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Faculty Spotlight, Mount Ida in the News

Mount Ida College Professor’s Award-Winning Documentary “Celling Your Soul” Featured at GlobeDocs Film Fest Lineup

The Boston Globe’s GlobeDocs (http://filmfest.bostonglobe.com/) screening of Celling Your Soul at the Coolidge Corner Theater on September 27th, 2017 highlights the important work of Mount Ida College Professor Joni Siani over the last decade. Siani offers practical solutions for young adults ages 18-24, their teachers and parents about how to develop a healthy balance between use of technology and human interpersonal communications in today’s digital world. Emerging longitudinal research has confirmed the issues associated with pervasive use of digital technology for communication.

In 2006, a 19-year-old college student threw his flip phone across the classroom, looked up at his teacher and said “I’m telling you, when we start communicating with our thumbs, we’re in trouble.”

That cautionary statement is what inspired Siani, now at Mount Ida College, to change the conversation from “what do you think about our new technologies, to how do you feel?”

“Celling Your Soul,” now available at Bullfrog Films, takes viewers through the digital transition from the perspective of the first digitally socialized generation, revealing the biggest misconception about Millennials – they “hate it

Siani explains, “By 2007, just as Facebook was going public, my three-hour Interpersonal Communication classes were turning into three hours of group therapy. Major drama and tears as these kids tried to navigate this overwhelming digital world without any guidelines or model but through trial and error. I made the film because the available documentaries at the time only talked about the problem, without offering any solutions. We wanted to provide educators and schools, with an actual plan of action for their students.”

Through the lens of a social scientist, Siani and her students began working on strategies to reinforce the value of authentic connections and face to face communications. The No App for Life Challenge gives young millennials an opportunity to disconnect and reflect on the impact of the use of social media and text on their daily lives and discuss it with others, particularly their faculty or teachers. Siani will roll out this initiative with her students in her communications courses at Mount Ida College and share this with the community in a special screening and work shop on campus in mid October. She will also be appearing at speaking engagements across the nation and as well as working in partnership with AAA as part of their Safety Summit Presentations that aim to elevate the conversation and awareness of the dangers of driving while distracted by technology.

Additional information: available at the following links: School workshop and screenings- http://www.noappforlife.com Bullfrog Films at www.bullfrogfilms.com