Jad Abunrad’s perspective on radio storytelling is quite enlightening. I loved the metaphor he used of someone over the radio making a painting when telling a story but they are not the ones holding the paint brush, it’s the audience. That is precisely why he considers the radio “co-imagination” and I would say that books and written stories should be considered another form of “co-imagination.” Listening to or reading what someone has created and being able to imagine it the way you want is a powerful thing. The way another person imagines can be completely different from how you’re imagining and that’s okay because it’s up to the listener! It is a way that people can become connected, even through a radio.
My dad told me that my grandfather used to have an old radio with a microphone from the 1950s or 1960s. He said that my grandfather would sit at his desk with his radio and different frequencies would get picked up and he would talk to anyone on the radio that wanted to talk (apparently that was a fun thing to do back in the day). My dad said that he would be able to sit and talk with strangers, exchanging stories and jokes, and sharing some laughs for hours. This story is a clear example of how the radio connects people, just like Abunrad states.
It’s fascinating that two people whom have never met, can become best friends over a radio. One might say that it is similar to many situations on the internet, but at least with the social media there a pictures and other visuals to base your opinions on.
Although as Abunrad says many believe that radio is going to die one day, however I agree with him in believing that it will not happen. Radio is essentially oral storytelling and oral storytelling has been a form of connection for humans for thousands of years. If oral storytelling hasn’t died yet, the radio surely will not be going anywhere anytime soon.