PBS's FRONTLINE Explores What It Means to Be Human in a World Immersed in Technology

Jan 26, 2010, 11:35 ET from FRONTLINE

- "Digital Nation" 90-Min.TV Documentary to Air Feb. 2 -

BOSTON, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Digital Nation," FRONTLINE's multiplatform project exploring what it means to be human in a 21st-century digital world, will televise a 90-minute documentary on Tuesday, Feb. 2, from 9 to 10:30 P.M. ET on PBS (check local listings). In a unique collaboration with the public that began last March on the "Digital Nation" Web site, award-winning producer Rachel Dretzin ("Growing Up Online") probes how digital technology is changing nearly every aspect of modern culture, from the ways we think and learn to the ways in which we socialize, work and even conduct war.

As with most FRONTLINE films, the full-length documentary will also stream free in its entirety on the series Web site at:


Joining Dretzin on this journey is commentator Douglas Rushkoff, a leading thinker on the digital revolution who has authored 10 books on media, technology and culture. "In the early days of the Internet, it was easy for me to reassure people about what it would mean to bring digital technology into their lives," says Rushkoff. "Now I want to know whether or not we are tinkering with something more essential than we realize."

Is it possible to multitask well? Is too much digital media bad for young brains? Should we fight wars by remote control? What are the real-world effects of immersion in virtual worlds?

"Digital Nation" takes you from the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where students confess to having increasingly limited attention spans, to the labs at Stanford University, where researchers are examining the impact of this split-focus attention and the effectiveness of self-proclaimed multitaskers.

"Digital Nation" also explores the phenomenon of virtual reality from multiplayer online games like "World of Warcraft" and 3-D virtual worlds like "Second Life" to how the military is using technology to fly unmanned drones over war zones and treat returning veterans' post-traumatic stress disorder with virtual reality therapy.


* Watch and embed the "Digital Nation" broadcast trailer.

* See more online reports and user-submitted stories on the "Digital Nation" Web site, launched last March as a Web-based collaboration with the public. Share your own story about life in the digital age.

* Explore online workshops to help you become a better parent, teacher or caregiver to the "digital natives" in your life. Take a quiz to assess your digital parenting style, discover how effectively you balance technology, and join the debate over appropriate uses of digital technology in the classroom.

"Digital Nation" is supported by an extensive outreach campaign designed to generate discussion around the effects of digital media. Online workshops for teachers and parents as well as curriculum for middle and high school students are available through the "Digital Nation" Web site, the Verizon Foundation's free educational Web site Thinkfinity.org, and WGBH's Teachers' Domain. Additional campaign partners include the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Library Association's Young Adult Library Services Association, Classroom 2.0, Common Sense Media, Edutopia’s Digital Generation Project, Family Online Safety Institute, The Media Education Lab at Temple University's School of Communications and Theater, MTV's "A Thin Line," National Association for Media Literacy Education, National Education Association's Health Information Network, Parenting.com, and PBS Teachers.

"Digital Nation" is a FRONTLINE co-production with Ark Media. The producer and director is Rachel Dretzin. The writers and correspondents are Rachel Dretzin and Douglas Rushkoff. FRONTLINE is produced by WGBH Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation. "Digital Nation" is brought to you by the Verizon Foundation. The senior producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is David Fanning.