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Student Blog: Alexa Payesko

Ever wonder what technology your kids will have? Whether it will be good for them? (Come on, admit you’ve texted a person in the next room when you could have gotten up and actually talked.) Third-year film major Alexa Payesko has been wondering what kids think about their incredible connectedness – and letting them speak for themselves. Her short doc is winning a lot of attention.

Technology has taken control of our lives. We wake up, look at our phones, scroll through Facebook, and on our way to school we share a Snapchat of the city. It’s hard for us to even conceive of how this technology is going to affect our lives in the future. Most importantly- the younger generations.

Last semester, I took Joan Brooker’s documentary course; it was really challenging, yet fun. I created, Connected, a short film based on five adorable seven and eight year-old girls who talk about technology and what it means in their lives. From texting, to calculators, to drawing applications, these charming and funny girls explain how iPhones, iPads, and LeapPads both inform and dominate their lives. They love to take selfies, but as one charmer notes, “too much technology isn’t good for the brain.”

Connected came from an idea I had when I was on the phone with my cousin, Tara. We were talking about Ella (her oldest daughter, seven at the time). Ella had been asked in school by her classmates if she had an iPhone and/or iPad and Tara was concerned about Ella and her future with this technology. Then, I thought, maybe it would be a really good idea if we knew what these kids really thought about technology and whether or not they think it’s good for them. Tara was so excited and loved the idea. She and Ella chose a few of Ella’s best friends and I started shooting in November of 2014.

Connected was shown at the SVA Theatre last semester along with my colleagues documentaries. It was such a great night showing our work, and I was so happy that so many people enjoyed my documentary.
Since the showing at the SVA Theatre, Connected has been officially selected for the Golden Door International Film Festival of Jersey City, Roma Cinema Doc Festival, Miami Independent Film Festival, and most recently, Blow-Up – Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival.

These kids are the future of this world and I hope my documentary inspires kids — and adults — to not always be connected to their technology.

Filed Under: Student Blog