The lives of children used to be filled with hours of outdoor frolic, morning paper routes, and boundless adventures of the imagination. How times have changed. Childhood 2.0 characterizes our modern generation of kids and teens as enraptured victims of the information age.
While older generations might have learned the value of outside stimulus, household chores, and in-person playtime with friends, the youth of today have fallen prey to smartphone screens and video game consoles. Some might argue that subsequent generations have always been unfavorably compared to the ones that came before. But this current trend of endless distraction has created a monster. Episodes of depression and suicide are on the rise among children, juvenile diabetes is at an all-time high, and the lack of engagement has put a hamper on their social skills and mental health.
Online dangers are rampant, and the rapid pace of innovation is proving much too difficult for parents to patrol effectively. Many children spend the same amount of daily hours on their phones as adults do in their workplace.
According to the panel of child counselors and psychologists interviewed in the film, this device dependence results in a constant barrage of low-grade anxiety, which kids are generally ill-equipped to process and manage. This phenomenon also agitates the scourge of cyberbullying, and misleading exposures to oversexualized materials. If these circumstances aren't dire enough, the internet has also become a hotbed for sexual predators.
In addition to mental health professionals, the filmmakers speak with a series of concerned parents who have witnessed a profound transformation in their children, especially when placed in contrast to their own carefree beginnings. Then there are the children themselves. They speak to the overpowering allure of their devices, the pressures these devices place on them in their daily lives, and the challenge they face when they try to abandon them altogether.
The digital world our children have inherited is chock full of pitfalls and dangers around every corner. With exceptional clarity, this film diagnosis the scope of the dilemma and addresses the need to slow down and take stock before we reach a point of no return.
Directed by: Jamin Winans, Robert Muratore, Kiowa K. Winans