It will take you approximately one and a half minutes to read this article. Add another two minutes it took you to get into the Marian online digital network, the other 10 you previously spent scrolling your Facebook feed, the five you originally intended to spend checking your email, but it reminded you that your Instagram feed has a 30 notifications—it adds up. Every second you spend scrolling, every link that leads you to another, contributes to the average six and a half hours teens spends on screens every day.
“Screenagers” is a documentary created by Delaney Ruston, a mom of two, who was concerned about her own children’s exposure to excessive screen time. The documentary came out just a year ago, and is one hour and 10 minutes of advice aimed at parents and teens struggling to strike a balance in the technology of the modern world. It highlighted not only why technology addiction is a reality, but also how it can be magnified and improved upon.
Principal Susie Sullivan decided that Marian would host a screening of this movie on Tuesday, March 21 to help raise awareness of this prevalent issue she faces on a daily basis. Members of the Omaha community gathered to view the documentary and participate in a question panel with Kristen Abbondante, Ph.D. Staff Psychologist at the Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health. The event was timely and informative, with many parents discussing their family technology struggles in the lobby after the question panel.
Nikki Taylor attended the event with her boyfriend and parents. “I learned that some parents are at fault for how they treat their kids with technology – especially because it is so needed in the child’s world,” Taylor said. She also discovered how kids are not conducive for smooth technology communication either. Taylor made some changes to her personal screen time after the “Screenagers” viewing. “I don’t use my phone during homework and put it on do not disturb,” Taylor said. Overall, the viewing was worth her time, “The panel did an amazing job.”
“Screenagers” gave both students and parents alike a glimpse into the terrifying reality of technology addiction that is so prevalent in the world today. It was an invaluable documentary that exposed the issues parents face on a daily basis with their children’s technology habits.