NATIONAL DISCONNECT

And are you ready to unplug? There’s a national movement afoot that’s aimed to make us do just that. We have the details.

For more information on National Day of Unplugging, click here.

To host or find a screening of “Like” in your neighborhood, click here.

Aired on February 28, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

> ARE WE USING TECHNOLOGY, OR IS TECHNOLOGY USING US?

AND IF SO, SHOULDN'T WE UNPLUG AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER?

SOCIAL PLATFORMS WERE INITIALLY CREATED TO BE A PLACE WHERE WE CAN ALL CONNECT.

SHARE AND CARE.

BUT IS THAT REALLY WHAT'S HAPPENING?

A NEW DOCUMENTARY, CALLED LIFE LIKE EXPLORES THE REAL IMPACT ON SOCIAL MEDIA ON OUR DAILY LIVES AND THE EFFECT IT HAS ON OUR BRAINS.

HERE'S A PREVIEW.

WHEN TWO BILLION PEOPLE HAVE SMARTPHONES TODAY, AND ARE CHECKING THEM ABOUT ON AVERAGE 150 TIMES EVERY DAY, WHAT DOES THE WORLD LOOK LIKE WHERE TWO BILLION PEOPLE ARE CHECKING OUT DEVICES, 150 TIMES A DAY?

IN SOCIAL MEDIA, YOU NEED TO HAVE SOME FIX --

I THINK I HAVE AN UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY PHONE AND SOCIAL MEDIA.

I'M A BIT ADDICTED TO IT.

I USE MY PHONE TOO MUCH.

WE WANT TO HAVE THAT RECOGNITION OF PEOPLE SEEING LIKE EVERYTHING WE'RE DOING, AND WE WANT TO HAVE THOSE COMMENT, AND THE LIKES, AND REASSURE YOURSELF THAT WHAT YOU'RE DOING IS GOOD.

THE THING THAT I THINK IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR TEENAGERS, SO YOUNG PEOPLE UNDERSTAND, THESE DEVICES ARE NOT DESIGNED FOR YOU IN MANY WAYS.

THAT YOU ARE NOT THE CUSTOMER.

YOU ARE THE PRODUCT BEING SOLD HERE.

AND ARE YOU REALLY USING TECHNOLOGY, OR IS TECHNOLOGY USING YOU?

JOINING ME NOW IS THE FILM'S DIRECTOR, SHEILA ANDREAN, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

I GUESS THE BIG QUESTION IS, SHOULD WE UNPLUG?

I THINK WE NEED TO FIND A WAY TO CREATE BALANCE IN OUR LIVES WITH OUR TECHNOLOGY.

SO THAT'S A GOOD PIECE OF ADVICE.

BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I FOUND SO INTERESTING, ESPECIALLY AS A JOURNALIST, AND OF COURSE, WE'LL GET TO THAT THE EFFECT THAT IT IS HAVING ON YOUNG PEOPLE, BUT IT'S ALMOST PART OF MY JOB TO CONSTANTLY BE CHECKING MY PHONE.

YES, NO, IT IS NOT ONLY PART OF OUR JOB BUT IT IS ALSO, IT'S WOVEN INTO THE FABRIC OF OUR LIVES.

I MEAN JUST OUR EXISTENCE, HOW WE CONNECT WITH FAMILY, OUR KIDS, YOU KNOW, LATEST NEWS, WORK, IT IS, YOU KNOW, WE CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IT.

AND SINCE WE CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IT, KIND OF LIKE FOOD, WE HAVE TO LEARN HOW, WE HAVE TO LEARN MODERATION.

WE HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO USE IT IN HEALTHY WAYS.

THERE WAS A TIME WHEN PEOPLE WOULD JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER BUT APPARENTLY FOR THE GENERATION THAT IS BEHIND ME, IT'S ALMOST ENTIRELY EXISTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS.

IT IS REALLY INTERESTING, WE WERE FILMING, WE FILMED IN HONG KONG, AND THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES, AND WE PROBABLY FILMED ABOUT 75 STUDENTS, FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD, AND THEY ALL AGREED THAT IT WOULD BE NICE IF THE SCHOOLS TAUGHT A COURSE IN HOW TO HAVE A FACE TO FACE REAL LIVE CONVERSATION AND I SAID WELL, WHAT WOULD THAT ENTAIL AND THEY SAID, WHERE DO YOU LOOK AND WHERE DO YOU PUT YOUR HANDS AND WHAT DO YOU DO WITH YOUR BODY?

BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT USED TO TALKING FACE TO FACE.

THEY'RE USED TO HAVING A SCREEN.

IT IS ALMOST PART OF THEIR NERVOUS SYSTEM.

BECAUSE THEY'VE ONLY GROWN UP WITH THAT.

THIS IS HOW YOUNG PEOPLE ARE SORT OF COMING OF AGE.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO EXPECT THEM TO BE ABLE TO DRAWBACK SOME?

OR ARE WE ASKING FOR TOO MUCH?

WELL, FIRST OF ALL, IT'S NOT ASKING TOO MUCH, IT IS A BIG, IT'S A BIG TASK.

BECAUSE WE HAVE, IN SOME WAYS BECAME LAZY, LIKE CELL PHONES AND iPADS HAVE BECOME BABYSITTERS FOR OUR KIDS, WHEN WE GO TO DINNER BECAUSE IT KEEPS THEM QUIET AND OCCUPIED, AND ROAD TRIPS, YOU'RE NOT LOOKING OUTSIDE, YOU'RE LOOKING DOWN, AND THEY'RE NOT NOTICING LIFE AROUND THEM.

THEY'VE BEEN PROGRAMMED THIS WAY SINCE BIRTH.

THEY'RE OUT AT THE PARK WITH THEIR MOM OR DAD AND IN A STROLLER EVEN AND MOM AND DAD ARE ON THEIR POEN PHONE.

WHAT THEY SEE IS MOM AND DAD ON THEIR PHONE.

THEY SEE EVERYONE ON THEIR PHONE.

WE ARE MODELING THAT FOR THEM.

THE DOCTOR IN THE MOVIE SAID, YOU CAN'T REALLY MONITOR HOW MUCH YOU'RE ON A PHONE, THAT'S NOT THE WAY TO GO ABOUT IT, BUT YOU CAN DO IS MONITOR HOW MUCH YOU'RE OFF THE PHONE.

SO START TO DEVELOP, I THINK THE RECOMMENDATION, WAS THREE HOURS OFFLINE EVERY DAY, AND THAT'S AFTER HOMEWORK, AFTER SCHOOL, AND START TO CULTIVATE, YOU KNOW, INTERACTION WITH YOUR FAMILY, AND WITH YOUR FRIENDS, THAT OFFLINE.

THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS AND I THINK THE SAME DOCTOR FROM THE FILM, WHO I THINK BROUGHT UP THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ABLE TO BE BORED, THAT IT IS OKAY TO JUST HAVE THAT DOWNTIME, AND I FIND MYSELF DOING IT, IF I'M WAITING FOR THE SUBWAY OR SOMETHING, I'M NOT LOOKING FOR LIKES, BUT I'M MINDLESSLY SCROLLING THROUGH SOMETHING.

AND ACTUALLY HAVING THAT DOWNTIME FOR YOUR BRAIN IS IMPORTANT.

IT'S KEY.

I THINK IT'S KEY TO THE FUTURE OF OUR CIVILIZATION.

IF WE DON'T HAVE TIME TO IMAGINE, TIME TO THINK, TIME TO FEEL, WE'RE NOT GOING TO EVER BE COMFORTABLE IN OUR BODIES.

WELL, I DEFINITELY THINK IT'S SOMETHING FOR US ALL TO KEEP IN MIND AND PERHAPS A GOOD CHANCE FOR ADULTS TO LEAD AND SHOW THE WAY WITH THIS UNPLUGGING MOVEMENT.

I WANT TO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CREATING THIS FILM.

IT IS WORTH WATCHING.

BECAUSE IF NOTHING ELSE, IT FORCES TO YOU CHECK YOURSELF.

AND I THINK SO MANY OF US JUST TRY TO NOT EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT OUR USAGE IS.

BUT THANK YOU.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

> THE NATIONAL DAY OF UNPLUGGING STARTS ON FRIDAY, MARCH 1st.

THE FILM 'LIKE' PREMIERES ON MARCH 2nd.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT OUR WEB SITE AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

WNET

© WNET All Rights Reserved.

825 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10019