“Screenagers” to help parents guide their teens through the new digital age

Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston 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.
Discovery Middle PTA is bringing the award-winning documentary, “Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age”, to families in the Madison community. This community-wide event will be open to the public and offered free of charge at Bob Jones on January 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Delaney 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.
Parenting in the digital age is complex. The average student spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. “When the majority of discipline problems at school and at home are directly linked to students and their screens, we need to do more to educate and empower our families and support our teachers,” said a press release about the film. “We want to explore in-depth the issues that are on the minds of today’s families, and help connect parents with tools, research, and support to make the best decisions for their children.”
Screenagers is meant to be watched by families together, and followed by a community conversation about social media, screen use, digital addiction, Internet safety, and more. The documentary does not vilify technology – instead it presents an opportunity for honest and open dialogue and presents solutions that can be implemented at home.

The film is targeted to kids ages 13 and up, but some families with younger kids who interact daily with screens would also find it beneficial. We want to make this event available to anyone who would like more information on developing healthy digital habits with their student.