We all grew up with fairy tales, myths and legends told by grandparents or teachers. For thousands of years the stories have been repeated in every generation until the arrival of the ‘digital generation’, where children from an early age are in contact with smartphones, computers and are connected with the network.
When children are found from their first few months immersed in virtual environments their brain changes the way of organising the information and the synapses are activated with new stimuli. It reduces the threshold of attention and there is a different hierarchy in the choice of the preferred channel of communication.
All these features of digital intellectual generations are well known by the industry that processes the game programs so as to be chosen and preferred by young people and that, in this way, they help to speed up the change of intellectual and cognitive structures of the Digital Generation.
Those who are responsible for the Web know that the time of initial attention towards a new information is of a few seconds (2-3 and for the younger can be as little as 1.5 seconds) and the time to focus on a video is less than 15 seconds.
This is therefore the time you have on hand to capture the attention of a young person and those whose brain has already undergone organizational changes due to long-time entertainment with the web.
If you pass this threshold, then you gain a time equal to twice the initial one. If you overcome this second threshold, then you have gained the attention of the reader for the content that we want to convey.
Edu-tainment and Content
Anyone who wants to transmit information and wants to educate a young person, a cultural faculty that wants to promote themselves or a school must know that these are the limitations they face in order to succeed in their aim.
The world of education has been enriched by a new way of transmitting information that also involves forms of entertainment. Academic learning is increasingly reserved for a small number of people unless it is open to forms of interaction that combine education and entertainment.
This is why, for example, there has been a lack of success of many universities that have put their courses online without changing the language style of the professors or without studying the way in which these courses may reach the public. The risk is to only reach people who are highly motivated but not those who have a latent desire, and that is the highest percentage of people.
The content takes on a strategic importance that cannot be produced any longer by experts on the subject, but which needs a combination of experts and digital educators.
It is clear that the initial few seconds of attention must be used to stir up ‘Digital Emotions’, something that intrigues the reader and push to go deeper into the theme for a few more seconds.
The role of ‘emotions’ is essential and is suggested by the etymology of this word comes from the Latin and consists of e-moveo. This means that forces a physical action, that the role of emotion is to enable real action, is the connection between the emotional senses and our body.
For a museum, a collector or an art gallery as well as for educators, creating emotion is therefore the real goal of communication as it is the one element that makes the visit pleasant and pushes the visitor deeper, to study, to go to the museum restaurant, to the book -shop and to share with others the pleasure.
The emotion is that which pushes one into immediate action and is shared on social networks by creating an ‘aura’ of interest on the web that can potentially affect others.
The Role of Stories
If the stories have accompanied the growth of children in all parts of the world, and if the Storytellers were for centuries educators in the community, these are the stories that you have to begin with to capture those whose attention you seek.
The stories by their nature consist of an educational part and entertainment. For example by reading Homer’s Iliad you can learn how to raise sheep and how to make artifacts, reading Virgil you learn to cultivate the fields. Similarly the Digital Stories Telling must have all these ingredients but with a totally different ‘pace’.
We cannot, for example, transmit on the web a thought of an author without telling something of the author’s life. The isolation of thought is difficult to achieve on the Web while it is easier to get to the same degree of insight by integrating this philosophical element with some of the real history of the ‘philosopher’.
The web is ‘social’ and these issues must be taken into consideration by those who deal with ‘academic culture’. Also, colleges and universities must change their way of relating to their potential members or with their students to increase their threshold of interest.
It is clear, therefore, that modern storytellers must have dual forms of preparation: on the one hand to know what they want to transmit and on the other to know how to tell the story on the web to the digital generations. A Digital Story telling able to excite people.
How to Tell a Story on the Web: Digital Story Telling
People have three communication channels with which to receive messages from the outside world: the visual channel, auditory and kinesthetic. This may be easier understood as: images, words (written or spoken), and physical sensations.
Generally each of us prefers a communication channel depending on the structure of the brain, and the combination of his forms of intelligence. According to Gardaner, intelligence cannot be measured in an absolute way, but everyone has a combination of at least 9 types of intelligence that interprets and expresses the world’s information.
What happened to the digital generation is that, regardless of the type of combination of intelligence, they always prefer the more visual channel. This means that especially the initial images play a fundamental role in encouraging the emotions that decide the depth of this or that information.
In conclusion, to tell a story on the web is not the same as to tell a story on a stage, in a meeting or in a newspaper. The mindset of the digital generations and those who spend much time on the computer has changed over time and requires the ability to capture the interest of people in seconds.
In just a few seconds that makes the difference between success or oblivion. You have just a few seconds in which you have to know how to inject knowledge and excite.