“Black Box,” a Glimpse Into Modern Storytelling

Since the creation of the internet there has been an undeniable and fundamental shift in how people consume and create media. For youth, the lifeblood of this new content, everything must be available and digestible within seconds. Due to this shift, Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat provide never ending streams of content that entertainment-crazed adolescents incessantly consume.

On these new platforms older types of media like literature have been pushed aside and forgotten, left alone for those bored enough to waste a few hours of their invaluable mindless scrolling. However, “Black Box,” by Jennifer Egan, solves this problem by bringing literature to the youth. Egan released the story over the course of several weeks, tweeting out each section in small chunks. With each new post came another quick two-hundred words of the intense sci-fi story.

In doing this, Egan made the story relevant to a hyperactive youth, allowing more exposure to the deeper level thought that good literature can provide. This success is a clear indicator that there is a spot for good writing in youth culture; all we need is more writers who are ready to adapt to it.

One thought on ““Black Box,” a Glimpse Into Modern Storytelling

  1. RYAN M

    This medium was interesting because while it brings the literature to the youth, releasing the story over several weeks does not seem like the way that most young people are used to getting things. In some ways, the idea of releasing short segments of a story at a time feels very old fashioned whether it’s in a newspaper, the radio, or twitter. Especially in a world where we’re so used to the instant gratification that comes with social media like twitter.


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