The Digital Dilemma: A Reflection on Screenagers Under The Influence

Dec 21, 2023

Adolescence is evolving fast with technology, and its impact on youth development is profound, shaping the way they navigate identity, relationships, and the world around them. Recently, The Partnership @drugfreeNH (also referred to as The Partnership) hosted a free film screening of Screengers Under The Influence: Addressing Vaping, Drugs, & Alcohol in the Digital Age. This film delves into how the tech revolution affects teen substance use and other behavioral health issues, while providing practical solutions for parents and caregivers, educators, and communities.

teen girl sitting on bed looking at laptopThe film explores the daily challenges faced by young people, and looks at how social media, movies, and TV shape their choices. It highlights instances where vaping, drug use, and drinking are shown as socially acceptable, learned behaviors. Bringing attention to these influences, Screenagers stresses the importance of open conversations and taking proactive steps to guide teens toward informed and healthy decision-making.

What set this screening apart was not just the powerful narrative presented on screen, but also the engaging discussion facilitated by Media Power Youth. Substance misuse prevention partners from across the state participated in a meaningful conversation, sharing their key takeaways from the film and discussing how they see its relevance to their work.

Raymond Student Assistance Program (SAP) Counselor Kristen Doherty provided a meaningful perspective:

“Screenagers is an inspirational film, jam-packed with reality checks for teens and their families. As an SAP Counselor, I found it absolutely relevant to the students, their communities, daily educational struggles, and invigorating for myself. It creates an opportunity for engagement and open communication about the high-risk chances our teens are taking, which some guardians may be ignoring, permitting, or simply oblivious to in their homes.”

teen boy wearing headphones sitting at desk playing video gameLooking ahead, the documentary advocates for a hands-on approach to address the tech revolution’s impact on teenagers. It encourages adults to:

  • stay engaged
  • find practical fixes like setting screen-time rules
  • foster open conversations
  • promote media literacy skills

Through compelling storytelling and collaborative discussions, the film prompts self-reflection and action. It calls for stakeholders to work together in creating an informed environment for today’s youth, ensuring they have the tools to make positive choices in the ever-evolving landscape of technology.


Interested in reading more about the impact of social media on youth?

Check out our newest webpage: Social Media and Youth Mental Health.

Interested in reading more about the impact of social media on youth?

Check out our newest webpage: Social Media and Youth Mental Health.

Want to continue this conversation in your community?

Watch The Partnership’s Connection: Strong Relationships Prevent Substance Misuse where real NH youth tell us like it is. They know what works to prevent problems with alcohol, tobacco, and other substances, and how to build developmental assets. Download the video discussion guide for ways to spread the word about this important information about protective factors and developmental assets.

Interested in hosting a screening?

Learn more about the options available to host a Screenagers viewing in your community.

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