Phuket

UWC Thailand presents free screening of “SCREENAGERS”

In keeping with UWC Thailand’s (UWCT) commitment to helping students, parents and the wider community develop a ‘Good Heart, Balanced Mind, Healthy Body’, the school is hosting a complimentary showing of the internationally acclaimed film ‘Screenagers’ for families across Phuket on Friday, November 2 at 8:30am.

In ‘Screenagers’, as with her award-winning documentaries on mental health, Physician and filmmaker Dr. Delaney Ruston takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, ‘Screenagers’ reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.

“This is truly a film that anyone who has children in their life needs to see. In fact, it’s just as useful for adults who are facing their own struggles with balancing the invasiveness of today’s technology. We are delighted to be able able to show the film for free thanks to the generous funding of our Parent Support Group,” said Jason McBride, Head of School for UWCT.

The film is not just Ruston’s personal voyage; however, as she enlists the help of more than eight experts across relevant fields, from the director of the Center for Integrative Brain Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute to Pulitzer Prize-nominated authors.

Along the way, the film unearths some thought-provoking statistics including the fact that today’s youth are spending an average of 6.5 hours a day on screens, that 23% of kids online engage in cyberbullying, and that for each hour of television kids watch per day, they consumer an extra 167 calories. Additionally, the dopamine released in the brain from screen time is the very same as from other habit-forming behaviours like drinking alcohol.

“Research confirms that the more time students spend on devices, the less likely they are to complete their homework and the poorer their performance at school, but it isn’t the academic impact that has us so concerned as a school, it’s the impact on mental health and physical wellbeing,” explains McBride.

“At UWCT we try to combat this with mindfulness, healthy eating, exercise, and digital citizenship, but devices are pervasive and the challenges they create for young people’s mental health really are cause for concern. As educators and parents, we need to act.”

A 2017 study by the UK’s Royal Society of Public Health, found that seven in 10 teens said Instagram made them feel worse about body image and half of 14-24-year-olds reported Instagram and Facebook exacerbated feelings of anxiety. Facebook, two-thirds found, made cyberbullying worse. Even more troublesome are those who choose to forgo real-world interactions and simply live in the digital space–reluctant to interact and incapable of detaching from their devices.

“This is a challenge unique to our children’s’ generation and equally so for today’s parents-regardless of where they live or what school their children attend. As educators we are compelled to help families navigate this changing digital landscape. At UWCT that means a commitment to digital citizenship, offering mindful parenting sessions in our on-campus Mindfulness Centre, hosting renowned Buddhist Scholar Alan Wallace for a two-day seminar from November 17–which is also free for the Phuket community –and providing a cost-free venue to show ‘Screenagers’ to anyone who is interested. This isn’t a “teen” problem or a “school” problem–it’s an “everyone” problem.

In order to manage seating, Phuketians interested in attending are asked to please the school directly via rsvp@uwcthailand.ac.th. Please note that spaces are limited.

For more information, please contact:

Samantha Gayfer, Senior Manager of Communications & Philanthropy

EMAIL: samantha.gayfer@uwcthailand.ac.th

Free showing of Screenagers

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