Long through the history of mankind we have been able to preserve our heritage or culture through stories more often told by the elders in the community and passed through generation to generation, many of them has evolved and changed where they become a legend or a myth. Of course, the kind of story I am talking about here is not the professional literary written and then printed kind of a story, I am talking about that intimate kind of story that talks about personal experiences, a story told by an individual about what he is going through or something about his surroundings, it is a story that’s is usually neglected within the literary industry.
Today, this storytelling has evolved to digital storytelling, it’s no longer a word of mouth. With the video recording technologies we have today, one can document his own history; we no longer have to know only about famous people such as politicians, actors, kings or queens. Today with digital storytelling the ordinary individual has been given a voice to make his own story heard, I think this would become the biggest reservoir of world history that human kind can generate for the future generations. With digital storytelling, people will share their lives experiences whether they are intimate or ordinary, they get to say their own point of view without the filtering or the projection and twisting of a second party which used to be the person documenting or writing a biography.
I think this digital storytelling will open new doors and shut others, at one hand it will allow people to tell their story from their own perspective, on the other hand, biographers may become out of business, also I think it will challenge the celebrity culture that’s adopted by mainstream media, we no longer just have to hear about the American singer Beyounce’s problems or how the British scientist Steven Hawking got to overcome obstacles despite his disability. We now can hear the story of a small refugee kid who had to flee his country, or a woman who has a medical condition that she has to live with the rest of her life. The digital storytelling has risen self-expression and widened the pole for people to be exposed to others stories to learn more about each other, and this is why I think it can be a counter attempt toward the celebrity industry and reality shows we see in mainstream media. And it will also bring people closer together since they can now relate to each other and find more commonalities between one another.
I think it is imperative that digital storytelling maintain its feature of being the voice of the ordinary person and not to be highjacked by big corporates and mainstream media. Its strength comes from its objectivity and projecting perspectives that otherwise would have been ignored.