Have We Lost the Art of Storytelling?

Ever since I first heard of the local event called Muriel’s Repair–a group who meets monthly to tell stories–I’ve been thinking a lot about storytelling as a whole and how it affects our society. When I heard that this group existed, I was surprised. I had no idea people still actively did this sort of, old-fashioned, thing. It made me wonder how technology has affected story-telling? It made me think things like: when was the last time you just sat down with some friends–maybe around a campfire–and told stories. Real story-telling. I mean, do people do that anymore? I am not simply talking about gossip or chit-chat, but actually telling a story in a way to not only share information with other people but to spark conversations, make people laugh. Has the art of story-telling been lost in all this technology?

When I attended Muriel’s Repair–the story-telling event previously mentioned–it hit me that possibly this art hasn’t been lost. Maybe instead it is just hidden. Anne Rutherford, a professional storyteller from Portland, said that the art of story-telling isn’t lost, it’s just misplaced. “Whatever their age, whatever their circumstance, if it’s a good story and it’s well told we completely have the ability to respond to that. However, what I think we’re losing is the opportunity to be in those situations.” (MyNorthWest.com) I agree with her statement. Although technology has made communication easier it may be diminishing our opportunity to utilize story-telling. In order for someone to become a riveting story-teller one must take the time to practice their skills. Usually in-order to do this people would take advantage of situations where people were waiting for something and/or have free time. In today’s age when people are waiting or have a short amount of free time they pull out their Smartphones and start playing Angry Birds or Flappy Bird.


So really, it can be said the art of Story-telling has not been lost, but merely misplaced because people do not practice it as often as people used to. This can be looked at as either a good thing (at least story-telling lives on) or a bad thing (but, people rarely use it). Regardless it can make one think about how the they spend their free-time.


10 thoughts on “Have We Lost the Art of Storytelling?

  1. ahh, I’m sorry about the tech issues…ironic isn’t it (considering my blog topic). But yes, that is a great way I think more people could promote story-telling, especially since everyone does have stories. Everyone’s lives are made up of stories and made up of sharing these stories with people we are close with. It makes it all the better if one can actually recount a story in an entertaining and engaging way!

  2. Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, I just felt I needed to add another picture as to not make my piece bland, but I think you are right about the flappy bird pic.

  3. oh, I do know TED talks of course, but I don’t think I’ve seen one on story-telling. I’ll have to look it up and watch one sometime; it’s nice to know other people feel the same way. Thanks!

  4. Well certainly groups like this help keep it alive…so maybe more participation in events like this? Or just simple things like utilizing it in everyday conversations. Maybe not full-out story-telling at first, but people could start off just practicing in the way they craft every-day “stories” when they talk to others.

  5. Really glad to hear you liked it! That’s super cool your grandmother is into this sort of thing. Like you said, ACTUAL story-telling. Some people don’t understand the difference between regular story-telling and story-telling as an art. Thanks for the comment!

  6. For some reason, some of your pictures aren’t showing up. I found that during winter break, whenever I was meeting up again with my high school friends, it was all about being a raconteur as we all had quite a bunch of epic stories to tell about our experiences in college. I feel that to promote story-telling, people should engage in smaller interactions with people that they are close to but perhaps haven’t seen in a while.

  7. Excellent post! I really like the points you made about story telling, as it made me remember when my parents would tell me stories way back when. Your points are really well constructed, but I don’t exactly get how the flappy bird picture is incorporated into the post. Maybe try using a ground point rather than something you only touch on once when putting a picture in. Really great post though! Can’t wait to read the next!

  8. I too have been thinking about the art of storytelling since our TED talk assignment last semester. I’m not sure if you have seen the TED talks, but there are a bunch on story telling and how important they are. Anyways, I like your post a lot, and I’m relieved to find that you don’t think the art has been lost!

  9. I agree that our generation is not as good at storytelling when compared to the generations before us. What do you suggest to put storytelling back into practice so that it doesn’t start to die?

  10. I like this post a lot, because my grandmother has always been really passionate about story-telling, like this sort of ACTUAL story-telling. This group sounds exactly like the kind of thing she would love to do. It’s so cool to hear that something like this still exists. Thanks for sharing!

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