Monday, March 12, 2012

Facebook as storytelling

I am fascinated by Facebook and the sharing of information, from engagements, birthdays, heartbreaks, what people are reading, eating and where they are travelling.

There are million pieces of stories that can be put together from posts.

The everyday things and how people respond is fascinating, and Facebook gives us a very public, yet very private space to share and vent and shout about anything. And, anything can be turned into a story.

I am actually doing a character study based on a friend and her posts. I have altered her life situation, but it is fun.

It is interesting to see, for example, how some of my high school friends' lives have progressed, and if they have or have not done what they dreamed of in high school. It is a little window into very personal stories. Also, there is a sharing of feelings that keeps everyone in your list of contacts connected. You can share or like their posts, and if you get tired of them, well, you can defriend them. There is always new and exciting information flowing every single second. It is passing along your everyday stories and sharing them with friends and family and you get to experience theirs in a very vicarious and unique way.

It is a new way of passing along our stories and feeling like you are leaving a little mark when people respond and the conversation expands and influences more than you thought it would.


  1. I agree, facebook is an excellent example of alternative storytelling. What makes it so appealing is of course the infinite possibility for "spying" other peoples' lives and being able to do it anytime anywhere. Of course, we can decide what to put on FB but even the slightest amount of inside information is still inside information. We all get to be the nosy neighbour.

  2. I definitely think that Facebook is appealing as a story-telling vehicle because you are guaranteed an audience. Ever the little narcissist, I update my Facebook pretty regularly to ask questions about social issues or to rant about various injustices or to details little miniature things in my day-to-day life that interest me. Essentially, I use my facebook as a blog. The ease of access is extremely appealing to me. I hate having to log into a blog because I'm rarely guaranteed to remember my password, and I have absolutely no skill in webdesign, leaving my blog pages flat and boring and also weirdly decontextualized. Facebook permits the linking of articles, texts and videos in such an easy way, and posting a story coupled with a link changes the meaning of the posted content in a way that does not require excess information. I'm not sure I'm addicted to Facebook (though most people would say I am) --I think I'm addicted to communication.

    1. I like to think of Facebook as a narrative tool. I had a creative writer in class one time do a fake wikipedia and FB page for a character. It was such a cool frame for a story/character!

  3. I find it disingenuous of Facebook to market their new "timeline" setup as tied to featuring the life stories of their clients. The fact is, people don't really tell the truth about themselves on Facebook, which is the mark of real, true, and good storytelling. People present themselves in a way on Facebook they want to be perceived. People do this in real life, as well, but Facebook is a more concentrated, deliberate form of this. Part of the interesting thing about viewing other people's profiles is comparing their online persona to their real life persona. It illuminates a lot of insecurities and personality inconsistencies.

  4. Facebook is blocked in China because of Chinese government. Although we have the "Chinese version" Facebook is called renren, it is not as interesting as Facebook. I wish Chinese government did not banded it.

  5. people share feelings and emotion through posting status and people waiting for resoonse on Facebook. it is a social connection tool, i think that is the reason why facebook as a storytelling

  6. I love Facebook, probably too much. It's great storytelling, unless somebody is vaguebooking and they don't bother to even post the entire story in the comment thread. Maybe people don't tell the truth on Facebook, but then many don't in real life, either. When writing literary nonfiction, the "I" is simply a narrator and the story is more important than the truth.