In recent years, we’ve witnessed an enormous expansion in the use of social media. It has also assumed an important role in shaping the habits, experiences, and knowledge of the younger generations, primarily the so-called Generation Z.
This generation, born after 1996, isn’t as avid a consumer of televised content in the traditional sense as the older age groups. Instead, they rely on the Internet and social media for all their entertainment and information needs.
New medium, new demands
The strong possibility of social media replacing traditional television was the central idea of the speech that the Israeli tech entrepreneur Mati Kochavi delivered at Calcalist’s Forecasts 2020 conference in Tel Aviv.
Due to this potential and the Generation Z driving it, Kochavi believes that the focus will have to shift to better media quality. It will have to go hand in hand with credible, entertaining, and most importantly, educational content.
In the words of Mr. Kochavi, Generation Z has created today’s digital environment and it lives in it but isn’t native to it. As a result, this dichotomy has given it a sense of alienation.
When he describes social media as the new medium for Generation Z, Mati Kochavi knows exactly what he’s talking about. In fact, he is the pioneer of a new genre that makes use of social media as the primary means for storytelling instead of the traditional methods.
Instagram stories instead of television
Kochavi and his daughter Maya have created an innovative project that draws on the above-described potential of social media as the new storytelling medium.
It is called Eva Stories and consists of a series of 220 Instagram video stories that tell the true story of a Jewish 13-year old girl Eva Heyman. Eva lived in Hungary during the Second World War and died in the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944.
She kept a journal during the Holocaust and hers is one of the 30 similar journals that Mati Kochavi and his daughter analyzed before deciding on Eva’s. The Kochavis used the journal to portray Eva as a modern-day teenager with a smartphone and Instagram account.
We see the bubbly teenager spending time with her family and friends, walking around town, recording her day. The stories take a darker turn when Eva becomes the target of racial slurs by a random passer-by. This incident is followed by soldiers in uniforms taking away her cousin during a birthday party. The rest of the stories show a heavy, somber atmosphere as the family expects its demise.
The Kochavis launched the Eva Stories project on Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2019. Since then, it has achieved huge success and received acclaim from all over the world, granting the duo two coveted Webby awards in 2020.
Eva Stories isn’t the first film-making experience for Mati Kochavi, who is also the founder and owner of various IoT and AI companies. In 2016 and 2017, he authored Dark Net, a 16-episode TV documentary about the furthest reaches of the Internet and its users. The two-season documentary exposed topics such as online cults, pornography addiction, webcam strippers, cyber kidnapping, biohacking, and more.