Is technology making us better storytellers? Hannah Marble

From the months of September to December I was enraptured by a podcast titled “Serial.” This podcast was a single story told week to week. The medium by which this story was conveyed was audio. And while it was not a single voice, there were several voices that played parts within this podcast, the idea that there were no visual or other contextual information tags adjoining the podcast. This lead me to believe that good stories, regardless of medium will prosper if they are-good!

Podcasts are a relatively new technology, the audio can be downloaded directly to a device, and one just has to download the application. After the app is downloaded a plethora of stories lie within the app just waiting to be heard. However, the idea of audio to convey a story is not new technology, the radio was a gathering point to most of our grandparents and possibly even our parents. This thought leads me to contemplate whether technology and the mediums that have come about are making us better storytellers.

The answer simply is no. We aren’t better storytellers in general. We are better-tailored storytellers to the market that is currently available to us. We are the best storytellers of the here and now because we know how to cater to the generational cannons. A story digitally conveyed to me could speak directly to me and move me to make changes, however the same story told in the same manner could leave my grandmother untouched and possibly confused. The content and the conveying medium would not mean as much to her. Storytelling evolves because technology drives it to, because it allows it to. However good stories, like Serial, will prosper regardless of what technology is added to make it sparkle and shine. The same goes with bad stories, the exterior façade will crumble if the story is bad. Technology allows us to convey our storytelling methods uniquely, but if the story is not meaningful, the cause is fruitless.

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3 thoughts on “Is technology making us better storytellers? Hannah Marble

  1. meaganmthornton January 22, 2015 / 3:29 am

    I think I have to side with your take on this. I was unable to take a clear stance on either side in my writing but your post said a lot of what I was getting at. I agree completely that storytelling evolves because technology allows it to. We may not be much better or worse, but we are all very different in the way we tell stories today. (Steven Witkowski)

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  2. meaganmthornton January 22, 2015 / 4:36 am

    Hannah,
    I think your account of podcasts as a digital portal to story resonates similarly to my outlook on the medium. Good stories prosper regardless of the technological force backing them. But to add, I feel that technology grants us certain affordances that may have only existed as constraints in the past. A podcast is a brilliant example of essentially an oral tale remediated to fit our generational consumptive needs. I, and very many people alike, would find it very tasking to read a novel while working out or driving, but thanks to our digitally enveloped world I can just listen to one – a powerful affordance.

    – Davor Simunovic

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  3. meaganmthornton January 25, 2015 / 2:59 am

    Loved Serial and such a great example of telling story through audio.- Meagan

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