Adapting to New Forms of Storytelling: What Are Your Options?

By: Grace Hudgins

Technology and social media platforms have changed the game when it comes to storytelling. Now, stories are instant, digital, and visual. We no longer have to wait for the latest news to be printed or broadcasted, because with social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat, we’re always up-to-date with current events.

Print is still living and breathing just fine in my opinion, but sometimes, my preference for physical books and newspapers causes me to lag behind in current events. However, as I became more reliant on my iPhone for information, I slowly started to adapt to the “digital takeover” as I like to call it. And you know what? I didn’t mind.

I realized this digital era is unavoidable, but it’s a force that can be reckoned with once it’s given a chance.

book with letters.JPGWhat I’m trying to say is there are more advantages to reading stories online, or on your tablet or smartphone because of how much storytelling tools have advanced. Instead of only words flooding our screens, technology allows us to actually be in the story, see the story, and feel the story. Pictures, GIFs, videos (short and long), and other graphics make the story more appealing and entertaining to be a part of.

If you still haven’t made the transition to digital storytelling, start off slow. Get your news online and stick to reading books in print — it’s what I do. I tried to read my favorite books on apps like iBooks and on a Kindle, but I found out that I preferred to have the actual book in my hand, not my iPad. Whatever you choose to do, converting to digital isn’t so bad.

Here are three storytelling mediums that are now popular forms of telling stories, and what I consider their benefits to be:

Social Media

Social Media websites are user-friendly and quick to skim through. In general, all of the mediums I list below can be published online and on a social media site. Twitter is my favorite source for breaking news if I’m not near a TV. For accuracy, I follow local and national news organizations so I know the articles/photos/videos I see are factual. A downside of social media is that now everybody is a reporter. So, make sure that the information you get online is from a credible source.

Videos

Videos are more visual and user-oriented. You can choose how much of the story you want to see and can witness the character’s real emotion. I like to watch my news through video, because I can connect with the source more this way and can actually visualize the background, setting, and importance of the story. Snapchat is also a form of storytelling. The app features breaking news from organizations like CNN and ESPN, but it also allows you to post and view pictures and/or videos from your friends. It’s a fun way to communicate, because of the interactive features the app has like filters, drawing options, and geo-tags.

Photos

Photos are still worth a thousand words, but now, because of the advances in phone cameras and DSLR cameras, photos are better than they have ever been. The clean cut images we see now tell stories in more detail. Also, there can be more. Websites often feature photo galleries on their pages, so we never miss a detail of the story the collage is telling.

book on grass

These are just a few forms of storytelling, but there are numerous ways to tell, read, and share stories thanks to the digital advancements our world now has. I don’t suggest giving up on print all together, but we should start experiencing storytelling in ways other than on a piece of paper.

Become inspired, connect with the characters on TV and in news stories, and maybe even make a story of your own. Our technology allows us all to be an author, videographer, and photographer. Figure out what types of storytelling you like, and stick with them, because the evolution of storytelling has only just begun.

 

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