Local School Hosts Film about the Impact of Social Media on Our Lives

Published : Tuesday, November 13, 2018 | 5:42 AM

Fusion Academy Pasadena hosted a free showing of “Like,” an IndieFlix Original documentary that explores the impact of social media on people’s lives, on Tuesday, November 13,  at Laemmle’s Playhouse 7, 673 E. Colorado Blvd.

The documentary reflects on an interesting and timely question: “Are we using technology  — or is technology using us?”

Dani Ryckman, Ed.M., Head of School at the private, non-traditional school for grades 6-12, says anyone who sees the film would be convinced that the large majority of our modern society with access to technology, including the young, are now focusing too much attention on social media and leaning on this platform instead of face-to-face interaction which is critical to social and emotional development.

Dani Ryckman, Fusion Academy Head of School

“I think what’s most important about the documentary–more than the content, more than how well it’s put together–is that it’s forcing us to have a conversation,” Ryckman said. “And I think that one of the things social media tends to pull away from is actually sitting down and talking about these things. We tend to instead lean on social media. It’s the norm and we don’t stop enough to talk about it. People often do not even recognize the impact this may be having on them. So the idea that this documentary sparks the conversation is the most important thing. And the scariest thing to consider is, do we continue that conversation, or do we just allow this to be the new norm?”

“Like,” produced and directed by IndieFlix Co-Founder and CEO Scilla Andreen, features conversations with a number of experts in technology, education, psychology, information and media, who discuss the evolution of social media and how its impact on people’s lives has grown substantially over the years.

The film, says Ryckman, also touches on how children, their education and development of social skills have been impacted by social media, as well as how their parents have been reacting, whether positively or negatively, to this new norm.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to screen this new film “Like,” which is focused on the impact of social media and how it’s causing an epidemic of anxiety around self-image that’s becoming more apparent at school and at home,” she said. “There’s tons of pressure on parents as they look at how other parents are representing the parenting experience online and feeling the pressure to also be the “perfect” parent in some way. I don’t think this is something that discriminates based on age or gender or otherwise.”

By showing the film Fusion Pasadena hopes to keep the conversation going about not only the negative impacts of social media, but also its ability to bring people together.

“That’s one of its amazing positive aspects and we know the dark side of that as well. But imagine if, if we were to consciously be utilizing social media, always to build a supportive community and to connect people and to help people who are challenged and needing that kind of support,” Ryckman said. “Imagine if we were focused on social media in that realm, how it could actually transform people’s lives and the world for the better. But if we’re not talking about it, if we’re not thinking about it, if we’re not having this conversation, it will take over in a different kind of way. And those negative things will end up rising to the top.”

The documentary is appropriate for all ages, but particularly relevant for pre-teens through adults. The screening will be followed by a community discussion supported by a panel of local experts in the topic of managing technology at home and in schools.  RSVPs are required.

Fusion Academy is a private middle and high school working to customize and revolutionize education.  All classes are taught one-to-one and to promote family wellness and balance, homework is completed on campus in either the lively social Homework Café which also serves as the social heart of the school, or the library setting of the silent Homework Café.  Fusion strives to give back to the community by hosting special events and discussions on topics important to teens, their schools, and their families.

To RSVP, visit www.fusionacademy.com/outreach-events/like-a-documentary-about-the-impact-of-social-media-on-our-lives.

To learn more about the film, visit www.thelikemovie.com/about.

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