The parents and educators in Easton and Redding brought the documentary “Screenagers: Growing Up in a Digital Age” to our community in 2016 to shed a light on the impact excessive screentime is having on our children. As the amount of time children spend on screens has not seemed to wane, the Easton K-8 PTO and Joel Barlow High School PTA in partnership with the Redding Elementary School and John Read Middle School PTAs and the Mark Twain Library are bringing back back that provocative film in a special virtual screening followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker Dr. Delaney Ruston.
The virtual screening will take place on Thursday, Nov. 4 from 7 to 9 p.m. through the Mark Twain Library and registration is required. Register at https://marktwainlibrary.org/events/special-film-screening-screenagers-growing-up-in-a-digital-age/
The film sets out to understand the effects on kids who scroll through life with rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span. Ruston, a physician and filmmaker, saw that with her own kids and learned that the average kid spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. She wondered about the impact of all this time and about the friction occurring in homes and schools around negotiating screen time—friction she knew all too well.
In “Screenagers,” as with her award-winning documentaries on mental health, Ruston takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, “Screenagers” reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.
Ruston is a Stanford-trained physician, mother of teens, and international speaker who makes documentaries to foster social change. Along with creating “Screenagers,” she has made other award-winning films such as “Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia,” about her father and “Hidden Pictures” about global mental health.
A Fulbright Scholar and former researcher in Bio-Ethics and Communication, Ruston has served as a faculty member at top medical universities. She has been the featured speaker at places such as Google, The United Nations, Facebook, Harvard, and at conferences and schools worldwide. For her work in using film to launch advocacy movements, Ruston has won several awards. Along with her film and advocacy work, she provides medical care to underserved and homeless people.