Digital storytelling uses technology and digital tools to create and share memories. In addition to other posts that details the types of digital technology and access to sharing these digital stories, DST is a way to mediate memory.

In Mediated Memories in the Digital Age, José van Dijck states that media “invariably and inherently shape our personal memories, warranting the term “mediation.” (p. 17).  The ability of media to extent beyond our immediate circles and reach beyond our localities or villages (e.g. oral traditions of storytelling) is what makes DST so exciting, compelling, and completely changes the landscape of how we experience and remember events.

DST can also replace the practice of collecting small keepsakes and mementos- though highly unlikely for a pack rat like myself. For example, I have a box of tee shirts that I’ve collected throughout my life. Two tee shirts represent winning a “Cheese Coney” hot dog eating contest two years in a row.  It is an experience that may only interest myself and those in my immediate circle of peers (such as Chris King), but these physical objects recall this memory.

DST reconstructs my memorial experience through creating a moving image enhanced with music or narration and mediates my memory into something potentially more meaningful.  If someone outside of my immediate circle watched the DST may connect with the story, or may not.  But the power and reach of  DST allows for a connection with the experience. DST is an opportunity to mediate our own life experience and memories for wide spread consumption.

(source: van Dijck, José. Mediated Memories in the Digital Age. Stanford Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2007.)

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2 Responses
  1. cwarburton says:

    I think you raise very interesting points with this post regarding digital storytelling. You’re right that a key element of digital storytelling is its reach. I mean, you can raise a story that can go anywhere in the world: India, Iceland, Indonesia. But that raises a problem of sources and you’re right that too many random things can get caught up in a digital storytelling. I think this is where a class like this is useful because we can learn what to edit out and tell a strong story effectively.

  2. gcheong says:

    Your response reminds me of scrapbooking… except digital stories have the potential to engage more senses to remember something (with narration/music). The mediation is an important point about digital storytelling because old memories do get shaped by the present as well as the passage of time.