Technology has changed the way we interact with and respond to people and circumstances in our world. What kind of impact that has on teenagers is the subject of SCREENAGERS: Growing Up in The Digital Age — a documentary to be shown on Wednesday, May 2, 6-8:30pm in the Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium.
With multiple screenings happening daily in communities across the globe, SCREENAGERS is the first feature documentary to explore the impact of screen technology on kids and offer parents and families proven solutions that work. The viewing is sponsored by the Archuleta School District.
“It’s not hard to notice that teenagers spend a lot of time connected to their cell phones and other digital devices,” says Pagosa Family School Coordinator Jane Parker, who is organizing the screening. “No one is quite clear how that interaction impacts their lives now or in the future. This movie helps spell out the issues and triggers the discussion about what we can do in response.”
The documentary explores issues such as the use of screens in school, boys and video games, girls and social media, and the risk of addiction. A trailer about the movie is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQx2X0BXgZg
A discussion about the issues and possible responses to help kids navigate the digital world will follow the film. Parents, teenagers, tweens, and all community members are invited. This event is free.
Physician and filmmaker, Delaney Ruston decided to make SCREENAGERS when she found herself constantly struggling with her two kids about screen time. Ruston felt guilty and confused, not sure what limits were best, especially around mobile phones, social media, gaming, and how to monitor online homework. Hearing repeatedly how other parents were equally overwhelmed, she realized this is one of the biggest, unexplored parenting issues of our time.
As a director, Ruston turned the camera on her own family and others—revealing stories of messy struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. We meet Hannah, a 14-year old victim of social media bullying who struggled trying to hide her social media use from her mom. And Andrew, whose love of video games turned into an addiction taking him from earning straight A’s to flunking out of college.
Interwoven into these stories, are cutting edge science and insights from thought leaders Peggy Orenstein, Sherry Turkle, Simon Sinek, as well as leading brain scientists who present evidence on the real changes in the brain when kids are on screens. SCREENAGERS goes far beyond exposing the risks of screen time, it reveals multiple approaches on how parents and educators can work with kids to help them achieve a healthy amount of screen time.
Delaney Ruston is a filmmaker, doctor and mother of two. Through her company, MyDoc Productions, Delaney has made award-winning films such as Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia, about her father, and Hidden Pictures: A Personal Journey into Global Mental Health. These films aired on PBS, and were the focus of national campaigns to raise awareness about mental health and were featured at conferences by the World Health Organization.
Delaney has been invited to screen her films and be a guest presenter to hundreds of worldwide audiences. She presents to a wide range of audiences ranging from school age children to The United Nations, The World Health Organization, Harvard and TEDX.
Film has been a passion of Delaney’s throughout her education at Cornell, Stanford and the University of California, San Francisco. She melded this interest with her medical training as a fellow in Ethics and Communication. While on the faculty at the University of Washington, she participated in a National Endowment for The Arts funded filmmaking program. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to make films in India. She is currently the Filmmaker in Residence at Stony Brook Medical Center, creating films that explore the intersection of health and society. Delaney has been providing care in underserved clinics for over a decade.
"Sit your kids down and watch this movie. Sit on them if you have to. It's a MUST SEE for anyone with kids in their lives!" - Martha Adams, Chief Creative Officer for Girls Rising
"I saw "Screenagers" two days ago at my son's school IS276 NYC. It was an incredible eyeopener to me...Most that was presented was not new to me, but the way it was presented got totally under my skin and pointed out exactly what we are dealing with in my family. I thank you so much for sharing, this already has brought changes into our life." -Kirsten R. C. New York Parent
"My husband and I have just been very concerned about this issue for some time, and as I'm a geneticist at UCSF Children's Hospital Oakland, I'm very interested in the science behind it. The film is first rate; you've made a REMARKABLE piece: thoughtful, provocative and beautifully filmed and edited." -Beth T., Geneticist at UCSF Children’s Hospital
"Just wanted you to know that your movie has the attention of most of the important people in my community. You have conquered Marin! It's making a huge buzz...." -Michelle G., Educator, Parenting Coach & Mindfulness Educator
“I got my daughter's feedback on the movie and I want to thank you and your team! She learned a lot and has requested restrictions on her phone usage. I’m really happy for you and the success of this project and grateful for its impact!!" -Amy S. School Administrator
"My 13 year old son and I watched the film Screenagers together. The impact of the film was so great, that all on his own, when the movie ended, my son announced that he would voluntarily be relinquishing his computer for a week. In the end, he was off completely for 10 days, and when he did get back on he started setting a timer and sticking to his own self-imposed time limits. Thank you for sharing this valuable film with us."-Nancy B., Chair of Parent-Education MVMS PTSA
"I loved the movie! It taught me and my sister so much. We had a great discussion about it at home too." -Chloe B. 17-year-old
"Saw it last night & am thrilled to reference this film as a resource for families wrestling with this topic! Thank You!"-Jen R. LMHC, Seattle WA
"I think this is the most important and rewarding film that has immediately useful and beneficial information for all of us...I would like to see this film shown in every school. Then let's have the discussion on how do we talk with one another and understand the world today."-Kit Burns, Father, Tacoma WA