• Brauntex Theatre to screen doc exploring the impact of social media on children, effects of technology on the brain

    Feb. 21, 2024

    Are you using social media or is social media using you?

    Maintaining balance and protecting our well-being has become increasingly difficult in this digital age, where technology and connectivity are integral parts of our daily lives. The relentless flood of notifications, messages and information can lead to feeling overwhelmed and isolated.

    On Feb. 27 at 7 p.m., the San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Awareness will host a screening of “LIKE: A Documentary About Finding Balance in Our Digital World” at the Brauntex Theatre in New Braunfels. This film will encourage us to contemplate the effects of social media and technology on our lives. It offers strategies for achieving balance and wellness.

    The documentary delves into how algorithms influence our online behavior, from the compulsion to respond to notifications to manipulating our behavior to garner more “likes.” It provides guidance and diverse perspectives on navigating the digital world, drawing on young people’s and their families’ experiences, supplemented by expert insights.

    The film introduces the concept of JOMO – the Joy Of Missing Out, promoting the benefits of occasional disconnection. Maryanne Navickas, the theater’s Education and Community Outreach Director, stated that the screening is part of a continuous effort to give back to the community.

    Navickas invites the community to learn about the current state of social media and its impact on students and adults.

    “We will provide resources that will benefit them,” she said. “We hope they will acquire some knowledge to safeguard their children and themselves from IT devices and social media.”

    The evening will also feature a panel discussion from subject matter experts, providing insights on social media trends, monitoring a child’s online activity, and what parents should be vigilant about to protect their children.

    Resources from local nonprofit organizations, including Mental Advocacy Partners – Comal County, San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Awareness, Hill Country Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Centers, InMindOut and Communities in Schools will be available in the lobby at 6 p.m.

    “MAP Comal is pleased to support a community mental health education event such as the LIKE screening and panel discussion,” said Kristen Fain, program officer for the McKenna Foundation and coordinator of the Mental Advocacy Partners Comal Coalition. “We hope this event will help families proactively address their mental health needs and engage with community support systems.

    The film is a product of iMPACTFUL, a Los Angeles-based company specializing in creating award-winning, evidence-based film programs for schools, businesses and nonprofits.

    Admission is free, but seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. You can reserve your seats at ourl.io/OGS24. You can view a trailer of the film on YouTube at ourl.io/0Emgi.

    For more information about Mental Advocacy Partners Comal, visit mapcomal.org.

McKenna actively provides services to enhance the health and well-being of the greater New Braunfels community, serving as a partner and resource to others who share our goals — now and for future generations.

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