Explore the phenomenon: The narrativity of audiovisual content on social media
Narrativity in the audiovisual content of social media
Narrativity is a visible and increasingly frequent phenomenon in the audiovisual content of social media (e.g. short TikTok videos, Instagram reels and stories). Narrativity is a crucial framework that the human mind relies on to comprehend and make sense of things. Today, as we are flooded with information and complex global problems, it is also a safety mechanism: a cognitive, ethical and emotional way of controlling chaos. A moving experiential narrative is a powerful rhetorical means, and simultaneously a method of effective and persuasive communication that makes the recipient identify or attach themselves to the message.
Narrativity rouses interest and is much quicker to create an emotional bond than a direct, informative or declaratory text. When it comes to narrativity, identification may occur on the basis of the situation the message is about (e.g. an experience of failure told by a first-person narrator) or roles featured in the story (e.g. good, evil, bystander, adversary, hero). In narrativity, the plot, juxtaposition and description create an engaging situation for the recipient of the message. Often, the underlying aim is to change the values, attitudes or (consumer) behaviour of the target audience. Criticising narrativity may be difficult since it is often perceived to be “on the side of good”. The affective consensus of social media may also protect it from criticism and reprehension related to trivial content. This should not prevent it from being approached with a critical eye and perceptive reading of audiovisual texts.
Mäkelä, M. 2019. Totuuksia ja politiikkaa tarinallistuvassa mediaympäristössä. Tieteessä tapahtuu, vol. 37 (3). https://journal.fi/tt/article/view/80463 retrieved 29 March 2022
Text: Saara Martikka
Image: Siru Tirronen
The media landscape of children and young people keeps changing, with new phenomena following each other back-to-back. Providing pupils with tools for understanding and processing these phenomena is important. This learning package is part of Pathways to New Media Phenomena – Information and Exercise Materials Series. The series includes information and exercises for the teacher and the pupils. You can explore new phenomena in a meaningful way with the help of the How to discuss new media literacy phenomena through pedagogical means method.
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