the art of storytelling
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by tumblr’s, starving snapchatting naked.
It is a visual era. Imagery is the most important language of today. A picture says more than a thousand words. More websites, blogs, magazines and social media are building its content around visuals. There is no need of copy in advertisement. Typing got replaced by posting and reposting. And everybody is a fucking photographer.
There are apps encouraging this exchange of worthless content. Conversation between friends that used to go „what are you up to? …I‘m going to … wanna join?…“ got replaced by snaps that dissolve in 6 seconds. A syndrome of an empty life and full feed might one say. Magazines that used to inform and inspire now have a bunch of editorials one after another leading to a generation that can barely spell. But don‘t get me wrong. I myself am part taking in all of this. I scroll down tumblrs, instagram and snapchat with the best of you.
There is no need for words anymore. Or is there?
Our addiction to bigger, better, bolder is leading to narratives being stripped of any truth and content, written just for the sake of existence with some pretty pictures added. Content, once being serious and informative, now comes as a free supplement to nice graphics and precious paper. No question that matters is being asked. Where do you draw your inspiration from? What substance gave you that idea? Who is reading this anyway?
Yes, this might be inspired by Hank Moody and my realization of the fact that I bought a book two months ago and it is still lying on my bedside table with the bookmark on page 48, while I am on page 175 of a tumblr that I just came across last night.
Might it be because of the hipster movement and hotspots like Cafe Brecht or Bar Bukowski referencing the great writers of the past that are probably turning in their grave, or because Californication is back on HBO, words are reclaiming its importance. Moleskines are being sold to the kids again. Do you want to buy a typewriter yet?
Stories are making its comeback. Never before was there such a need for a story behind something. Brands need them to differentiate from other brands. Adam Gopnik in an article for The New Yorker magazine writes, „Everything – faith, science, love – needs a story for people to find it plausible. No story, no sale.“ Why should I buy your deodorant instead of the hundred other ones. It requires creativity and a good idea. A story. It makes the truth stick and the consumer relate.
Images vs. words. Most of us, every day, use our Macbooks, iPhones, emails, websites and social networks. Volumes of mixed media circulate in these. Yet almost all of our participation still begins and ends with writing: comments, replies, messages and status posts packed with verbal exchanges containing countless millions of words. What you posted when you were 14 still exists in the online dimension.
Words are the only thing that is going to be left after our demise. That and a bunch of selfies.