Screenagers: Insight into digital distractions

October, 2017 Posted in Other

By Mary Owen

Do your kids clock in several hours a day on their cell phone and other devices? The producers of the award-winning documentary, Screenagers, claim teens scroll through their day with “rapid thumbs and a six-second attention span,” often spending 6.5 hours daily
on screen.

To explore the issue, the Stayton High School varsity girls soccer team will host a screening of the documentary, which reveals how tech time impacts youth development. The movie also offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world, finding balance, according to the project’s website.

Screenagers will air at 7 p.m. Oct. 7 at the SHS auditorium. Donations will be accepted to benefit the team, and light refreshments will be served. An RSVP will be appreciated to give an idea of the number of attendees, limited to 600.

“Our hope is that this film enlightens the kids’ thoughts about how often they’re using their cell phones and for them to see their phone as a tool to help them in life,” said Lael Anderson, varsity girls head coach.

“Maybe they will consider putting their phone down, and be fully present when their peer needs their attention. Oftentimes moments to connect are lost because of all the distractions life brings, including phones.”

Digital media has its benefits, but also can come at a great cost, Anderson said.

“Oftentimes kids don’t filter the images or comments they are posting,” she said. “For example, what used to be a moment captured on video or in a still image was something we waited to look at, unaltered. Now kids have the opportunity to change photos in a way that doesn’t accurately describe the moment. It’s not what actually was, it’s what the person posting wants you to see. I think sometimes kids can forget to use that same filter when they’re viewing others’ postings.”

Unclear communication can lead to feelings of inadequacy or unhealthy negative thoughts, she said.

Screenagers was made by Dr. Delaney Ruston, Filmmaker-in-Residence at the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook Medicine, NY. Ruston is a Stanford-trained primary care physician and mother of two.

For information on the documentary, visit To RSVP, visit the Stayton High School Girls Soccer Facebook page and click on events.

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