The Word-Image-Virtual Body: The Social Media Textuality and the Story as Application

The Word-Image-Virtual Body: The Social Media Textuality and the Story as Application

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3835-7.ch004

Abstract

In the present knowledge and innovation society, including creative industries, DIY practices, and citizen science, it is not enough to produce solely a product; it is necessary to sell a story about its groundbreaking appearance and function, which means that the product is well-marketed only at the moment when it is sold in a package together with a story written, performed, or shot about it. This turns into the world of arts; sciences, technologies, and business goes hand in hand with the contemporary storytelling, which is becoming distinctively performative and conceptual; rather than making a stable “textwork,” it directs to textual service, which is integrated in the trendy service economy. Textual services generate novel forms of expanded narrative, shaped by means of new media textuality and novel narrative practices. One of the most attractive modes of today's textual service is a story as application.
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Background

Contemporary popular culture shaped by the social media has expanded short formats (tweets, selfies, Instagram and Snapchat videos and photographs) which suit the short attention span of today's individual. The trend towards economical and intense cultural contents results in texts full of abbreviations, neologisms, smileys, and emojis, and consequently hybrid digital textuality based on words-images-virtual bodies. This is also applied to hybrid stories (composed of verbal and non-verbal signifiers) which find expression in new types of narratives, including Twitter and Facebook novels, blogging fiction, novels with PP slides, gaming narratives, and stories for mobile phones in which the main character makes decisions based on hits suggested by search with applications. The digital text becomes obscene, profane, striving to tell more than it actually can; mysteriousness, the untold, ambiguity and blanks are withdrawing from the trendy textscape. Rather than addressing only the formal innovation of digital textual contents (create by montage, remix, and mash-ups), this chapter aims to discuss their corresponding world shaped by the new cultural, philosophical, perceptual, and socio-economic paradigms.

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