TALKSMART! is a movie about children and cellphones. It will show, with real-life stories and interviews, how cellphones have changed the way kids live their lives.

The goal of the movie is to appeal to kids to use their cellphones in a more mindful way and to be aware that the phone’s allure can be addictive, distracting and potentially harmful to their health.

We love technology and we believe that it can be a very productive and educational tool, if used properly. So the goal of this movie is not to propose limiting its use, but rather to suggest ways to use our cellphones mindfully and safely.

The movie will follow some representative children of different ages, and will show how they have become addicted to the instant gratification of text messaging, and the second life they lead on the Internet.

The interviews with these children will also show how phones can be a constant source of distraction at school, during meals and while completing homework. Children emulate the behavior of their role models; their parents, their peers or older kids, and instead of growing out of using their phones excessively, they grow into it. Many teens and parents are themselves addicted to their phones, checking them constantly and seldom focusing on one task exclusively, without checking their phones.

TalkSmart! will also touch on the way electronic conversation dehumanizes the participants, and can leave children feeling socially isolated and emotionally remote even though they have hundreds of followers and numerous text-buddies.

Finally, the movie will also talk about the health effects of cellphone radiation, and suggest some basic ways of minimizing children’s exposure. Even though it is uncertain whether this radiation can cause physical damage to humans, the World Health Organization has classified cellphone radiation as a possible carcinogen. Over the course of our lives, we will spend hundreds of thousands of hours on our phones (and children, by starting younger, will spend longer), so in the absence of certainty, we should limit the amount of radiation we are exposed to from our phones.

In the course of discussing these topics, TalkSmart! will explain how cellphones work, and give a brief history of the evolution of cellphones, from the flip-phone to the smartphone. It is also important to explain the standards for exposure, set by the Federal Communications Commission.

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