The Power of Storytelling | Twitter storytelling that packs a colossal emotional punch

August 21, 2019


Kimberly Manning, MD, is someone I’ve followed on Twitter for a while now. Based in Atlanta, her Twitter bio is as follows: Doctor, mother, wife, blogger, writer, teacher, thinker, doer, believer, laugher, live-er, lover. All of the tweets that have been posted to her account are her own. A couple of days ago, she used her platform to tell a story, releasing her personal account into the universe. This story came unraveled through 14 tweets. It was a story that put her in a vulnerable position, not just because of the content and her razor-sharp awareness, but because of the medium, too. It was one of those narratives that packed a colossal emotional punch. As a result, a lot of people responded to it. 

So what was Kimberly’s story about? On a typical Sunday morning, she and her son were riding in the car to church. Somewhere along the way, they were pulled over by a policeman. It turned out that one of the car’s brakelight bulbs was out. Kimberly knew what to do. Her son knew what to do, too, because Kimberly and her husband had taught him, and their other children, how to behave in cases like this. The policeman asked Kimberly where she was going before letting her off with a warning.

To a lot of folks, the general situation of getting pulled over by an officer for a broken tailight could read as perfectly normal. Perhaps a blip on their radar as they go about their day-to-day. Unremarkable. But Kimberly’s narrative is evidence that others face a different kind of reality. Besides, what is normal? What does it actually mean? Kimberly offers us a glimpse of what her “normal” looks like. She leaves us with this sobering truth: “What threatens daily wellbeing is NOT the same for everyone.”

Those words have stayed with me since I first saw them.

Through her storytelling, Kimberly reveals a world of insight and enables us — her readers and followers — to understand better. To understand more. Her story is timely, and it is nuanced. That she felt she could share her experience so openly means something. It means the world is a little bit kinder than it used to be. It means more people are listening. Kimberly’s story, and her truth, resonated with a lot of people, including me. Check it out in full below.

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