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Experiencing Paul Walker’s death a thousand times everywhere I go on the internet has me thinking: first, who is Paul Walker, and second (in the context of mythology), aren’t things like Twitter and Facebook essentially representations of oral mythology? The major distinction I can make lies in the fact that whatever goes on the internet remains forever, whereas with oral mythology whatever one says was essentially lost save for the ears it fell upon. This actually has some interesting implications. Think of biographies in 50 years, will we be reading the facebook conversations of celebrities and artists in order to get an extremely personal glimpse into their lives? Or the google searches they made when writing their magnum opus? Oral mythology sought to preserve the culture and context of a group of people, social media does so literally.

 

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One thought on “Social Media as Oral Mythology

  1. I find this very interesting, although I’m not sure if I would consider this example to be oral tradition. Because everything on facebook and internet fact sources are written down they will be exactly the same in 50 years. If his death was just passed around vocally then in 50 years it would have changed; perhaps it would be known as a train accident instead of a car accident. Oral myth carries with it the idea that it has been changed over the years, but the written word will remain the same unless purposefully changed

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