Changing Conversation

Communication Tangle A
Joe Lambert mentions is his book “Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community” that, “the art of conversational storytelling has diminished or disappeared from our lives”[1] Personally, I don’t fully agree. I think that there are so many ways to tell stories that conversational storytelling-in the traditional sense- is competing for space. The way we have a conversation is changing.

In his article “The Positive Impact of Social Media”, Dave Parrick writes, “It isn’t just your inner circle of close friends and even closer family members that social networking sites allow you to communicate with easily and effectively, either. They open the world up to you.”[3]

The interesting thing about technology is that as much as it advances our ability to express ourselves as a society, it doesn’t necessarily do the same for the content of the individual conversation.

Take for instance the person who tweets on Twitter. In a traditional conversation, would that person contribute anything different-good or bad?  How about this observation from Ann Smarty in the article “Social Media and Society: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. In the article she makes a reference to something we’ve all seen, endless posts from “vain people on Facebook”[3] or those who conduct a regular “sob fest, usually vague. Or way TMI about their struggling relationship with someone they should have dumped six months ago”.[3] Would that person tell a different story in a traditional conversation?
Word processing hasn’t turned people into literary geniuses, it just allows more people to write letters and notes with spell check-but with the same content as before. Having a camera in everyone’s pocket hasn’t created a generation of Ansel Adams-just an army of people with a wallet full of digital snapshots.

The new technologies haven’t killed conversational storytelling. In fact, they allow more people to to tell more stories, more often- but not necessarily face to face. Digital storytelling allows those who can tell a great story to spread those great stories to a much bigger audience-it also allows the same for those who do not tell such great stories.

Conversational storytelling has not gone anywhere- it’s just has an expanded zip code.

[1]Lambert, Joe. Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives Creating Community. 4th. New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.

[2]Parrick, Dave. The Positive Impact of Social Media.

[3]Smarty, Ann. Social Media and Society: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


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