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.
Director Ruston turned the camera on her own family and others—revealing stories that depict messy struggles over social media, video games, academics, and internet addiction. Examples of stories include Hannah’s, an 14-year-old victim of social media bullying that stemmed from her trying to hide her use of social media from her mom. Issues are different for boys and girls, and the film also follows Andrew’s story, a straight-A student whose love of video games spins out of control when he goes off to college and lands in an internet rehab center. Interwoven into these stories are cutting-edge science and insights from thought leaders such as Peggy Orenstein, Sherry Turkle, and Simon Sinek, as well as leading brain scientists who present evidence on real changes happening in the brain.
SCREENAGERS goes far beyond exposing the risks of screen time but reveals multiple approaches on how parents and educators can work with kids to help them achieve a healthy amount of screen time.
SCREENAGERS is blazing a new model of distribution, known as a community viewing model, in hopes that parents and educators can start a conversation nationwide about how screen time impacts our lives. As part of the community viewing model, parents, educators, PTAs, and workplace groups can book at screenagersmovie.com. Screenings can be booked on an event-by-event basis, and parents are encouraged to bring their kids to the movie.