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Teenagers in the Digital Age

Posted 02/15/2017 by Cecelia Allen

Screenagers documentary aims to bring awareness to the effects of technology on our society. photo by Mia Grijalva

Screenagers documentary comes to TJ, targeting technology’s impact on development.

Thomas Jefferson will be showing the movie Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age on Thursday February 16th, in the auditorium at 6:00 pm. There is no admission fee and the movie will run for a little over an hour. The film is best suited for anyone over the age of ten.

Screenagers is a documentary about technology’s impact on children’s development. Since technology is becoming more and more present in children’s lives, the movie goes into the effects technology has on the brain. It was directed by Delaney Ruston, a physician who also directed several other award-winning documentaries about mental health. 

The movie addresses the addiction that many adolescents have to social media, video games, or the internet. It goes into the most common uses of technology among boys and girls, and the impact that an abundance of technology can have on individuals. Most teenagers take part in some sort of social media, one form of technology that can easily directly impact teenagers. The film showcases how technology is becoming increasingly apparent in children’s early lives. Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) member and TJ alumnus Spring Hericks said, “It shows the very real struggle happening in homes and schools everywhere, and encourages us to work together to come up with solutions that work for everyone–parents, students, schools, and beyond.” The majority of people who have seen the film report they’ve had very productive conversations about what’s healthy and what’s not in terms of technology. With this, adolescents have had pretty good insights about when to turn off the technology.

PTO became aware of the movie being shown at other schools and decided that they wanted to bring it to TJ.  “Like the film’s producers, TJ PTO wanted to help start a conversation about the ways we use devices at home, school and in life, and what’s really healthy, so we can be more aware and make more conscious choices,” Hericks explained. The movie showcases the issues tied to growing up with technology and how it’s impacted how people interact with each other. Junior Laura Brandon commented, “I use technology on a daily basis, so I think it does have a big impact on my life. I use my phone a lot throughout the day, which impacts how I interact with people.” The movie is a great way to learn about how technology can have an unhealthy impact on not just our daily lives, but our lives as a whole.