If you have ever heard me teach in Prayer School at our church, you will probably know why I wanted to do this review. I have often found myself addressing the dangers of unguarded media usage while teaching there. I have long seen the effects that over-use of media has on people and their relationships, so I take this issue very seriously. Apparently I am not alone in being concerned. Media Talk 101 has created the Captivated DVD to address the compelling nature of media, it's effects on our culture and how to rise above it.
Let me just say that I am not against the use of media. You might notice that you are reading this on a media device, and I obviously had to write this on one. But I believe media should be a tool. It should not be something that we mindlessly allow to steal our time and it should not be something we allow to enslave us. I have found as I work with people in our ministry that many, many people really have no idea how tied they are to media. They give no thought to how much time they spend with media and its effects on them. They simply move from their texts to their emails to their tweets to their Facebook to their youtube to their movies and back again. It is an endless cycle that can blind us and hinder us from developing truly deep relationships with each other and with our God. Until you break the cycle, it can be almost impossible to even see it. The Captivated DVD gives the science to back up what I have seen first hand in ministry.
If you don't want to be challenged to really think about how and when you use media, then you should stay away from this movie. After watching it, you will think twice before you pick up a device. In this documentary, you will meet people who chose to do a "media fast" (simply a season of about a month or so in which they mindfully chose not to use media) in an effort to recognize how, when and why they used media. You will meet people who were addicted to media and didn't even realize it. You will meet couples, families and teens who found freedom from a media-crazed culture. They found a greater depth to their lives when they limited their media exposure and replaced it with real life activities. You will see the data behind how media re-wires the brain, creates attention problems and relationship issues. You will meet people who found time for the things that really mattered by being mindful about how they used that time. You will meet people whose lives were changed simply by changing the way they used media. You will be challenged.
I watched this video with my kids, and then we discussed what we had seen. It is approved for all audiences, but it is geared toward adults. The only child in my family who wasn't glued to the screen was my 3 year old. My 16 year old said, "I think everyone should have to watch this. Especially Christians." The rest of them agreed. My kids and I have already talked a lot about how we use media and the implications of mis-using it, so this DVD acted as reinforcement for us. Even before we watched this, we had recently done a month long media fast in which we did not use media for entertainment purposes at all. We continued to use our computers for work and school, but we didn't use social media sites, games, TV or anything remotely considered entertainment. Even though we have never been a family that uses a lot of entertainment style media (we choose not to have cable, Xbox, playstation, etc.), it was still hard on the kids for the first few days. After a week, though, they were glad to be rid of it. They were enjoying all the other, more interesting things they were doing. When we watched Captivated, our own media fast was fresh on everyone's minds. It solidified what we had already learned about ourselves and our choices concerning media.
Even if you never decide to do a media fast or change your media habits in any way, it is good to make those choices mindfully. Watching this DVD will give you a side of the story that you won't hear in mainstream media, and it will help you make your choices with full knowledge of the possible consequences. I highly recommend Captivated to anyone who wants to be the one in control of their own media usage.
You can watch a trailer and get your own copy of the Captivated DVD at Media Talk 101 for $16.95. Not only will you get the movie for that price, but the DVD also includes extended interviews with the experts. The interviews really provide a lot of insight into how to make wise choices concerning how you and your family will use media. Totally worth the price, in my opinion.
Have a great day!
You can read what other reviewers had to say about the Captivated DVD by clicking below:
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