Storying Cyberspace: Narratives and Metaphors in ‘Real Lives, Celebrity Stories’

real_livesReal Lives, Celebrity Stories: Narratives of Ordinary and Extraordinary People Across Media
Eds: Julia Round and Bronwen Thomas
Bloomsbury Academic, 2013

I have a chapter in this interesting new collection edited by my colleagues in The Media School at Bournemouth University, Julia Round and Bronwen Thomas. Real Lives, Celebrity Stories collects research from published and experienced professionals, practitioners and scholars who discuss narratives of real people across cultures and history and in multiple media. It uses narrative theory to interrogate the processes by which we create, promote and consume these stories of real people, and the ways in which we construct our own stories of self. By bringing together different disciplines it offers a theory of the production(s) of self in public spaces such as television, cinema, comics, fan cultures, music, news media, politics and cyberspace.

My chapter is called ‘Storying Cyberspace: Narratives and Metaphors’. Cyberspace has given rise to many new terms. A surprising number of them, such as “information superhighway” and “surfing the internet,” are rooted in real-world metaphors which have been re-purposed for the digital. This practice seems to have evolved from the imperative to make sense of the new and highly abstract experience of being online by seeking comparable experiences in the physical world. This essay tracks the history of the cyberspace metaphor and considers its impact on the narrative of our lives online.

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