Screenagers Movie Review
Last Weekend, I had the privilege to watch the documentary, Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age. This documentary has only been released in special circumstances, I was able to watch it through my job on campus and it was absolutely eye opening. This day and age our lives are constantly spent on social media and electronic devices. According to the film, boys spend an average of one and a half days per school week playing video games, and honestly I do believe that because I have two teenage brothers, who sometimes play video games from the time they get home from school to the time they wake up for school.
This documentary followed the life of a doctor and her family, who just recently bought their teenage daughter a smart phone but instead of letting her have free reign to the phone, they drafted a contract that limited the amount of time she was allowed to spend on her phone. This caused multiple issues because in our generation it isn’t “cool” to have limitations on their phone. While it may have seemed like a good idea at that time, it is best to sit down as a family to discuss a contract that is fair for everyone.
Discussions from contracts on phones to using computers in the home were brought up. In fact, studies have shown that having access to a computer at home decreases test scores in math and reading. During the screening, I took notes about the different families that were interviewed and how each individual person of the families reacted towards electronic devices. Each family discussed different view points from overall behavior to siblings doing their brothers homework so he doesn’t fail in school
While I understood everything that was discussed in this documentary, I didn’t quite realize just how addicted people are to their electronic devices. I do use my electronic devices quite a bit and sometimes I don’t even notice that I am using them. I did, however, realize that using social media enough could be depressing. When I was a little girl, I used to read books all the time, I would wake up and start reading and go to sleep reading. Now the only books I read are Harry Potter because I really enjoy that series. When I got my first smart phone, I was in high school (I had a slide phone for the longest of time). I think I was a freshman and I had that phone until my junior year and when I needed a new phone because someone broke it, although my new phone was hardly a smart phone, it was a touch screen but that was it (that was all I could afford since I bought it on my own). During the time that I had my phone, I was introduced to all forms of social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat and I used every one of them intently. Now I, previously had a Facebook but I only used it to play that FarmVille game, that was really popular then. But once I had the rest, I had a hard time concentrating in school and I would tweet all the time.
Finally when I got to my senior year, it was time to start paying attention and apply for colleges, once I chose which college I was going to then it was right back to my social media. It took months before I realized that I was addicted and I only noticed it because I literally tweeted about everything that happened to me, and eve I thought it was annoying, but instead of letting others tell me, I decided, on my own, that it was time for a break. I deactivated my twitter account, only send snapchats every so often. And I use my Instagram and Facebook to run my business.
Once you realize just how addicted you are, it’s hard to give it up. I promised myself that I would never use Twitter again and here I am two years later and refuse to even look at Twitter. My parents didn’t create a phone contract for me and part of me is glad for that because I think if they had then I would have been more addicted than what I already was. You can be addicted to anything but no one but you can tell you that you have a problem because you won’t listen to or believe them.
So now it comes to why I decided to write this blog, well because I think everyone needs to look up and realize their addiction on their own. If you cannot go 20 minutes a day without being on social media or playing video games, there’s an issue. We live in a society that the minute we wake up until the minute we go to sleep we are on our phones, and while you may think you are being productive by doing work but still surfing Facebook at the same time, you are wrong. According to the documentary, “the brain does not have the ability to multi-task. The brain oscillates back and forth between each task”, so you basically are doing half the work in double the amount of time. No, that doesn’t mean you can’t use your electronics during the day, it just means that there is more to life than what happened to your friend at the grocery store.
Now, I ask you this; How long do you spend on social media everyday? Do you stop and listen to the people around you? When you are constantly on your phone, you are living your life in the red. You don’t realize anything that’s going on around you, in fact you might have not even noticed that pole right in front of you… I got you there didn’t I? My challenge for March is simple and I invite you to join me.
My challenge is to look up and get off my phone, notice my surroundings, and most importantly listen to what people are saying. As Spring is approaching, I want to get ready for summer and since I have spent the past four months in a hospital chair, I am ready to explore more. I invite you to join my challenge but it you want to create your own challenge that would be even better. Instead of trying to fit in with the rest of the crowd, be your own person, we dont need to be on our electronics constantly, we can take that 10 minute drive without our phones. Whatever is that important on your phone can wait, there are more important things going around you so take that time and realize it.
Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age is a documentary not meant for people to stop using their electronic devices but it meant for people to understand that they have a problem. I realized I had a problem, do you? If you are interested in learning more about this documentary or check to see if there any listings in your area go to this site . I highly recommend looking more into this documentary, but most importantly I recommend you discovering the real world around you, don’t be afraid to shut your phone off even if it’s just for a few hours.