Thursday, June 18, 2015

Puppets Tell Tales of Tinder Horror

Puppets, especially puppets portraying adult situations, can create a heightened sense of awareness about the construction of narrative and character as well as about our own meaning making and communication processes. I guess that's in part why therapists use them, and why they make storytelling funnier, as they certainly do in this series of web videos, Tales From Tinder, on stories from people's personal experiences of using the Tinder dating app--often with calamitous results.

For an adult learning group or college class, a discussion of how using puppets to tell these personal stories of dating misadventure offers an opportunity to examine the communication technique as well as the pitfalls of dating apps like Tinder. The audio is from interviews with Tinder users from around the world of different genders and sexualities. The themes are mature, for sure, and some of the language is profane, so be warned. However, it is fascinating to ask:
  • How does the use of puppets affect the story and the storyteller?
  • How does this web series comment on Tinder and other digital apps for dating?
  • How do you feel about mixing dating and digital media?
Sharing stories of misadventure in social media, and dramatizing the story and storytelling with puppets could make for a fun media literacy lesson as well, empowering learners to reflect on and share experiences through production while creating a collective examination of protectionist themes around the potential dangers of digital media use. My previous post on the muppets offers more reflection on how puppets and parody may support media literacy, and an earlier post about Tinder offers some ideas for creating critiques of new media. Thanks to the Junkee blog for pointing us towards this fascinating Tales from Tinder project from Melbourne-based TV producer Emma Watts.

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