Fact, fiction or filtered: Millennials are uniquely skilled storytellers


The Irish are known, the world over, as a nation of storytellers.

Our oral tradition dates back centuries, and for a country of its diminutive size, Ireland has produced some of the most celebrated writers, playwrights, poets and performers in history.

And while we may no longer employ the services of the traditional seanchaí, our day-to-day tradition of storytelling has in no way diminished.

Millennials may not gather friends and family around a fire and regale them with tales of yore, but they do partake in their own unique version of storytelling on a daily basis.

Whether it's through Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or with the help of their blog or vlog, this generation have made skillful use of the platforms available to them and ultimately proven themselves masters of storytelling.

The medium may have changed, but the tradition hasn't.

But at a time when our social media feeds are awash with stories from around the world, it's the storytellers who have honed the craft who truly stand out from the crowd.

Whether their story comes in the shape of a 140-character Twitter post, side-by-side Instagram upload or short and snappy Snapchat story, the person behind the story has considered their audience and played to their expectations.

You can argue that the advent of social media (and its multiple filters and edit/ delete functions) means the storyteller can present a certain version of their tale to the world ultimately rendering the 'story' less authentic, but that doesn't mean it's any less captivating or engaging.

We celebrate works of fiction in the same way we laud real-life stories. We pay tribute to scriptwriters in the same way we hail documentary-makers  And we praise painters in the same way we honour photographers.

Fact, fiction or filtered; if a story engages, it engages.

Whether the 'story' presented is an accurate representation of the individual's life is beside the point because if an audience decides it is sufficiently fascinated, it will come back for more.

An individual who presents the public with a warts-and-all version of their life is no more worthy of praise than a person who creates a visual or written narrative which niftily sidesteps the grimmer side of daily life.

A story is a story is a story.

As the SHEmazing Awards seek to illustrate, social media has created a whole new generation of storytellers, inspired a generation of creatives and given a voice to those whose story deserves a platform.

Oh, and while we have you; don't forget to have your say in the inaugural SHEmazing Awards this May! It's time to vote, and you can do it right here!