Meet the teen on a mission
to save her peers from phone addiction

Zeta, in green, "on the set" at Sacred Heart Convent with her production team (l to r) Jack Gaffney, Elizabeth Moose, Brady Sharpe and (hidden from view), Mikaila Salvo and Addy Frey.

Zeta Lambert feels teens should spend less time staring at their phones and more time interacting with real people. Now’s she’s doing her bit to try to make that happen.

The Sacred Heart-Griffin junior teamed up with SHG’s video production class and the Dominican Sisters to produce “See Beyond Your Screen,” a series of public service announcements for social media.

Each of the three silent-movie vignettes tells a story about what happens when teens put down their phones and engage with those around them, focusing on the impact of each interaction on the individuals.

Zeta worked with the sisters’ communication director, Sister Beth Murphy, OP, to write the scripts. She recruited SHG students and one Dominican Sister as actors and coordinated with her friends in Mr. Matt Talken’s broadcasting class to produce the final product.

You can expect to see her work on the Dominican Sisters’ and SHG’s social media platforms soon.

“This was so much fun to do,” Zeta said. “Last semester I was signed up to volunteer with Sister Beth in the sisters’ communication office. My first day she asked about my social media use. When I told her that I limit my time on social media because I think it’s more important to interact face-to-face, the idea for this project was born.”

“What Zeta doesn’t know is that I ask every student who volunteers with me about his or her media use,” said Sister Beth. “It’s never failed to yield a great conversation and some wonderful projects, like the one we’ve created here.”

SHG’s principal, Mrs. Kara Rapacz, was delighted with the collaborative effort. "In an age where technology is available at your fingertips it is difficult for teens to make face to face connections with others,” she said. “Zeta's work beautifully demonstrates why we all need to step away from our phones and appreciate the people around us.

“We are proud that at a young age she has been able articulate this valuable lesson in such a creative fashion. I pray that we, adults and teens alike, take her message to heart."

This is not the first “across the blacktop” media collaboration between the high school and the communication office of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, both located on the same city block in Illinois’ state capitol for more than 100 years. Spring semester last year two members of the SHG mission class, Max Hartwig and Logan Evans, were assigned to spend three class periods a week with Sister Beth. They produced a record-breaking campaign that has turned into one of the sisters' most popular social media campaigns: Sharing Sister Concepta’s secret sugar cookie recipe.

“These young people are naturals,” Sister Beth said. “They move around the media sphere with ease—something I still don’t do well. It’s rewarding to get to know them and work together on these projects.”

To see Zeta's video's visit Springfieldop.org/see-beyond-your-screen.

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