Author Jacqueline O Rogers on Stories for a Digital Age
Exploring Narrative Through Technology
At Moving Tales we are continually exploring innovative ways to create dynamic content for our interactive digital publications. Part of this endeavour is to keep pace with evolving technologies. It is no coincidence that most of what we do and dream of doing seems to circle around our deep rooted love of stories. After all, we find it impossible to imagine a world without them.
We’re Surrounded by Storytellers
We’re all born into a world of stories and are surrounded by storytellers – everything from formal recitations of the Canterbury Tales, to descriptive retellings of events from an average day around the dinner table. In fact, telling stories is one of the oldest forms we have of sharing and growing wisdom, knowledge and culture. For this reason I consider a good story valuable ‘cross cultural currency’ which appreciates over time.
Stories connect us and remind us that we are part of a living and interconnected web. They satisfy a primitive urge to make sense of the complex world in which we live because, unlike information of which there is such a surfeit now, stories have a clear beginning and end and imply a deep relationship between events. In this way, they provide continuity to our experience of being human in a complex world. They engage us and help us to make sense of our experience in the world by supporting, conﬁrming or questioning our perceptions of the world. They teach us that there is no one objective truth and that there are can be many interpretations of a single event.
The Power of Stories
We value stories for their escape factor. They collapse time and space and make the impossible possible. They bring us face to face with mystery and wonder and can elicit powerful emotional responses, like empathy, gratitude and humility while allowing us to imagine the world from diﬀerent perspectives and others’ lives. Even the most far fetched stories are rooted in our common experience, otherwise they would have no meaning for us.
A world without stories is a world steeped in alienation, isolation, and mistrust. The best stories, whether they are being told or read to us, invite us to explore our inner lives and present us with opportunities for transformation – indeed, good stories can and do change lives. They teach without being didactic, draw us into the realm of the sacred, and remind us to stretch and to trust our imaginations.
They are what make us human.