Noah J Nelson on Tuesday, Oct. 15th
Filmmaker and Webby Awards Founder Tiffany Shlain has brought the style, and substance, of her personal essay film "Connected" to a new AOL Original web series.
Shlain's "The Future Starts Here" tackles the same thematic concern as her 2011 documentary: the effect that technology is having on our personal lives. Only instead of looking to tie all the various thematic threads into one grand thesis, each episode of the series takes on a single component.
The first episode "Technology Shabbats" makes the case for a practice that Shlain has been promoting for a few years now: taking one day a week to unplug.
In a tight six minutes the filmmaker, addressing the audience directly, lays out some of the dangers that our collective technological addiction brings and the cultural history of the "day off."
For those of us who have had our attention spans whittled down t—oh! Squirrel!
Like I was saying for whose of us who have had our attention spans whittled down to that of a hyperactive Corgi (is there any other kind?) the bite sized doses of Shlain's techno-moderation philosophy are a perfect portion.
The big theme remains leveraging technology to help us run our lives, as opposed to having technology dictate our rhythms for us. There's connections in Shlain current work to some of the thinking on display in Douglas Rushkoff's "Present Shock." It is starting to feel as if Gen X has woken up from the fever dream of the Aughts and is taking back the best of the 90's. In time, perhaps, to pass down a healthy legacy to their children.
Web Series Perspective
AOL Originals have backed a host of interesting series with intelligent, uh, hosts. For the crowdfunding addicts amongst us, Baratunde Thurston's "Funded" is a must-watch.
AOL's strategy looks to be pretty straightforward right now: give resources to accomplished teams and let them loose on the subjects they know best. That the makers they've chosen to back have dedicated followings of their own probably doesn't hurt either.