Eat Chat Parent presentations Nov. 7-8 explore social media use with screening of ‘Like’ documentary | VailDaily.com

Eat Chat Parent presentations Nov. 7-8 explore social media use with screening of ‘Like’ documentary

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Eagle River Youth Coalition and Vail Health will present the second seminar in this year's Eat Chat Parent Series on mental health on Wednesday, Nov. 7, and Thursday, Nov. 8. Each presentation will begin with a showing of "Like," a documentary film that explores our addictive tendencies toward technology, followed by a panel discussion.

"Parents are hungry for information on teens and tweens' use of technology — what is too much, what to look for, what apps are safe. This film is a great way to start the conversation between kids and parents," said Carol Johnson, community education manager for the Eagle River Youth Coalition.

"Like" explores the impact of social media on our lives and the effects of technology on the brain. The film's goal is to inspire people of all ages, especially kids, to self-regulate and create a balance with the use of technology. The film cites 2 billion people check their phones 150 times a day.

Technology is addictive — "each 'like' is a little squirt of dopamine," and it's important to know that phones, apps, social media and gaming are not going away. Instead of feeling shamed or helpless over the frequent usage, we are encouraged to work together to curtail the drive toward technology and engage in the world around us.

"Social media was intended to help people connect, but its addiction is causing a disconnection to the things that matter most in life — family, friends, physical activity and a sense of personal well-being," explains Vail Health President and CEO Doris Kirchner. "We need to be cautious of the negative effects of technology so we can use it responsibly."

Presentations will take place at Eagle Valley High School on Wednesday, Nov. 7, and Battle Mountain High School on Thursday, Nov. 8. Each event starts with dinner at 5:30 p.m., followed by the presentation at 6. Youth grades five and older are encouraged to attend with an adult. The presentations are free and include dinner.

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The film will be followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Janet Engle and Dr. Leslie Fishman, pediatricians at Colorado Mountain Medical; Jenn Girard, a counselor at the Hope Center; and local youth. RSVP is required; email Johnson at cjohnson@eagleyouth.org.