Frontline’s “Growing Up Online” – Tuesday, January 22 @ 9:00

My friend Jim sent this along to me and I thought that it might be of interest to many of you, especially those of you who are parents. I am going to try to watch it and would be interested in hearing your thoughts and reactions to it.

FRONTLINE: coming soon: growing up online | PBS


FRONTLINE presents

Tuesday, January 22, 2008, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS

Jessica Hunter was a shy and awkward girl who struggled to make friends at school. Then, at age 14, she reinvented herself online as “Autumn Edows,” an alternative goth artist and model who posted provocative photos of herself on the Web, and fast developed a cult following. “I just became this whole different person,” Jessica tells FRONTLINE. “I didn’t feel like myself, but I liked the fact that I didn’t feel like myself. I felt like someone completely different. I felt like I was famous.”

News of Jessica’s growing fame as Autumn Edows reached her parents only by accident. “I got a phone call, and the principal says one of the parents had seen disturbing photographs and material of Jessica,” her father tells FRONTLINE. “They were considered to be pornographic. … I had no idea what she was doing on the Internet. That was a big surprise.”

In Growing Up Online, airing Tuesday, January 22, 2008, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS (check local listings), FRONTLINE takes viewers inside the private worlds that kids are creating online, raising important questions about just how radically the Internet is transforming the experience of childhood. “It’s just this huge shift in which the Internet and the digital world was something that belonged to adults, and now it’s something that really is the province of teenagers, “ says C.J. Pascoe, a Ph.D. scholar with the University of California, Berkeley’s Digital Youth Project. “They’re able to have a private space, even while they’re still at home. They’re able to communicate with their friends and have an entire social life outside of the purview of their parents without actually having to leave the house.”

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