Sometimes, the digital world is too much, and I long for the smell of old library books. The simple turning of paper pages is a personal pleasure I take for granted, one I fear might not develop in my children — or worse, might not even be an option.
Even though we read real books every evening, my children, barely old enough for preschool, seem to naturally gravitate toward technology.
Does that mean they'll never want to fill notebook after paper notebook with stories, like I used to when I was a kid? Will the digitization of books and even writing utensils zap whatever literary creativity they might have inside?
After discovering Storybird
, my faith is renewed that it won't.
Storybird is a lovely site that isn't letting the fade-out of paper-based stories stop it from celebrating true literary creativity. The site offers users numerous visuals to inspire the creation digital mini-stories they can "publish." Users then offer feedback by commenting and brandishing stories with a series of badges, such as hearts and diamonds and even unicorns (not sure what the unicorn is for, but it can't be bad).
Storybird has proven to be a tremendous creative outlet for today's young people, with countless stories being authored by tweens and even young children. Many of these stories are facilitated by teachers who use the platform to spark student creativity in English classes.
And now, Storybird is tugging at my nostalgic heartstrings with the launching of its Magnetic Poetry app
, a digital throwback to the magnetic poetry kit I used to have on the family refrigerator when I was in high school.
For me, this website is genius. It marries old-fashioned literary principles with our current hyper-visual digital culture. It makes stories shareable, and even allows you to download your creations as PDFs and print products for a price.
If you're a writer, a poet, or an artist in practice, or even just at heart, I urge you to give the site a try.