pencil, pen or sometimes marker, hits the paper. There’s also a sense of accomplishment, at least on my behalf for being able to draw something with my own hands.

So while I do agree that doodle tools help when you’re stuck on the train, or when you don’t want to carry your sketch pad around, they ultimately offer no real prize. They also take no real skill. If you want a skill, then you take up drawing. If you want to waste time, then you’ll find the smart phone Apps suggested in the article useful and entertaining.

And maybe that’s the real kicker…if you want to be entertained. That’s what smart phones offer after all, constant and instant entertainment, the kind that requires no patience or deep thought. I think the author should take that into mind the next time she writes about how real tools are going obsolete.


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s2 stationery & designs

A rule-breaking designer, artist & entrepreneur who's passionate about paper and handcrafting stationery. I also write, travel, and focus on eco + social good.

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