The documentary portion of Digital Nation, a Frontline project examining what it means to be human in a digital world, premieres tonight at 9PM on PBS. There’s already a lively discussion moderated by correspondent Douglas Rushkff on the website, including this comment from Marc Prensky, author of Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants:
A couple of years ago people worried about kids staring at stand- alone computers. A couple of hundred years ago, when mass books first appeared, people worried about kids staring for hours at pages . Now people worry about kids interacting with “content” and with other people. …But people just love to worry about changes in habits. They worried about writing (Socrates), books, telephones, radios, trains, cars, TV, recordings, sock-hops, music, stand-alone games, Internet, connectivity, interactivity, 3D, virtual worlds, and will keep worrying forever.
“Being human” is evolving, and will (hopefully) always do so. Because the problem is so complex, there is no reliable data, and almost all “conclusions” are really just hypotheses.