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Screenagers Movie Review

Recently PREP had the pleasure of seeing the movie “Screenagers” with 3 teens and 3 adults and asking for their movie review.

Two of the adults work in education and have young children of their own.

The third adult was a parent to one of the teens who attended.

Prior to seeing the movie, I had asked one of the adults who works in education what her students who had seen it thought of the movie. She laughed when she reported one student’s “Screenagers” movie review was that they didn’t like it, but the teacher would because she’s a parent. We agreed that was probably the typical teen response to a movie that focuses on the unhealthy and sometimes dangerous aspects of teens’ near constant use of social media!

So what were we expecting when we invited teens and adults to share a table at a recent showing of the movie?

To be honest, I expected the teens to give it an honest listen and then to respond with a ‘meh, that’s not us, though’ kind of reaction.

I was hoping the adults who work in education and struggle daily with phones in their classrooms – and frankly have all but given up on fighting the fight – would be reinvigorated to strengthen their resolve around removing phones from their classrooms and bestowing the glories of being disconnected.

And for the parent who attended with their teen? I could only hope it would give them reason to have a conversation afterwards and not create any additional conflict around the subject.

It was not surprising that the adults (myself included) who work in education didn’t find the movie earth-shattering or mind-blowing. I think we already knew most of the dangers and downsides. However, we all agreed that the movie gained credibility by balancing the problem between teens AND adults!

YES, adults are on social media, and their phones in general, in ways that hinder good relationship building and communication, too.  Teens and adults alike need to take time to put the phones down and have face to face conversations. We all agreed that the movie helped us to be more aware of how our own usage impacts the people in our lives.

Adults on phonesTeens on phones

What was surprising was the depth in which the teens responded. There was not one ‘yeah, but’ to be heard!

Teen Perspective

One teenager who has her eyes set on a medical profession wrote:

I thought “Screenagers” was a pretty great and informative movie. It presented real facts in a concise and entertaining way that helped me understand the impact of technology on today’s youth.
As a youth myself, I thought I knew a lot already about the effects of technology. But having actual scientific proof and research presented to me was very helpful in adding to my knowledge. I think my biggest takeaway from “Screenagers” would be the importance of time and how it should be used to focus on what is truly around you, not on what’s on the screen.
Knowing this teen and her interest in the brain, how it works and scientific facts in general, I found it refreshing that she could admit to knowing some but not all and finding nuggets to take away from the movie. Afterwards, I questioned whether other teens – you know, the ones who don’t have a vested interest in the workings of the brain – would also find the scientific proof and research helpful. She confessed that some students may be turned off but, in general, she believes teens are interested in knowing how a part of their body works and would welcome the information when presented in such an entertaining way that doesn’t intend to denigrate the teenage spirit. Mind blown! Hope restored!Where Focus Goes

Adult Child Communication

Another teen who attended with her mom shared in some adult-child communication afterwards. Here are their thoughts:
I’m so glad I came to the screening. I feel like I’m always arguing with my parents about my phone and social media. I don’t use my phone that often but I like having it around. My parents worry about what I do on social media and even if I show them they feel anxious. The screening helped my mom understand it and she talked to me after. This made it so much better because it allows me to show her I can be responsible and know right from wrong. I learned a lot throughout the screening and have ideas on how to limit time on my phone. After the screening I feel like I get so much more sleep and use my phone in more productive ways.
Being a parent of a teenager is pretty difficult. Nowadays having social media there makes it pretty sketchy. I don’t know what my kid is doing and how it can affect her. This screening really helped out. It gave me ideas and insight on what social media really is. It made me understand multiple ways on how it’s used. It made me feel more confident with my child using it and me monitoring it as a parent. Talking to my daughter afterwards was a big bonus. We had a few rules using the screening as a guide. We all make time for our phones but make sure to not touch them when we are talking. It shouldn’t be restricted rather used as a tool to build responsibility. I really enjoyed it and if there were another screening I’d go and watch it. It made me understand and be more comprehensive. That’s what we need as parents, not rules and restrictions, rather a guide and tools to use.
THIS is what we’re about at PREP; Adult-Child Communication! We are so glad we made the attempt to engage youth and adults in thought-provoking reflections and conversations over a topic that can often times escalate quickly into an argument that is most likely repeated on multiple occasions. We are so glad that we can foster adults discussing difficult topics with their teenage children. We look forward to more opportunities to engage youth and adults in meaningful conversations and are thankful to the organizers of this great event.

