Social Media Is Killing Storytelling

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Mike Sorenson

Mike Sorenson is a creative director living in the Midwest with his beautiful wife and son. Writing has always been a part of his job, but has recently become a bigger part of his other life too. You can follow him on twitter @dzyneguru - if you're into that sort of thing.

Comments

  1. Interesting take.

    Frankly I don’t see social media negatively affecting storytelling at all. Good storytellers are good storytellers. Whether that means in print or in person, they will continue to hone their craft. I think the reason you feel like storytelling is being strangled is because social media gives everyone a platform to express themselves. And let’s face it, not everyone is a storyteller.

    That means you’ve got the Facebook dinner updates and “Melanie is at the mall buying dresses” information you don’t care about. But make no mistake, the storytellers are still out there. Even in social media.

    You just have to sort through a bunch of other crap to find them.

    • Mike Sorenson says:

      Thanks for the feedback! I like your point about there being a way to tell stories within social media, that’s very true. It’s just not the same to me as the way my dad used to do it.

      And, to be clear, I’m not saying that there are no good storytellers, I just feel like the demand for that skill is being strangled by the onslaught of social media outlets. I know several excellent storytellers but I get glimpses of their stories before they get a chance to tell them in the old-fashioned, sit around the dinner table format. They can still tell them (and tell them well), but the experience is definitely affected by today’s technology – IMHO.

  2. Thanks for writing this article Mike and helping us think better about our storytelling. I think storytelling is here to stay (I’m a storyteller and business consultant) and I do think there is great confusion in the marketplace today between information/opinion/conversation sharing and storytelling. It boils down to 2 things: 1) confusion about storytelling from people not trained in storytelling; and 2) not knowing how best to evoke stories from others in order to cut through the clutter of information and connect at the heart level.

    I think the more we can advocate for great storytelling and educate people along the way, we’ll experience more of it. I like the points you raise and have brought your article into my curated content, along with a review. You can see it here at http://www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it.

    Many thanks again for providing great thoughts to chew on.
    Karen

    • Mike Sorenson says:

      Thanks so much for your feedback (and link) Karen, it is much appreciated. The title is obviously hyperbole – storytelling will never really die – but I feel that it has been dramatically changed. Yes, there will still be situations where you’ll hear (or tell) a great story, but they are too few and far between thanks to the wonders of modern technology and social media. It’s become a world of constant spoilers.

  3. Hi Mike,

    Nice article. I am in favor of any conversation that causes us to examine these types of things.
    But, do not throw out the baby with the bath water. Yes, thanks to FB and blogs, we now have an archive of daily experiences but our memories are still, “misty watercolor images painted in the back of our minds…”. One does not cancel out the other. And, in group settings, I have overheard the mention of a particular status update become the springboard for an enthusiastic telling of the full story.

    For almost 70 years we have sat idly by, drooling, and mind numb, while the TV Networks pump their (emphasis on ‘their’) stories into the mind of the general public. If TV did not kill storytelling, nothing will.

    As a professional, full time, traveling storyteller, recording artist, small business owner and story coach to corporate and non-profits, I see social media as just another spoke on the wheel of storytelling. The hub (eye to eye fully fleshed storytelling) will never be replaced by a spoke. Two very different purposes.

    Keep up the good work!
    Kim

  4. Mike, I don’t think social media is storytelling at all, at least, not the kind of storytelling I’m used to. Short comments on what’s up in your life don’t qualify as story to me, just keeping up with folks vs really communicating. I like connecting with people the FB way, esp since I rarely have time to visit. The FB timeline is more like a datebook to hold documentation of events and thoughts (important or not) so you can use it to write your memoir (I work to encourage life writing). Now, blogs are another story, often real stories worth saving and having the family read again and again. As a lifewriting enthusiast, I’m all for that.

    • Mike Sorenson says:

      Thanks for your thoughts Linda! I guess the title should be ‘Social media has changed storytelling’ – but it doesn’t have the same impact. I am not questioning the benefits of social media outlets – I realize they have a lot of positives. I just feel like it has changed storytelling at a fundamental level – for me. You’re certainly entitled to your opinion and I appreciate you taking the time to share it here.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I read this story about social media ‘killing’ storytelling and felt there was some truth in it. Never mind storytelling, I miss story reading. I miss sitting [...]

  2. [...] Social Media Is Killing Storytelling ← HappyFunTimeGameBand – RE2: Ada’s Theme [...]

  3. [...] Social Media is Killing Storytelling on the Good Men Project. Why tell stories when you can just read Facebook updates? Will we tell our children stories from our lives, or will we just let them read them on the internet? [...]

Speak Your Mind