Michael Stusser the host for a series of shorts documenting the Digital Blackout experiment, conducted at Chief Sealth High School and other schools across the nation, appeared on the nationally syndicated Katie Couric show June 25.

UPDATE 3: West Seattle's Michael Stusser and Marty Riemer appeared on the Katie Couric show Tue. June 25

Sleeping with Siri documentary and the Digital Blackout experiment getting national attention


See video

UPDATE June 25
The clip from the Katie Couric show featuring West Seattle's Michael Stusser has been posted online. Stusser, and Marty Riemer created the now award winning documentary Sleeping with Siri and it drew the attention of the talk show host. The segment 4:24 long can be seen at this link:

UPDATE June 24
The air date for the appearance of West Seattle's Michael Stusser and Marty Riemer on the national Katie Couric show has been moved up to June 25.
You can catch the show at 3pm on KING5 TV.

The well known Marty Riemer podcast on June 7, now four years old, the first following the visit of Riemer and Michael Stusser to the Katie Couric show. The pair who partnered in the production of a now award winning documentary film Sleeping with Siri were part of a "Is tech ruining your life" show by Couric which will air Thursday, June 27. Stusser was interviewed for the show.

On the podcast they recounted their experience on the show. They said they had some funny and odd experiences with other guests in the green room for the show, and talked about how the producers prepared him (or not) for his appearance. Riemer was in the audience for the show.

Original Post June 3
West Seattle's Michael Stusser and Marty Riemer assembled a documentary film called Sleeping With Siri, (profiled in the West Seattle Herald in March). That film is continuing to win accolades and awards for its exploration of the potential problems of a constant digital connection.

A program developed by Riemer called Digital Blackout intended to take high school students through a brief but powerful digital detoxification experiment actually preceded the film (and Stusser's extended written piece about the idea in the Seattle Weekly). Now their efforts are getting national attention. Stusser and Riemer will appear on the Katie Couric show. Tentative air date is June 27.

Riemer explained, "We’ve been working with the producers at the Katie Couric Show since last August when we heard they were putting together a Tech Show.

The program was delayed numerous times, producers came and went, and we were fairly confident that we’d get drop-kicked to the curb at some point. But last Friday morning they called up and said the show was happening (next Monday taping) and they wanted us to be a part of it. Michael will be representing talking about his experience doing the Sleeping with Siri experiment, and the school-based Digital Blackout campaign that inspired it.

Our goal is to take our show on the road and help facilitate Digital Blackouts at schools all across the country. We already have a sponsor to make this happen in five cities. If it works there – the term “works” yet to be defined – we continue to take over the world. Sounds reasonable, right?"

To get their program underway they spent time at West Seattle’s Chief Sealth High where they conducted their Digital Blackout experiment with the help of Sealth teacher Patrice De La Ossa. The experiment was shot on video and edited through Riemer's Twisted Scholar Productions resulting in a series of highly entertaining and illuminating insights as to young people's digital addictions.

"We basically use it as an excuse to have a conversation with young people about the role technology is playing in their lives," said Riemer. " We love the revelations in Clip #4, especially the one guy who says his mom is surprised that he has talked to her twice this week."

Digital Blackout is a program that Twisted Scholar now offers to high schools and other groups across the U.S and Canada meant to teach people what it means to be engaged in the real world.

We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed.