Optometrists who examine children often face questions from parents about the impact of digital devices. Activities on these devices are meant to be addictive; children cannot be expected to self-limit. Therefore, parents may end up feeling helpless or at a loss.
In her research, Valerie Kattouf, OD ’95, came across a film called Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age, created by Dr. Delaney Ruston. Screenagers is now a company whose sole focus is to educate the public on the impact of digital media and the role that parents can have in creating balance. ICO first screened this movie on-campus in 2016.
A second film is being released this fall- Screenagers, the Next Chapter: Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience. In it, Dr. Ruston seeks to understand the emotional well-being of her own teens. She hopes to empower young people with the “emotional agility, communication savvy, and stress resilience” required to overcome mental health challenges in a society filled with digital distractions.
ICO is hosting a screening of this film on Friday, November 15, at 1 p.m. We will host a panel discussion afterward with parents, teachers, and teens reflecting on this topic. All ICO alumni are invited to attend.