Many reviewers have called the film ‘The Social Dilemma’ the most important documentary of our time. Susan Stiffelman thinks they might be right.
So who is Susan Stiffelman and why might you care what she thinks? Susan Stiffelman is a marriage and family therapist, a credentialed teacher, and a licensed psychotherapist. For over 30 years, Susan has worked with families to create greater harmony and deeper connection between parents and children. She also delivers weekly parenting advice for the Huffington Post as their “Parent Coach.”
Stiffelman believes that children need to know that they can depend on their parents to guide them through the ups and downs of their lives. Just as a Captain is able to navigate rough and stormy seas, parents are meant to function as their child’s best source of comfort and direction by confidently steering the ship! But of course, unlike the captains of a ship parents aren’t trained and qualified, they are not licensed mariners of children. So Stiffelman offers lots of advice, guidance and training to help parents navigate those turbulent times.
Stiffelman is often asked to name the concern most frequently asked about by parents. At the top of the list is screen time, so she is offering a free online discussion group on this topic.
She says …
Parents are at a loss about how to get their kids to stop negotiating when it’s time to disengage from the digital world. Threats and arguments are the norm. If you’ve followed my work, you know that I’ve taught a range of Master Classes on this topic. )
But underpinning these conflicts is an element that’s difficult to explain to our children. It has to do with understanding the bigger picture of the digital landscape, and the profoundly adverse affects on our lives when we relinquish care and intentionality in how we engage online.
In The Social Dilemma, you’ll hear from former top-level executives at every major social media platform, talking about the intentionally addictive nature of the design, and how core values related to things like mental health and democracy are compromised in favor of advertising dollars.
I feel so strongly that this is a mountain we need to climb together that I’d like to offer you an incentive to watch this film over the next few days.
If you have ongoing conflicts over screen time, watch this film with your children (ages 10+) and then join me for a FREE get together online to talk about the film. I’ll be on Facebook Live to hear what you think, listen to your kids if they’d like to attend, and share some of my impressions.
I know what you’re thinking… why I am holding this gathering on Facebook, when the film is about the perils of social media? Here is a quote from The Social Dilemma’s website on why they too are on social media:
While we hope The Social Dilemma will inspire people to spark conversations “IRL”, we believe it is especially important to reach people where they need to hear it most – on social media. In service of that goal, we plan to use social media to advance our impact campaign while adopting and modeling the principles of humane technology. Our focus will be on getting the film out to new audiences that might not otherwise seek it out, increasing the public’s understanding of the dilemma faced by our increased reliance on technologies that have become exploitative and extractive, and providing tools and resources to realign our relationship with these platforms.
I am also using my Facebook author page. In an effort to offer this free film discussion event to wider audience who may be unfamiliar with my work. Our get together will take place here on Wednesday, September 23rd at 5:00 pm PST.
I know it can feel overwhelming to set limits on screens — especially during this pandemic. I don’t believe we need to cut the cord on our kids’ devices, or try to convince them to spend all their free time doing papier mache or making forts. But I do believe we need to stay awake during this time of increasing opportunities for our kids (and ourselves) to get lost down the rabbit hole of the digital world.
I hope you enjoy The Social Dilemma and that if you’d like to talk about it, you’ll join me on Wednesday, Sept 23rd for conversation and support. We are always better together.”
I thought I would make parents aware of this opportunity, especially give the relevance of the topic to all of us.