When I was younger, I loved watching Oprah. While most of my peers couldn’t get enough of MTV and music videos, there I was, a young teenager counting down until 4 PM and Oprah-time.
Looking back as an adult, I realize that the fascination came from her storytelling ability. She would find stories from people all over the world and share them on her platform. While she had her share of fun, uplifting episodes, a lot of topics were also incredibly heavy and showed the darker side of humanity.
Even to this day, I haven’t found many people who mastered storytelling on the same level. However, everyone should keep in mind that Oprah didn’t become Oprah overnight. She started and practiced day in and day out. She studied the storytellers before her and applied the lessons she learned.
Storytelling is important because it’s how we communicate and understand each other. The stories we consume shape our world and how we feel about the world outside our front door.
Think of how you feel when you read a “the world is ending” article compared to something uplifting. The stories you consume and share with the world start to shape your reality. If you only read the news, that will shape your views, but if you read experiences from people actually living in the countries you read about, that might give you a completely different perspective.
Before the internet, the barrier to storytelling was large. You needed a large platform, like a television network, newspaper, or production studio in order to have the resources you need to tell your stories. Now, anyone with a smartphone can start to share their stories with the world.
The Need for Storytelling
Everyone in the blogging industry always talks about how saturated the internet is with content, but I see it a different way: Finally, everyone can begin to tell their stories.
The beautiful thing about the internet coming into existence is the ability to hear from people around the world. You could follow a blog, YouTube channel, Instagram feed, or any other storytelling platform from someone living across the world.
Imagine if our grandparents had this ability, would it have changed history and international politics? Would it have changed movements through time? What would our look like if we had the internet throughout history?
The Need for Stories from Men
When it comes to men telling their stories, there seems to be a lot of stigma around talking about feelings or how their experiences have personally impacted them.
There is always a need for journalism and historical reporting, but there is also a need for sharing your inner thoughts and experiences with the world.
Most of the world has been saturated with the idea that you should only start sharing stories if you want to make money, and while that’s a possibility, there should also be a pull for some people to start blogging simply to share their lives and to connect with other people around the world.
It has never been more important for people across the world to share their perspectives. It’s how we begin to understand each other, come together, and fight for what’s good in humanity.
Getting Started and Some of My Favorites
The best thing about starting to share your life is that there are so many options available. You could share it through social media, a blog, a podcast, or a vlog.
If you need some inspiration, here are some of my favorite male storytellers.
Thebullhikes on Instagram
PJ Regan and his dog Clove go hiking everywhere together, but their story is deeper than that. P.J. is a recovering addict and Clove was almost euthanized twice. Together, they celebrate life and explore the world in the process. It’s beautiful storytelling told through pictures.
Storytelling on Instagram is one of the easiest places to start. You sign up for Instagram on your phone and start adding your pictures and stories. It doesn’t require hosting, buying a domain, or anything complicated. Just point your camera, click, and share.
Casey Neistat on YouTube
Casey Neistat is a dad and business owner living in New York City. He recently sold his company, Beme, for over $25 million. He usually vlogs his life daily (with time off here and there) or finds a specific angle to something he’s experiencing to create a mini movie to share with the world.
If you want to start vlogging, all you need to do is sign up for a YouTube account, film yourself talking to your phone, and upload it. In the U.S. alone, over 180 million people use YouTube, so you have a tremendous chance to share your content far and wide.
Jonas Ellison on Medium.com
He’s a daily blogger who shares some incredibly personal and thought-provoking stories. He writes about being a dad, spirituality, being a creative, and life. While a lot of men write content that keeps their feelings at a distance, Jonas isn’t afraid to bare it all.
There are millions of blogs on the internet, with WordPress alone hosting over 76.5 million of them, but there are a ton of free options as well so you don’t have to get into the technical details of setting up your own website, unless that’s your goal.
There’s so much to blogging, but the most overlooked aspect is simply starting. Putting words to a page and sharing these thoughts with the world. You never know who you could impact by doing so.
Storytelling is an art form that humans have used since we could draw on walls in caves and will continue to do for years to come.
Photo: Getty Images