Facebook and Creativity

Last week I was discussing how our brains function differently if we change what nostril we breathe through (according to an old study that I haven’t looked up since the early 90’s).

It comes as no surprise to anyone that our moods and brain activiites are affected by colours – from experiments with alternate lighting to provoke feelings of ennuie, excitement or paranoia to the various nearly feng shui colour schemes for our trendy homes to provoke just the right feeling in each room while accenting the imaginary expanses of space available to us in our downsized living environments.

But in today’s Globe and Mail, there’s a short article about six studies performed by DrĀ  Juliet Zhu and Ravi Mehta on UBC students involving task performance linked to the colour of the desktop background of the computer they were doing the tests on.

At least in North America, it seems that our learned responses to the colour red have us making cautious decisions when confronted with it in our work environment, whereas blue backgrounds produced enhanced creativity and less caution – more freedom as we link it with open spaces and waters. Which brings us to Facebook, the social networking site that is almost entirely blue. It encourages us to be creative and discourages us to think twice about the potential openings our micro-blogging, photo-spamming and rampant commenting leave into the privacies of our lives.

So, when it comes time to pay attention to detail instead of soaring off in creative pursuits, switch your desktop to red.

However, I just changed the colour of the dashboard for posting to this blog to blue. After all, caution is boring.

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1 Comment

Filed under Brain, Marketing

One response to “Facebook and Creativity

  1. Candidia

    In some cases people use blue just because it’s practically everyone’s favourite colour.. again likely due to the colour of the sky (according to a study I read). Most people have an item of clothing in their wardrobe that is blue, and “every colour goes with blue jeans”.

    I’m surprised that red is recommended as a way to keep focussed, since red is supposed to draw attention to itself. I would think I’d find myself staring at the background, rather than doing whatever it is I should be doing.

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