The very first Instagram post is just the start for this student. Seeing the comments and likes roll in gives him a confidence boost that keeps him scrolling. Without even knowing it, hours have flown by, but his eyes remain on his phone. One post started an addiction to his phone.
The William S. Hart Union High School District, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and the SCV Sheriff’s Foundation partnered together to host a competition for participating students to create a public service announcement video to bring awareness to electronic device addiction.
“I think it’s a really good, important message,” said Makenna Ends, a Golden Valley High School student.
Out of all the schools in the Hart district that participated, two took home the top three spots – Valencia High School and Golden Valley High School.
Valencia’s teams consisted of Dominic Grzecka, Cody Wheeler, Connor Henzie, Lily Bigham, Cinthia Lazo and Nick Phillips, under the direction of their teacher, Robert Zameroski. Golden Valley’s team consisted of Max Parker, Brady Traverso, Ally Ines, Connor McCormick and Makenna Ends, under the direction of their teacher, Dena De Vera.
Valencia’s submissions, “Don’t Scroll Your Life Away” and “Reconnect with Life,” tied for first place. Golden Valley’s submission, “It Can Wait,” was awarded second place.
Both schools were awarded $500 each toward their video production unit by the SCV Sheriff’s Foundation. They were recognized by the city of Santa Clarita and the office of L.A. County 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger.
Just like “Reconnect with Life’s” message of how one post can turn into an addiction, all entries involved the message of phone addiction.
“Don’t Scroll Your Life Away,” showed how phone addictions can influence time and make a person separate from the environment they are in.
“It Can Wait” emphasized the dangers of texting and driving.
“I think it’s a dual message on us,” said Ends. “Phone addiction and distracted driving goes hand in hand in many, many fatal crashes. When you’re addicted to your phone, you’re constantly looking, you’re constantly aware of something other than the road.”
Ines said that this message hit home to her and she gained an emotional attachment to the project.
“I have that fear of, ‘We’re (Ines and her mother) gonna get in a crash because she’s distracted,’” said Ines. “When making this project, I felt like it was more personal to me because I’ve had experiences like that as well and it’s good to put that message out for people, not even in our age group just for anybody honestly who is driving in who has their phone.”
Golden Valley’s video ends with the potential of a car crash after someone is trying to reply to a message, cutting to black.
“The crash at the end being so sudden really shows that it can happen at any time, any second that you’re on your phone,” said Traverso. “When I watched the finished product for the first time, it kind of clicked in my head to where any moment, when you’re on your phone, can happen at any time.”
To view the top three PSA, visit the following: “Reconnect with Life”- bit.ly/42KdGmW, “Don’t Scroll Your Life Away” – bit.ly/41JZtVX and “It Can Wait” – bit.ly/42KdXX0.