 

 

What PREP Has Meant To Me; A Teen’s Perspective on Community Engagement

Community Engagement

Pregnancy prevention can take a variety of directions when trying to reach teens. During the summertime in Garfield County Colorado teen interns are paid for their community engagement while volunteering at local events, festivals like Strawberry Days and with other non-profit agencies; some of which have very different missions than preventing teen pregnancy. Trail Removal

Taking the stance that intended prevention outcomes have more to do with relationship building than most anything else, we have attempted to connect youth with the trusted adults who are working to bring positive opportunities to their communities in a wide variety of ways.

ContemplatingJust because you work with teens, however, doesn’t mean you know exactly what they’re really thinking.

You may think your ideas are super creative, fun and offer potential for lighting sparks for future hobbies or careers.

You know they will build skills for self-reliance

You know teens will be introduced to agencies that you hope they will never need to access.

You hope to debunk the myth that ‘there’s nothing to do here.’

But how do you know it’s resonating in any way, shape or form?

Well, we asked our interns to jot down the reasons PREP should continue or what PREP has meant to them.

Keeping in mind that “PREP” is more than just what we do during the summers. It also includes the lessons they get through Draw The Line, Respect The Line in middle school grades 6 – 8 and the one year of Be Proud! Be Responsible! or Street Smart In high school. Here’s what our interns had to say:

Teen’s Perspective

Habitat for Humanity Volunteers

 

What PREP has meant to me is going out of my comfort zone + experiencing so many great things around the community! –Dani

 

 

 

 

Really fun and a learning experience.  Also trail building was fun. –Spencer

MGirls at Workeeting new people, learning about my community and it was a fun experience. –Liah

[PREP] Made it easier for me to talk about sex. –Maria

PREP has given me the support to make healthy decisions. PREP has helped me be involved in my community. –Cintia

Hanging out with fun little kids at Game On.  And learned about peers like me. –ColinBoys_at_Work

Helping out our community and educating them. It should continue because it’s a great organization that has educated many teens about an important subject. –Erik

PREP educates youth about topics some parents can’t/won’t give their child. It is important that we educate our community in the Roaring Fork Valley about safe sex and preventing unplanned pregnancies and STI’s PREP is the perfect company to educate the community. Not only does PREP educate on safe sex, but we’re also very immersed in other activities that benefit the Roaring Fork Valley.  –Chip

Mountain Fair Gyro Booth

 

PREP has given me an opportunity to share my thoughts on sexual health and show me how to make healthy decisions.

PREP has given me tools that will help me and my peers. –Nathaly

 

 

 

The impact PREP has had on me was bigger than I expected. I learned so much throughout this program. I not only learned how to prevent things and talk to adults about consent and such, but I learned ways to get involved. I met so many people and had so much fun and hope to do it again. It was a great experience and I hope it grows and expands throughout the years to get more people involved. Thanks to all the people along the way and for all the events organized. -Liz

Community Engagement Volunteering RFOV

Prep has changed my way of thinking in many ways. For example I’m more open to talking about sex with adults and or other teenagers. Before Prep I feel like I tried to avoid these topics. I’m definitely less ignorant, and stopped saying “this is irrelevant, this won’t happen to me”. It’s not all about sex though, its taught me just to be more open minded in general. it provides more information and support than what you get at school. I love all the volunteering we do especially during the summer. We get to meet new people, and just make different friends. Without prep I wouldn’t even be aware these events are going on, because teens don’t really participate in these sorts of things. But as a group we have fun and enjoy going out to these different activities. I’m thankful we get to make new memories and have fun! Teenagers need to understand that to have fun we don’t have to include alcohol, drugs, sex, the law. Prep should continue because it does a great job supporting teens through rough times, providing the public with useful information, helping adults who need volunteers, giving teens something healthy to do, etc. In general Prep is just an awesome program! -Erica

Habitat for Humanity

We have learned that if you give teens space and time to be themselves; as annoying as that can sometimes be, when they’re done acting goofy, they really have meaningful things to say. They have feelings that are deep, influenced by their experiences and relevant to the lives they are navigating. This group of teens did not disappoint. Please, hear their messages and recognize the importance of having this kind of education and experience in their formative and sometimes impulsive years. We here at Garfield County PREP are humbled and grateful for their contributions.

Healthy Decisions 

Teens Make Healthy Decisions Personal Responsibility Engagement Program