I find television very educating.
Every time somebody turns on the set,
I go into the other room and read a book.
When I was asked to a do a review on the Captivated DVD by Media Talk 101, I jumped at the chance, because I am in such emphatic agreement with their premise. It was heartening to me to learn of a group of individuals who are addressing the very prevalent issue that we, as a culture, are not only shoving our faces at an all-you-can-eat media buffet and going up for seconds (and thirds!) but that what we are imbibing is not always wholesome, but oftentimes TOXIC.
In documentary style, CAPTIVATED addresses the overconsumption of our culture in regards to video games, television, social media, texting, tweeting, movies and music while also, perhaps more importantly, addressing the quality of the content. Just as no education is neutral, no form of media is neutral. Everything that is put in front of us starts out with a worldview and a message and the more we like the medium, the more we accept the message.
If I could control the medium of the
American Motion Picture, I would need
nothing else to convert the entire world
to communism." ~ Joseph Stalin
There are 107 minutes worth of eye-opening statistics, professional and scientific interviews throughout the documentary, as well as personal testimonies from people who have both struggled and triumphed over their own media entrancements. It is intended for adults but has been approved for all audiences.
My favorite quote of the DVD was by Dr. David Murray who said "We've enslaved ourselves but we don't even see the chains. In fact, we think it is freedom."
I thought it ironic, at first, that a documentary posing the idea that media, when left unchecked, can be hazardous to one's health, relationships, worldview and Christian life actually came in the form of the very media that they were warning about. But as Phillip Telfer, producer and co-director stated, "This feature-length documentary is not ANTI-MEDIA or ANTI-TECHNOLOGY, but raises concerns about the unchecked enthusiasm regarding media and highlights the overwhelming evidence of growing problems on multiple fronts." Technology and media are not evil in and of themselves. Technology and media, when rightly used, enhances a life. It should not replace it.
I am so grateful that Matt has never been interested in video games or professional sports. We don't have ipads, Xboxes, fancy cellphones and when people joke about texting acronyms, I have no idea what they are talking about. We have one television set behind closed doors and no channels to go with it. We have Friday Night movie nights for the whole family and the very sporatic movies as treats which means our children usually sit in front of a TV for about 2 hours a week (far less than the typical child who, I learned, watched over 30 hours a week!). So we are pretty isolated from the situation (on purpose) making us not the 'target audience' and yet, even Matt and I were challenged by the film.
I don't believe any viewer could watch this video without it giving them pause. This is a huge problem in our day, for both adults and children. For both Christians and Non. And it is about time we got things right. After all, as Major Phil Willis said in the movie~ there is so much more we can be doing with the finite time that God has given us.
Captivated DVD is $16.95 with free shipping and, for a limited time, if you order two copies~ you'll get the second copy to give away for just $5.00.