School district to host screening of ‘Screenagers’ Wednesday


Special to The PREVIEW
Technology has changed the way we interact with and respond to people and circumstances in our world. What kind of impact that has on teenagers is the subject of “Screenagers: Growing Up in The Digital Age,” a documentary to be shown on Wednesday, May 2, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.
With multiple screenings happening daily in communities across the globe, “Screenagers” is the first feature documentary to explore the impact of screen technology on kids and offer parents and families proven solutions that work. The viewing is sponsored by the Archuleta School District.
“It’s not hard to notice that teenagers spend a lot of time connected to their cellphones and other digital devices,” said Pagosa Family School Coordinator Jane Parker, who is organizing the screening. “No one is quite clear how that interaction impacts their lives now or in the future. This movie helps spell out the issues and triggers the discussion about what we can do in response.”
The documentary explores issues such as the use of screens in school, boys and video games, girls and social media, and the risk of addiction.
The documentary’s trailer is available at
A discussion about the issues and possible responses to help kids navigate the digital world will follow the film. Parents, teenagers, tweens and all community members are invited. This event is free.
Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston decided to make “Screenagers” when she found herself constantly struggling with her two kids about screen time. Ruston felt guilty and confused, not sure what limits were best, especially around mobile phones, social media, gaming and how to monitor online homework. Hearing repeatedly how other parents were equally overwhelmed, she realized this is one of the biggest unexplored parenting issues of our time.
As a director, Ruston turned the camera on her own family and others — revealing stories of messy struggles over social media, video games, academics and Internet addiction.
We meet Hannah, a 14-year-old victim of social media bullying who struggled trying to hide her social media use from her mom. And Andrew, whose love of video games turned into an addiction, taking him from earning straight As to flunking out of college.
Interwoven into these stories are cutting-edge science and insights from thought leaders Peggy Orenstein, Sherry Turkle and Simon Sinek, as well as leading brain scientists who present evidence on the real changes in the brain when kids are on screens.
“Screenagers” goes far beyond exposing the risks of screen time; it reveals multiple approaches on how parents and educators can work with kids to help them achieve a healthy amount of screen time.