Creative and Deep Thinking Through Social Networks
A recent article by Peter Csermely talks about the importance of conceptual and social networks in developing aspects of creativity. Creative thinking requires both flexible and established thought, as creative processes require divergent and convergent thinking, acquisition of new information as well as use of available knowledge, and a cyclical process of enumerating challenges and creating solutions to those challenges. Social networking can support all those processes.
Csermely notes that the time needed for the deep thinking that is necessary for success and creative exploration is becoming more elusive in our fast-paced, social media bytes society. This problem may be partially ameliorated by engaging in social networks with people from multiple cultures and perspectives. Considering new viewpoints and contexts may lead to original thought. This intensity of thought is heightened if the network is composed of other talented and creative people. Engaging in interesting social networks also helps to feed the thirst for new information, stimuli, points of view, and ideas that highly talented people have.
This manner of developing creativity and deep thinking supports well what we do at our program, Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG). With a large international population, very diverse content in our courses, and social activities that encourage positive social interaction with new friends from many places, we are already providing a tremendous backdrop to the concepts brought out in Csermely’s article.
Apart from attending a SIG program (either in person or online), there certainly are many other ways gifted and creative youth might seek to stimulate their creative and cognitive characteristics through social networks. Here are a couple ideas to get you started thinking about what might work for you.
- Make a goal of meeting new people who are different from you, either by originating from diverse demographics or engaging with people you consider to have differing opinions in various topics from you. By sharing and listening to varied opinions and understandings of new people, you challenge and expand your own abilities to integrate new approaches to problem solving and to think deeply about issues.
- Form your own society of peers (of any age) who wish to discuss problems, issues, and challenges facing the planet. Seek diversity of opinions and origins as well as topics to consider. Set up guidelines that allow for open discussion and thought and deepen your understandings of the issues through sharing and listening to others. Such a group could meet online or in person.
Be sure to consider online security and personal safety in any type of gathering that you might entertain.
Whatever venue or structure works for you, we encourage everyone to expand their abilities in creative and deep thinking through engaging in social networking activities of your choice.
All the best,
Reference: Csermely, P. (2017). The network concept of creativity and deep thinking: Applications to social opinion formation and talent support. Gifted Child Quarterly, 61, 194-201. Doi:10.1177/0016986217701832