The last five thousand years have got a lot to answer for....
Before that time; before television, before radio, before, books, manuscripts, paper and parchment, before tablets and before papyrus, stories were communal affairs, told to an enfranchised audience around the campfire.
One person would start and the rest would interrupt, contribute and help the story to grow and change. The narrative would change hands.
In this way, stories brought people together. Momentarily, groups defined themselves around common themes and after the story was over, they moved on.
That all changed with the advent of the written word.
Stories began to be captured, laid down for posterity and passed on reverentially through the generations. They became political and words became the instruments of tyrants. They were broadcast across airwaves, with millions of people gratefully gathered to hear what the important people had to say.
And of course, brands got in on the act.
Brands fell over each other to construct the best stories: perfectly packaged little narratives with a product at their heart; messages wrapped in lyricism but also incredibly simple, easy for a 'consumer' to digest.
It seems incredibly poignant that technology has blown all of this apart and sent us back to the Stone Age.
Technology has re-opened up stories to the audience.
Our tales have to be communal again. Our audience have to be able to contribute and the narratives that we propose have to be open, not the closed-off, perfectly-formed constructs of old.
We are all cavemen again.
And if we're leading the story, it is beholden on us to find beginnings that will draw people in. We have to trust the crowd and let go of the story's end.
Our stories will not exist unless people are willing to gather around them. We are no longer able to rent eyeballs and expect people to consume.
We must understand people more deeply and we must show them that we have understood.
These new (old) stories can be global and huge or they can be local and small. The cleverest will have the enduring capacity to be both of those things.
Our new technologies take us forwards but they also take us back, way back to our beginnings. We don't own the narratives any more. We just rent them for a while and then we let them go.
George Prest is ECD at R/GA London