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A common question asked about the Web 2.0 by the offline population is: “What do people do there?” The paper addresses this question with respects to Paul Ricoeur’s narrative theory of the self. According to his essay Life in Quest of Narrative, a person drifts through time experiencing events happening to them, but none of it is actually lived when it is not “recounted” or “storied”. In this light, “storytelling may be said to humanise time by transforming it from an impersonal passing of fragmented moments into a patter, a plot, a mythos”.
Blogs and sites like Facebook represent the most recent development in the human attempt to weave this “mythos”. A profile page and a tweet are first and foremost stories that appear to its critics “truncated or parodied” by design “to the point of being called micro-narratives or post-narratives”, and to its advocates “multi-plotted, multi-vocal and multi-media”. The paper introduces notions of e-Self and e-Narrative, examines their dangers and benefits, and concludes that “the advent of cyber-culture should be seen not as a threat to storytelling but as a catalyst for new possibilities of interactive, non-linear narration”.