Stories and Experiences Are Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

Why people will seek out experiences to tell better stories

John Mannelly
4 min readMar 5, 2017


In Part 1, I argued that the no-hands-needed Spectacles would empower us to truly immerse ourselves in the moment, while simultaneously being able to snap that same moment more authentically. If you haven’t read that post yet, it’s only 4 minutes long and may help get you onboard for what I’m about to go into next.

I believe that this shift, where we don’t have to hold a smartphone up to everything, empowers people to see the world through a new lens.

This doesn’t mean we’ll just abandon the smartphone. The smartphone is the sun. So lets zoom in and go explore the smartphone-centric world with our Spectacles on.

But first, one more piece of housekeeping before we continue. I need to convince you that the native feed for the smartphone is stories.

Easy enough. I mean, it makes sense right? The internet is the connective tissue between the soon to be 5 billion smartphones on this planet, each of which allow for constant communication and constant storytelling. And humans have always loved stories.

The cool part is, Snap is doing everything they can to help make us better storytellers, i.e. filters, stickers, bitmojis, drawing, lenses.

But while these cosmetic changes may help some of the time, they still require a creative touch. Perhaps a more consistent story canvas is an experience? For the 99% of us who can’t create something out of nothing, experiences virtually speak for themselves.

Is it a coincidence that AirBnB recently repositioned themselves as an experiences company? They know social media tourism is on the rise.

And if you aren’t able to pony up for major AirBnB experiences, Uber can help transport you to micro-experiences like sporting events, museums, or to a friends place to play with their puppy.

Even before we lived in a smartphone-centric world, we used to take photos of our experiences. Susan Sontag captured this nicely when she said,

“It seems positively unnatural to travel for pleasure without taking a camera along. Photographs will offer indisputable evidence that the trip was made, that the program was carried out, that fun was had.”

Fast forward to today and the proof is in the geo-filter.

Geo-filters turn the real world into an even bigger game of PokemonGo. Can you imagine a geo-filter for the top of Mount Everest? How crazy would that be! It’d be like catching a Charzard. Only a very select few would be able to unlock it.

So now, all of the sudden, experiences might be sought out even more with the addition of geo-filters and the ability to immerse yourself authentically with Spectacles. And when you capture this in the form of a story, where would you post it?

There are 6.9 billion people on this planet and Snapchat is extremely happy to host every story (and soon to be group stories). And remember, humans LOVE stories.

This will lead to more money for Snapchat, which will lead to more money to create innovative products like spectacles, which will lead to even newer ways to experience the world, which will result in new stories.

Unlike tobacco, sugar and twitter, some people believe experiences help life to feel more full.

“In order to feel that one’s life is flowing more slowly and fully, one might seek out new situations over and over to have novel experiences that, because of their emotional value, are retained by memory over the long term. Greater variety makes a given period of life expand in retrospect. Life passes more slowly. If one challenges oneself consistently, it pays off, over the years, as the feeling of having lived fully and, most importantly, of having lived for a long time.”

And If you’re self-conscious about sharing your story with the rest of the world. Fear not. Evan Speigel has you covered. You can simply turn your experiences into memories.

Happy exploring!




John Mannelly

May or May Not Work for the CIA.