The Internet: My Fuel for Creativity

Aaron Cohen, who teaches at the History of the Internet at NYU, sent me an essay from his student Michelle Park.  This is a woman who grew up in CA never really talking about technology.  She is into design.  I was inspired by this paper as she talks passionately about the Internet and how it has changed her life.  She said I could share it on my blog.

The Internet: My Fuel for Creativity

By Michelle Park



believe a crucial skill in life is the ability to explain and elaborate
on something you have done. It’s not just about what you did but why
and how you did it. Computers and the Internet give people the
possibility to create useful applications and creative content. But why
and how do they create them? Why should we care? The Internet does not
just give you an answer – despite the beauty of search in which you can
immediately get an answer to your question. It gives you the chance to
explore the endless array of information on any subject that piques your


me, the Internet is a necessary tool in order to build my creativity.
The beauty of design has always captivated me. Colors, shapes, and
visuals excite me. I am fascinated by people’s explanations of their
artwork, especially by why they created it and how they made it.
However, I was unable to explore my artistic passion and capability
before I came to college since my parents felt that I should not spend
my time drawing but rather spend my time focusing on my academic


amazes me that when I was in elementary and middle school, I did not
use the Internet to fuel my artistic interest. The extent to which I
pursued art was sketching and messing with the colored pencils and
watercolors I bought at Rite Aid. I never thought of using the computer
or finding out more about art on the Internet. Now, children in
elementary and middle school can search for art as well as create it on
their iPads in an instant. They have access to galleries and information
about artwork right at their fingertips.


McDonald frankly points out that the lack of computer skills in this
time and age can lead to trouble for college graduates who want a career
in media and technology in his Wall Street Journal article.
He mentions growing up and attending school in the US meant being
educated “in a system that has eight times as many high-school football
teams as high schools that teach advanced placement computer-science
classes.” Despite being born and raised in the technology-infused
Silicon Valley, I never learned a single thing about computer science or
Internet history in school. While my high school did offer an advanced
placement computer science course, our school did not emphasize the
importance of taking such a course. Instead, people would focus on AP
Calculus or Statistics. Had I been more exposed to the Internet’s
influence and learned about the technology companies I lived next to, I
could have been better informed about the applications I use and how to
effectively use them. Perhaps I could have realized much earlier that I
could use computer programming and design skills to pursue a career
related to web design. If it is so important to have computer
programming skills to be better equipped in working in media and
technology, students really should have the chance to learn about the
history of the Internet from a younger age. Even if they do not plan on
working the media and technology industry, the industry is so integrated
in our lives that knowing the history behind these pieces of technology
we use everyday can help us use it more efficiently and make us
appreciate it more.


my time in New York City and my education at NYU, I have grown to
appreciate the multitude of creativity in the city. I never thought
about seriously pursuing a career in anything related to art. However,
thanks to the Internet, I have learned that there is more to art than
drawing. Combining my interest with computers and art, I have become
aware of and fascinated with graphic design. Thanks to the computer, the
Internet, and software, I have been learning skills that allow me to
practice my artistic abilities. Before my junior year, I had no
experience using Adobe Creative Suite or writing code, but with the help
of an NYU web design course and the Internet, I not only gained useful
computer skills in a short amount of time, but also a genuine
appreciation for what someone can do with a computer and publish on the
Web. Moreover, it is because of the Internet that I am able to do more
than use design software and read, write, and understand code. I am able
to find sources of inspiration by looking at the creative web page
designs of the countless blogs available on the Internet, and perusing
through the colorful and interesting infographics on Pinterest. The
opportunity to find real inspiration amongst the abundance of creative
content across the Web gives me something to be passionate about and
allows me to grow in my creative endeavor and possibly pursue a career I
genuinely want.


to how I remember life before the Internet became so embedded in my
life, which contrasts immensely with how much I use it now, I remember
life before I started designing. I really believe that that we need to
be able to acknowledge and understand the history behind something that
an drive people to create amazing pieces of work. Only then can we
fully appreciate it.