Week 4: Response to a piece of selected scholarship: Storytelling In The Digital Media Age?

This Tech Trunch Article written by Dr. Carl Marci (Harvard neuropsychiatrist) discusses the changing landscape of storytelling specifically how advertisers can effectively impact viewers in the digital age. She starts by discussing the decreased attention span of millennials (younger people who have come of age with the internet). According to studies Millennials have a 60% shorter attention span than every generation that has come before. This is because they have gown up in the world of on demand entertainment. Television is a passive experience but online you are the producer and director of your entertainment experience.

She discuss how young people are more comfortable interacting with technology than with live people and having conversation is possibly a thing of the past. There is a fragmented nature to social media and the way young people communicate now. She discuss the multitude of option we have to satisfy our needs for emotional engagement. She found the people regulate their emotions though the use of social media not allowing them to become too high or too low. People are searching for the same feelings of empathy and connection that we would seek out in more traditional avenues in the past.

With the competition for attention online digital stories have abandoned the traditional linear story arc for a more fragmented approach over many different devices or timelines. An example of this Taylor Swifts launch of a new album that linked twitter, youtube and an American Express virtual tour backstage pass to allow the audience to have a more immersive experience of her new album.

This story got me thinking about how digital story telling has truly transformed narrative. It’s no longer from a single source but rather we gather fragments of many stories to create a complete narrative in our minds produced not by a director at the news agency but by us, we have taken a more active role in the crafting of stories.

It dismays me a little that my child will grow in a world where patience is no longer needed. Where all he ever needs is at his finger tips from movies, to meeting people, pornography and his social network. What has we lost in the age of the digital story? Have we locked ourselves in our own echo chambers hearing our own voice over and over unable to empathize with people who are different than us.