Storytelling in my mind is kind of a strange combination of literature and communication. As opposed to books and literature, “storytelling”, probably because it has the word “telling” in it, usually involves stories read aloud to someone else. Like a parent telling their child a bedtime story, or reading to them from a book of fairytales.
That definition is at least what I initially think when I imagine “storytelling”. If I think about it more in-depth, “storytelling” doesn’t necessarily have to involve oral communication. Letters can have storytelling, or instant messages and Facebook messages. I suppose that gets more into the realm of digital storytelling.
Storytelling is really just…telling a story to someone else. Sometimes there is a specific person you have in mind, like your roommate at the dinner table, or your grandmother in a letter to home. But sometimes it could just be to anyone, and I think that’s what digital storytelling is like. Instead of writing a novel for anyone to read, you are communicating a story for anyone to listen to.
The great thing about the internet is that you can reach wider audiences in a quicker amount of time. This makes digital storytelling so much easier than traditional storytelling nowadays. You can read your child a bedtime story while you’re on a business trip across the country. You can tell your friend a story through an online messenger or on Twitter.
I’d consider digital storytelling to be very similar to traditional storytelling, only it takes place on a larger scale. With traditional storytelling, you’re usually only communicating to a handful of people or less, and those people tend to be very close to you in some way. With digital storytelling, you can tell your story to hundreds, thousands, millions of people in just a mere second. It’s still based in communication, even if the communication isn’t necessarily two-way. You don’t necessarily know the people you are telling the story to, and yet there is still a feeling of intimacy. It’s an interesting thing to experience in a world where digital communication is becoming more prevalent than physical face-to-face communication.