My latest review has been one of the most challenging I have ever done. God in His infinite wisdom brought this product to us at just the right time and I am so grateful for having seen it. I am also very eager to share it with all of you! The Captivated DVD by MediaTalk101 addresses the dangers of living in a media saturated society.
Now before you start to think this is going to be some legalistic challenge to throw out your computer or TV, bear with me. It is not about that at all. It is about heeding the call of Scripture to take every thought captive, including those thoughts that come to us through some source of media outlet. We are indeed saturated by media and whether we admit it or not it does affect our every day life and it is impacting our culture as never before. They are very careful to point out that media can be used for good, but it can also be used for evil. It can either make us deeper or more shallow. It can bring us nearer to God or become our own man-made Tower of Babel. That is why we need to be cautious.
Do you realize we live in a time when there are more TVs than persons per household? Our youth today are getting 53 hours per week of screen time and by the the time they are 18 they will have had 18-22,000 hours which is more time then they spend in the classroom! When we factor in not only the time spent in media, but also the content of what they are absorbing there is great cause for alarm.
The Captivated DVD is almost 2 hours long and full of information with many facts, statistics and data that shows how media is out of control both in quantity and quality. They break it down into a few segments. It begins with an introduction of how widespread media is in our culture. They then explore the following categories: Consumption, Content, Captivity, Battleground, and Freedom.
During the video they share several testimonies of people who had some sort of media addiction in their lives and how their life was transformed when they finally got rid of it. The addictions covered every type of media out there - Social Networking, Gaming, Television, Sports, and Music. These testimonies were very compelling because they all seemed to have the same result. No matter what type of media they were getting rid of, they all did the exact same thing: robbed them of their time away from God and their family. In each of these cases the families started to have real quality time together. They were amazed at how wonderful it was to have so much time to do the things they always thought they never had time to do before. So even if the media in their lives was not in itself "bad" it was an issue because it took all of their time and resources away from the things that really mattered.
That is the part that impacted me the most. How much of a waste of time media is and how Satan uses it to distract the world from better things. If you are wrapped up in any form of media, whether its on the internet, television, cell phone or gaming, you are not using that time to be near to God or with your family. We think it isn't affecting our families but that is so far from the truth. Count the hours you spend with your family that does not involve media and you might be surprised to find how little that number is in comparison to the astonishing amount of time we are saturating our minds with media alone.
I began by saying how the Captivated DVD arrived at just the perfect time for me so I will share a little more about that. My husband is a computer programmer and I am a blogger. We also both love video games. We have had times in our past where our computer usage consumed us and interfered with our relationships. Because of that we have learned to be careful with it and really do try to limit our screen time.
I have a daughter who has special needs and so we really try to watch her screen time too. However, with winter time forcing us indoors and the new XBox we got for Christmas, she was getting more than usual. It was an especially cold winter, and since some of the games on the Kinect were active, we let is slide. In fact, I don't even think we realized how bad it was getting.
Then Gesserine's behavior started to get out of control. We figured it was part of adolescence but regardless her rebellion showed up with a vengeance. As we started to step back and look at what was going on we noticed some trends related to her media intake. When Gess was not playing on her computer or XBox she was listening to her music, which was contemporary Christian music or children's Bible songs. There is nothing secular in her collection, so the content didn't worry us but she had to have it with her all the time. Her behavior was not only out of control, she was also hardly doing anything she used to love to do like read, build with Lego's, or color. The week before the Captivated DVD arrived she had an outburst that was just heartbreaking so we took all of her media away. ALL of it. I was not sure for how long, but I knew this movie was on its way so I was willing to wait and see if it had any suggestions before giving it back. I am so glad that I waited.
Some of the people in the video gave up their media addiction forever and some only went on fasts for 30 days at a time. I like the idea of occasional fasts as a way to keep you from letting it get out of control. So we chose that number to be how long Gess will be without media. She went for an entire month and now we have a system to better monitor how much media she gets, and it won't be much. There will also be days each week that are totally media free. She has had her media privileges back for 2 days now and it has simply floored me how she didn't try to jump back into it. She has yet to log on to her computer or play a video game! The only thing she has chosen to do is listen to 20 minutes of music. It's amazing how a person begins to truly enjoy life without media once they have been without it!
I am happy to say that it has truly made a difference. Not only has her behavior improved but she is reading again and building with those Lego's! She is able to go outside to play without the headphones and is enjoying more time with family. Of course, this hasn't been a complete fast as we have curriculum on both the computer and video, but other than letting her do school and listen a little bit of music each week, she hasn't played a game or done anything else media related.
While my husband and I have not totally fasted, we have limited our media intake and made it a point to spend more time with our daughter. We also love the freedom that comes from walking away from Facebook, that video game, or television show and instead sit and talk, read, play a board game, work on a project, or get some extra chores done.
Of course it is not just the time that it robs from us. The content of much of our media is simply garbage. Another statistic that they mentioned was how we had more TVs than we do toilets per household. That usually means we have more sewage coming in than going out! That is really the truth and we can't simply blame Hollywood for it since we choose to watch the garbage they put out. Did you realize that there was a study once that showed there were 12 times as many R movies as there are G movies and yet that G movies bring in 11 times more profit? If we only watched what was good, we could make such an impact on their pocketbooks! Yet, even Christians have a problem denying ourselves from seeing that latest greatest hit, even if it does have some things that dishonor God. Its no wonder only 9% of Americans have a Biblical worldview! We are being influenced by the world's definition of what is right or wrong, rather than God's Word alone.
They remind us in the video that before these were movies, songs, or television shows they were some man or woman's thought and idea. Are we taking their thoughts captive and keeping them accountable to the standards of Christ before we let them in our home? I know that I am not as good at that as I should be. We need to take Scripture to heart and not allow ourselves to be taken captive by anything other than Christ.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Col 2:8)
"Men think of the world not as a battleground, but as a playground... We are not here to fight; we are here to frolic." (A. W. Tozer)
They end with the good news, that there is freedom. They offer real solutions and practical steps to help make sure you and your family are not captivated by the world's philosophy through the realm of media. I hope to share this video with my church and homeschool group. I know many homeschoolers feel free from this mentality as many of us already don't have cable television and limit what comes into the home. But there are still dangers. Even if you do have a grip on media in your family know that this DVD is a way to reach others on the subject. The greatest part of freedom from media addiction is the discovery that reality is way more exciting!
While the Captivated DVD has a ton of information it is really engaging. It is not in any way a boring documentary. I was literally captivated by the content. I watched it more than once. I soaked it in the first time, took notes the second time, and then delved into the additional content and interviews. I learned so much and am willing to watch it again as I share it with others. You can view the trailer below to get a glimpse of what you can expect from the video.
Captivated - Trailer from Media Talk 101 on Vimeo.
While the Captivated DVD is intended for adults it is approved for all audiences and I can see it being beneficial to watch together as a family, at least with older kids. My husband and I watched it together. It sells for $16.95 which includes free shipping. They are also offering a special that allows you to get a second video for $5 more to give away to a friend. It is definitely worth the money and something you will want to see and share with others. I highly recommend it for any Christian. They also have a study guide to go with it that I am considering getting to use with a bible study group at my church.
To learn more visit the Captivated The Movie website or see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought about it by clicking on the banner below.