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EARLY YEARS: “Screenagers” documentary headed to Grandin Theatre

Filmmaker and mom Dr. Delaney Ruston wanted to show the impacts of too much screen time on kids’ brains and development
Physician and mom of two studied the impact of screen time on adolescent minds and development
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 5:46 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Studies show young people spend an average of six and a half hours a day on cell phones and other digital devices.

From their first iPads to their first iPhones, kids can quickly become glued to their screens of choice.

The Prevention Council of Roanoke County educates families about all kinds of addictive behaviors.

Experts say screen addiction mimics other kinds of addiction.

“It’s the same sort of model of what the brain does when it likes to have continued prompts and it feels good. There is a mental health side that we have to be careful with,” says Nancy Hans, Executive Director of the Prevention Council of Roanoke County.

The Prevention Council has partnered with the Grandin Theatre for a showing and discussion next week of the documentary, “Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age.

Its creator is physician and mother of two Dr. Delaney Ruston.

“Screenagers” delves into the science behind screen time to understand how it affects young people’s minds and development.

“We said we’ve got to put this out there. And this could be a protective factor, in a way that families come together and hear this and how do we keep our families safe,” says Hans.

The documentary shows the dire impacts of excessive screen time, including failure in school, social isolation and digital addiction.

Parents can use the data to make important decisions, like when is the right time for that first phone.

“This hopefully will help parents make some decisions based on science around what age should we really be giving a phone and access to apps to our children,” says Hans.

Along with raising important issues, “Screenagers” also offers possible solutions on how adults can help kids find balance in the digital world.

“Screenagers - Growing Up in the Digital Age” is playing at the Grandin Theatre’s main theatre Thursday, April 28 at 7 p.m.

Click here for a link to buy tickets.

There will also be a raffle at the event for a Family Fun Basket valued at over $600.

Tickets are one for $5 or three for $12.

All proceeds will benefit the Prevention Council of Roanoke.

The winner will be picked at random after the movie, and they must be present to win.

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