One of the important attributes of a creative person is their curiosity that exposes them to many things outside of their social circles. Aside from curiosity, another source of creativity is what I call Spontaneous Exposure. There are three key factors, Travels, Connections and the Web, which generate these spontaneous experiences in our lives. Some people may encounter more of these experiences than others depending on the range of their travels. The second factor is the amount of people that we engage with, deliberately or accidental. The third factor is the content that we are exposed to through the web, which includes news sites, search engines, social networks and video content.
Commuting and Online Channels create the environment that generates these key factors. Our connections are built through online and offline interactions, however once we establish these connections; we mostly maintain them through our online channels.
Eli Pariser, the author of “The Filter Bubble” explained in his TED lecture that major web companies have moved towards tailoring and customizing our online experiences through complex algorithm. He argues that the dangers of being trapped in a “filter bubble” could limit our exposure to “information that could challenge or broaden our worldview.”
Since we are being exposed to more relevant content through our online channels, commuting becomes even more important in generating Spontaneous Exposure. In my recent project, the Social Fabric Movement, I explored the benefits of mass commuting and the social interactions that create this type of environment.
Of course, a car is the most convenient form of transportation to get from point A to point B. It is fast and comfortable. But the way I see it, cars are the equivalent of the “filter bubble” when it comes to commuting. They are isolated bubbles that take us from one familiar place to another with limited interactions. This is exactly the reason why creative people should avoid driving a car. Mass commuting may have its inconveniences, but when it comes to Spontaneous Exposure, a car becomes the algorithm that we should avoid.