InRealLife asks what exactly is the internet and what is it doing to our children? Taking us on a journey from the bedrooms of teenagers to Silicon Valley, filmmaker Beeban Kidron suggests that rather than the promise of free and open connectivity, young people are increasingly ensnared in a commercial world. Beguiling and glittering on the outside, it can be alienating and addictive. Quietly building its case, Kidron's film asks if we can afford to stand by while our children, trapped in their 24/7 connectivity, are being outsourced to the net?
While newspapers alternately praise and panic about the glittering world of the Internet, there is a generation of children who have grown up with a smart phone in their hand, connected to the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Public discourse seems to revolve around privacy, an issue that embodies the fears and concerns of adults. What is less discussed is what it really means to always be online, never alone and increasingly bombarded by a world that has something to sell you and appears to know you better than yourself. A world that is so ubiquitous that it is the first thing you see as you wake up in the morning and the last thing you see before you go to sleep at night.
For adults there was a 'before' the net. But for the current generation, at the time of their most rapid development they have no other experience and few tools with which to negotiate the overwhelming parade of opportunity and cost that the internet delivers directly into their hands.
From the bedrooms of five disparate teenagers and then into the companies that profit from the internet, InRealLifetakes a closer look at some of the behavioral outcomes that come from living in a commercially driven, 'interruption' culture.
Following the physical journey of the internet, from fiber optic cables through sewers and under oceans, from London to NYC and finally to Silicon Valley, the film reveals that what is often thought of as an 'open, democratic and free' world is in fact dominated by a small group of powerful players. Meanwhile our kids - merely pawns in the game – are adapting to this new world – along with their expectation of friendship, their cognition and their sexuality.
Maggie Jackson: Award-winning author of 'Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age' and former Boston Globe columnist.
Danah Boyd: Senior Researcher at Microsoft and one of the world's experts on youth culture surrounding technology and social media.
Nicholas Carr: Pulitzer-prize nominated author of 'The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains.'
Sherry Turkle: Professor of Social science at MIT. Her research focuses on psychoanalysis and the human-technology relationship. In her most recent book, 'Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other' and her 2012 TED talk 'Connected, But Alone?' Turkle explores the authenticity of intimacy and connection through the internet.
Luis Von Ahn: Professor of Computer Sciences at Carnegie Mellon and pioneer of crowdsourcing, inventing CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA (later sold to Google) which earned him international recognition and numerous honors.
Clay Shirky: NYU professor, internet icon and writer on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies.
Jimmy Wales: Internet entrepreneur, free speech activist and co-founder of Wikipedia and Wikia.
Nick Negroponte: Founder of the Media Lab and the 'One Laptop per Child' non-profit association.
Julian Assange: Founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks.
"Provocative, mildly terrifying and essential." - The Metro
"Smart and serious…Offers a survey of the virtual world's creeping infiltration into our lives."
- The Independent
"This is not just a well-made film, it is the starting point of a vital discussion." - The Camden New Review
"A riveting case for the prosecution of the web as a creature that bares careful watching." - The Herald