HUNTINGTON – The documentary “Screenagers” was shown in the Gateway Performing Arts Center last week to families and staff of Gateway Regional Schools.
Screenagers is an award-winning film that examines the family and adolescent struggles around social media, video games and academics. This event was co-sponsored by the Hilltown Community Health Center and Gateway Regional School District.
The film chronicled the effects of technology on the brain and offered tips on how to manage social media in the home. Some suggestions included having family discussions regarding technology and rules on technology use. It also encouraged parents and guardians to limit screen time despite the push back they may receive. The film explored the topic while showing the very real and relatable situations that come with the extensive amount of adolescent and societal technology use.
Lisa Goding, a parent of two children at Gateway and the co-executive director and family support services manager for It Takes a Village, attended the event.
“The biggest takeaway for me was that the best way to protect my children is to be in communication with them,” Goding said. “I can try to ‘manage’ screen time, but there is so much more to some of these apps and social media sites that the only way to know what my kids are exposed to is to be present with them and engaged with them. It’s easy to give them the tablet when I need to get things done but it’s not a babysitter and I need be hyper vigilant.”
Director of Community Programs and Family Support for the Hilltown Community Health Center Kim Savery led a discussion with the panel and audience after the viewing. Members of the panel included staff from the Hampshire County District Attorney’s Office, staff from the Domestic Violence Task Force, MS/HS Assistant Principal Deanna LeBlanc, and senior Grace LeBarron. This discussion included members of the community voicing their opinions and hearing different points of views on the topic from the various panel members.