Friday, January 15, 2010

PBS' 'Frontline: Digital Nation' talks to moms

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to visit the PBS portion of the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena.

Besides getting a glimpse into PBS' upcoming spring lineup -- which has a lot of amazing stuff on tap (more on that in a later post) -- I was also able to chat with Frontline producer Rachel Dretzin and correspondent Douglas Rushkoff over lunch with a group of Los Angeles mom bloggers.

Our subject: kids and technology. Specifically, "Frontline: Digital Nation," which will air Feb. 2 at 9 p.m. on PBS.

"Digital Nation" is both a Web-based project as well as a broadcast (set your DVRs, Losties!) focusing on how we exist in a Facebook-obsessed, texting-heavy, Twitter-loving, remote-control world.

"How does technology affect the way you live?" they ask.

Depending on how digitally friendly you are, you might or might not be surprised.

"In the online vs. physical space, a little less has become acceptable," Dretzin said in the general press conference. "A little less eye contact. A little less attention."

"We're going from logging in to always on," Rushkoff added. (Remember when you had a certain number of minutes per month to go online? Kind of like cell phones now.)

What we talked about over lunch was how we as mothers approach technology and our kids. Some moms are a little leery of Facebook and how much private information is exposed online.

For moms of little ones, like myself, we worry about how early is too early to expose toddlers to online games, computers, video games and the like.

In fact, I revealed one embarrassing anecdote, which might or might not turn into an LA Moms Blog post. A few weeks ago, I was blogging when CC came up to me to ask me something (probably to play). Instead of dropping everything, I said, "Wait just a minute, Sweetheart. Mommy's on the computer."

Of course, I was blogging about her. The irony of not playing with my child so I could blog about her was a little insane.

We seem to have a love-hate relationship with technology. Does it help or hinder communication? Are we more or less focused? Are we closer or further away from the people who matter most?

Lots of compelling questions.

Photo of Douglas Rushkoff and Rachel Dretzin courtesy of PBS

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