Like it or not, media has invaded our everyday lives. From smartphones to computers, it is hard to avoid not using media for school or work in some way. While there are many advantages to this, media can also have a dark side. The challenge for parents is how to keep it under control. For this review, I got to check out the Captivated DVD from Media Talk 101. I have to admit, it was challenging to watch, because a lot of the focus is on how adults use social media and the influence it can have on our children.
What it is:
The Captivated DVD is an award-winning documentary that focuses on the use of social media in the world today. The video is intended for adults. Television, video games, Facebook, and text messaging enthrall children and adults alike. Captivated takes a hard look at these topics and provides a Christian perspective on all of them. Insight from various pastors, doctors, professors, and other experts challenges viewers to take an honest look at how they and their kids use social media.
What I Thought:
This movie offered some very sobering statistics. For example, in the United States, the average person watches over four hours of television per day. Think about that for a minute. If you work part of the day, and get home at four or five in the evening, you may eat dinner and then spend the rest of the time before you go to bed in front of the television. If you do that Monday through Friday, when are you spending time interacting with your kids? And how many times do you sit with the family at dinner with everyone playing on their phones instead of talking? I hate to admit it, but there have been times when my son was in his bedroom and I was in the living room, and I texted him something because I did not want to get up and walk to his room. Ridiculous right?
And what about video games? Since my kids were born, gaming systems have only gotten more and more prominent. When they were little, we did not allow them to play games, but as they have gotten older, it becomes harder and harder to hold back the tide. My hubby likes to play games, and I have to admit, it is hard to tell my kids no when they see him doing it. I think that is part of why Captivated has such an impact, because it made me look more at what I do than what my kids do.
In addition, the movie points out that the level of violence and sexual content in movies, television, music, and games increases every year. Even when watching family-friendly television shows you are still bombarded by inappropriate content in commercials. And pop up ads on media websites are difficult to control.
Watching Captivated made me think about how media today almost seduces you into captivation. Watching a football game on the weekends or a show every Monday night is not bad in and of itself. And social media websites and even some video games have some benefits to them, they become a problem however, when we let them rule our lives. When watching the game becomes more important than hanging out with the family, or when a game (like Farmville) becomes an obsession, then you have elevated media above the Godly things you are supposed to be focused on.
So, now what do you do? Well, for me, the first step is to take stock of where you are at with your use of social media. Do you feel guilty when you go to bed about how much time you spent on the computer or watching TV? Are your kids unable to turn their phones off at night for fear of missing a message? Ask God to search your heart and truly show you where you need to make changes in your lifestyle, and remember, you have to set the example for your children.
I would strongly suggest watching this movie with your family. If nothing else, it will encourage discussion about the topic of media. While it is a sensitive subject, especially for teenagers, it is something parents cannot ignore. This video offers some discernment about a tough parenting challenge. I think the Captivated DVD would be good for a small group study for parents, and for youth groups. The DVD costs only $16.95 and I think it is definitely worth it.
Read more reviews of Captivated here: