Story Spreading: Why Stories Matter

Why Stories Matter

Stories matter. They matter a lot.  Ask a two-year-old, a historian, a grandpa, an artist, a marketer, or anyone at all to vouch for the value of the story and you will get it.

Why? Amongst other reasons, stories are, without question, a building block that is fundamental to our human experience and perceptions. We all use and respond to “story” naturally, it helps us retain information, and stories are tools for navigating life.

1. Stories are natural.

Humans share information in the form of stories and it is as natural as breathing, sleeping and language itself. It is part of being a self-aware & social being. People tell stories to spread messages, experiences, values, and so much more.

2. Stories are sticky.

We humans like stories. Whether shared through spoken word, images, written word or a social media Facebook post, a well told story has a clear message and a lot of interesting details bundled together that would be difficult to retell or recall otherwise. We take stories that resonate with us, and recall them for years to come. We pass along memorable stories. We think about them, memorize them, sing about them, and they stick with us.

3. Stories are relevant to our lived experience.

No one post can express the full value and usefulness of stories and storytelling. The general agreement in human development is that children around 3-5 years will understand and interpret stories. At any age, especially in the formative years before adulthood, stories are a necessary part to assign meaning in both imagined and real life experiences. It is said that from, “about three children can indicate fantasy or make-believe linguistics, produce coherent personal stories and fictional narrative with beginnings and endings.” The narration of stories is  the vantage point where we understand our own experience and communicate that to those around us.

You don’t get much more intimate than understanding your own lived experience by way of story, can I get an amen?!

POP CULTURE REFERENCE ALERT: You’ve heard of Humans of New York (HONY), yes? No? Well ,then get to googling it, quick!

They tell a good story. Here’s an article noting what HONY does well to share a compelling story.> 


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