The “Screenagers” documentary poster on a wall outside the theater at Sir Francis Drake High School in San Anselmo, California, on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016.
Photo: Connor Radnovich, The Chronicle
Have you guys seen the preview for this new documentary? It looks amazing (and also a little terrifying).
As a mom who started having kids at almost exactly the same time that the smartphone was born, the issue of kids and screens is one that I think about A LOT. I agree whole-heartedly with the viewpoint of the director who is quoted in this San Francisco Chronicle piece about the documentary:
“This is the parenting issue of our time,” said Berkeley native Delaney Ruston, a doctor and filmmaker who created the documentary “Screenagers: Growing Up In The Digital Age.” “Tech on its own isn’t bad, but it’s bad when it’s out of balance.”
Ruston, a mental health and internal medicine specialist, began to wonder about the effect screens were having on kids and teens when her daughter, Tessa, turned 12 and began asking for her first smartphone.
Other parents, she said, were struggling too.
“Parents are clamoring for this information,” she said. “This is a problem bigger than ourselves. Given the biology that we’re up against and the culture of technology, it’s hard to try to balance and tackle on your own.”
American teenagers spend nearly seven hours a day in front of a screen — be it watching television or online videos, playing games, texting or using social media, according to a study released in November by San Francisco’s Common Sense Media.
“I haven’t met a single parent who feels good about the amount of time their kids are spending on screens,” Ruston said. “There’s a lot of talk about no screen time or too much screen time, but what we need to be teaching, really, is balance.”
I’m so, so interested to see what this film reveals (although I fear I already know some of it) and am hopeful it will have some helpful ideas for those of us grappling with this, or preparing to do so in the future. Get more info. on the film and where you can catch a screening here.
Interested in reading more on parenting teens? Check out:
I hear it’s a great place to start. (No surprise considering how much people adore The 5 Love Languages of Children and The 5 Love Langagues: The Secret to Love that Lasts!)
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