PBS’ documentary “Growing Up Online” investigates how kids raised in the “internet generation” are developing. The film tells horror stories of cyber bullying, rampant sexuality and internet usage to cheat on high school English papers. The interviews with terrified parents and teenagers who have made severely poor choices while surfing the web serve as a warning for those parents who would dare let their child log in.
Here is an interview with documentary film maker Rachel Dretzin:
However, as with every issue, there are two sides to the story. Most of the teenagers interviewed love the internet culture, and have learned to use it to their advantage. This attitude seems to be typical of people who have either grown up with the internet or have adapted to it.
In the above video, Mr. Juan Decvis, a producer who has worked for PBS, explains that he was somewhat disappointed in the documentary. He describes that he was “appalled” by the talking-point issues that were discussed, and had hoped that the documentary would be an extensive cover of how the first generation to be born with the internet were using it in their lives.
Mr. Decvis (possible a screen-name), is not alone in his distaste in the way the documentary was presented. Fellow WordPress blogger Eddie Ha writes about the documentary, “as it is with everything in real life, I think the amount of experiences I had as an internet user since elementary school makes it easier for me to recognize the so-called “dangerous” marketing online, and I don’t see it as a big problem for ‘digital natives.’ “
There are many people who believe the documentary portrayed the internet accurately. Dr. Amy Tiemann, member of the CNET Blog Network, wrote an article for Cnet.com, calling the documentary “must-see TV for parents.”
Dr. Tiemann states that the documentary has many important points, and writes “If you are a parent, I can just about guarantee that your head will be spinning after watching the program, no matter how much you already know about these issues.”
Evan Skinner, who was interviewed for “Growing Up Online,” claims that she is not anti-technology. While in the documentary she talks primarily about the dangers of posting unprofessional things online, in the video posted below, she explains that taking a “”vacation” from the internet to spend time with loved ones is important.
The issues that come with the internet can range from simply becoming apathetic about the real world, to physically threatening dangers such as cyber bullying or internet predators. However, the internet can be very useful professionally and personally. While the internet doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, additional knowledge about how to stay safe online and how to use the web as a tool is always becoming more available.
Above is a very entertaining and informative video about the pros and cons of the internet