Growing up as a(white cis-female) millennial it is hard to dispute the impact media has had and continues to have on my life. As a small child I would dance around my house singing Disney songs as an adolescent I found my personal style flipping through countless teen magazines; as a young adult I was an early adopter of social media; and as a woman in my 30s I have dedicated my life to the pursuit of creating a media literate society. I have sat crying as I watched unimaginable events play out in live time before my eyes and rejoiced as the diversity of messages and information has grown beyond the confines of one ideology.
Do you hear that? That voice? That voice inside your head? That internal narrative we can have, guiding our every decision each and every day. This internal narrative that is so personal, so sacred to us is not inherently created from within. This story we tell ourselves is created and influenced by all the external narratives that we consume, from our lived experiences to those others share with us. It comes from the books we read, the shows we watch, the music we listen to. It is morphing constantly as we take in more information. And although it will always morph, that doesn’t mean that it is always changing.
Narratives are the stories we see and tell ourselves. They can be fact, fictional, or a combination that muddles reality. They compellingly invite us to engage and believe. They hold our history, our triumphs, and our pain. They are everywhere. All the time.