Harvard Researcher Emily Weinstein to Discuss Her Book, “Behind the Screens”

Greenwich Library and Perrot Memorial Library will welcome local author and Harvard researcher Dr. Emily Weinstein to its AuthorsLive series to discuss her book Behind Their Screens: What Teens are Facing (and Adults are Missing) with moderator Kathy Steiner of Greenwich High School in the Library’s Berkley Theater on Sunday, November 20, at 3:00 p.m.  

This program is jointly co-sponsored by Greenwich Alliance for Education, Greenwich Library, Greenwich PTA Council, and Perrot Memorial Library.  

Weinstein is a principal investigator at Project Zero and runs the Digital Dilemmas project. Through her work, Weinstein studies the intersections of networked technologies with the social, emotional, and civic lives of teens and young adults. Behind Their Screens is the result of a multiyear project surveying some 3,500 teens that sought to understand their life online.  

So what are teens actually doing on their smartphones? Contrary to the assumptions of adults, they are not simply “addicted” to their screens, oblivious to the afterlife of what they post, or missing out on personal connection. They are just trying to navigate a networked world. Co-authors Emily Weinstein and Carrie James, Weinstein’s fellow Harvard University Project Zero researcher, are experts on teens and technology. They explore the complexities that teens face in their digital lives and suggest that many adult efforts to help— like “Get off your phone!” or “Just don’t sext!”—fall short. 

Weinstein’s research concludes that young people need empathy, not exasperated eye rolling when it comes to their so-called addiction to their devices. Adults should aim to understand the complicated nature of teens’ online life. Along the way, Weinstein and James describe different kinds of sexting and explain such phenomena as watermarking nudes, comparison quicksand, digital pacifiers, and collecting receipts.  

Publishers Weekly calls Behind Their Screens impressively researched and says, “Parents and educators losing sleep over what’s happening online would do well to give this a look.” 

Dr. Emily Weinstein is a Research Director at Project Zero at Harvard and a Lecturer at the Graduate School of Education. The work of Weinstein and her co-author, Dr. Carrie James, has been covered in Time, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic

Moderator Kathy Steiner has taught in the Greenwich Public Schools for over three decades, with the last 24 years as a Health & Safety Education Teacher at Greenwich High School.  She lives in town with her husband, and has two adult children who went through the Greenwich Public School system.  

AuthorsLive at Greenwich Library is made possible through the support of the Greenwich Library Board of Trustees and contributions from generous individual donors. This event is open to all at no charge. Books will be available for purchase and signing through Diane’s Books. 

About Greenwich Library 

The Greenwich Library system consists of the Main Library and its Byram Shubert and Cos Cob branches. The mission of Greenwich Library is to provide exceptional resources, programs and services that promote the joy of lifelong learning and discovery, and to offer a welcoming place for people to gather and share experiences. With 1,800 programs and events per year, the Library seeks to serve as the cultural and intellectual crossroads of the community. Greenwich Library’s circulation is among the highest of public libraries in Connecticut and has been named a five-star library by Library Journal for 11 of the past 12 years for the high number of patron visits, circulation, use of public computers and attendance at more than 2000 programs per year. Greenwich Library is located at 101 West Putnam Avenue in Greenwich. Cos Cob Library is located at 5 Sinawoy Road in Cos Cob. Byram Shubert Library is located at 21 Mead Avenue in Greenwich. More information is available online at www.greenwichlibrary.org or by calling 203-622-7900.