Has Digital Technology made us better at storytelling? Steven Witkowski

Storytelling is an ability just like any. Each of us can be more or less naturally gifted and we each have a certain learning capacity for the skill and can all get better with practice. Digital technology has made it easier for anyone to practice, refine their skills,  even just make short simple posts all just another means of expressing our thoughts. It would seem that with more avenues for individuals to be heard overall storytelling has improved because of the massive increase in the amount of storytelling being done via these digital pathways. However, a simple increase in the amount of storytelling doesn’t say anything about the actual stories that are now being told. In large part the increase comes from amateur writers, photographers, filmmakers and others who don’t have any professional background and often times lack much education at all. Their stories may not be as popular and of lesser quality but they are able to tell some kind of story at least. As for professionals who would have likely pursued storytelling with or without digital technology making it so simple I would assume they would admit that digital technology has made It easier for them to create a project and have it seen by many, but I find it unlikely that many of them would credit digital technology for helping them come up with the story they want to tell or making that process any easier. So I guess to answer the question better I would need a more narrow definition of what storytelling really is. Are we talking about the ability to develop our thoughts into a story, or is the very means of taking any story and finding a way to tell it better. Clearly if we are talking about the latter than we should recognize digital technology for bettering storytelling. If we just focus on the first part though, the ability to use our imagination to come up with an original story about something, we could credit technology perhaps for making our thoughts easier to compile and organize. We could also make the argument like Meagan did in class. She mentioned that all of our technology might be harming our ability to be bored and really be creative and develop a truly great story instead of just being able to jot down any little idea on our phone and then save it somewhere and maybe never return to it. It has definitely caused us all to be more distracted and for many less connected to reality, and that doesn’t seem like the type of thing that would make it easier to tell a story. I wish for arguments sake I could side easily with one point of view here, but I’m gonna have to remain sitting comfortably on the fence. I think it’s unclear if digital technology has made us better at storytelling, the answer should be different for everyone. Personally, when developing a story I may be old fashioned but I’d prefer to be away from all technology so I can try and be alone in deep thought, but after the story has some structure I certainly utilize all kinds of digital technology to edit, store, and even publish work so to say it hasn’t helped in the process is impossible but I can’t say it doesn’t have it’s own set of drawbacks.

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One thought on “Has Digital Technology made us better at storytelling? Steven Witkowski

  1. meaganmthornton January 25, 2015 / 3:04 am

    So here I will make an argument for technology and it’s positive effects on storytelling. I do believe technology can be distracting but I also find it incredibly inspiring. Digital technology has opened our eyes and minds to worlds we would have never gained exposure to in the past. I believe that this exposure inspires, encourages and can even nurture our creativity. People have often said that to write well you need to read well. This is a comment on the importance of consuming good things to produce good things. If consumption feeds production then I think that in this way yes technology has given us access to more creativity and stories that we can consume and that will hopefully aid us in our production efforts as storytellers. – Meagan

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