But First, a
Story of a Captivated Family
I remember my first days at home as a brand new Stay at Home Mom with my tiny lil bundle of joy. I had never been home all day outside of extreme illness. What to do? What to do.
How about a little Food Network. Home Improvement shows. Some Game Network channels. Discovery Channel is fun. Little House on the Prairie at noon with lunch. Ellen and Dr. Phil and Oprah were my afternoon friends. I’d wow hubby in the evening with all I learned from Martha Stewart as I presented a pretty table laden with foods that I learned to make that day.
I never had a puppy growing up, so I wasn’t used to this tiny being that wanted to be attached to me all day long. I felt like I never got a break. Until that day. That wonderful day. I had switched the channel to PBS and Teletubbies came on. He was in his little bouncer – and all of a sudden, he was captivated. Truly wholly captivated. With a large yellow circle with a baby face in it. Hubby and I were thrilled. I found out when it played and arranged my day around it. I could shower. I could – do anything – for a half of an hour. Freedom!!!!
We added the internet to our cable package. I found online sites for moms. I spent hours learning how to make webpages and blogs and post photos for family out of state. I was ‘learning’ so much about the internet that it was expanding my brain. I found FlyLady and she helped me to clean up my home with better tools than Cable TV shows. I could change my sheets in under 2 minutes. I know, cause she made me time it. Oh. I was a technology advanced mom. This was 16 years ago. I was ahead of my time.
My second son would not watch TV. Even for 5 minutes. He preferred to be outside with the goats and chickens and neighbors. He had a regular circuit on our small country road visiting people. My older son liked being outside too. I’m not sure what they had against Oprah, but they just wouldn’t watch it. They climbed trees and built forts and hung swings. Even at their tiny young age. They preferred the beach or days up the river. And then we moved.
To Central Oregon. In the middle of no where. We had a squeeky dial up modem, that would cut out if a semi drove by on the highway, or the wind blew. Or a leaf fell on the line. I had to say goodbye to all of my web site clients, goodbye to all of my digiscrappin’ friends. Sigh. We also couldn’t get cable. We had 3 channels that we could bounce between if someone went outside and turned a PVC pipe in the right direction. One person would stand at the window and holler when the channel became as clear as it would get.
For five years we did not have Cable, Internet out side of dialup or cell phones. (We didn’t have a cell back then anyway, but even if we did, no reception.)
I can’t even tell you, but that was the best thing that ever happened to us. The boys were 4 and 7 when we moved there. I don’t think they even noticed that we didn’t have electronics. I think they were glad to have their mom back. It was me. I was the one that was captivated by the media. I was the one that was a lazy parent. I was the one that found my friendships based on who the Networks and Cable TV providers thought should be in my home. Those years changed me, as a parent.
I had to ask the question – What do we do all day? again. But now with 2 active boys.
I think our blog answers that question. We are outside most of the day. Window blinds swung wide open, ready for adventure. So as I share this DVD, you might ask – how do I identify with a family that doesn’t have a smart phone or cable TV? Please know that we face challenges too – with Netflix, Hulu, Screen time on the Computers and Kindle Fire tablets.
So would you like to hear about the DVD? Let’s go:
The Captivated DVD is an award winning Christian documentary that explores the impact of Technology and Media. Media Talk 101 founder, Philip Telfer, takes us on a nationwide tour of experts, families, and individuals, to demonstrate not only the problems of a media slave culture, but also how God’s Word addresses the unique challenges we all seem to face today.
Hubby and I first started watching the film together and got a little bit discouraged. Media Talk 101 promised us that it wasn’t anti media. However, as we made our way through the first few sections – it felt like it was all extremely ANTI technology and media as a whole.
We heard things like: Homes had TV’s in every room that blared 300 channels all day long with kids on smart phones and laptops. Generalization. We have 1 TV and no 3G. We heard that Facebook is just the trivia of youth amplified. We are amusing ourselves to death. We are being trained not to think. That only righteousness, joy, and peace can come without electronics. Life is non electronic – that there should be death to electronics and media. Life with media is phoney. The media is toxic. Humanistic and secular feeds the movies.
What? Not anti media? That sure sounds Anti. But I remembered. Back to my first years as a Stay at Home mom – that this was me. I drank my coffee and ate my oatmeal while watching NBC’s Today Show. I was filled by the media. A steady diet. It wasn’t until I got on my mom’s groups online that I found Christian Media – and my life was changed forever.
I would have told you that all the things I was learning was a wonderful advantage, but it was really a form of captivity.
Also in this time we had a wonderful Children’s Pastor. In a training for pre-school – she shared attention spans with us. How many seconds, minutes, a child can stay on track. She challenged us with the media – watch one of the shows aimed at pre-schoolers. Count the seconds until the screen changes backgrounds or something happens to distract the viewer. Seconds. We switched to shows that were more natural, less cartoon, more conversational. We wanted the screen to stay the same for as long as possible. They mention this data in the film, as “changing scenes every few seconds, it shortens attention spans.” We were also urged to stop TV for the under three crowd, and the movie makes a point of this as well. We don’t want to expose our kids to a hyper stimulating environment. It will only condition their minds to expect high levels of input.
We finished watching the film and I got the general idea that they wanted us to be Captivated by Christ, instead of the media. But something wasn’t sitting right with me. They Promised, that they were not Anti Media.
So I sat down again, and went to the scene selections. I was surprised to see that instead of segment numbers, they had titles.
The movie is presented in 5 sections:
I watched the extras on the film and heard their heart:
“I may have concerns about how I eat or how other people eat, but that does not make me anti food or anti eating. Because I have concerns about technology use today and media consumption, That does not make me anti technology or anti media. This is about making wise choices growing in discernment and wisdom. I am more passionate about Jesus Christ.”
He quotes Hebrews 12:1 –
“. . . let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Fix our Eyes on Jesus Christ.
I went to the Battle Ground section for a second viewing and saw this quote right away:
Battle Ground: “People think of the world not as a battleground, but as a playground. We are not here to fight: but to frolic . .” A.W. Tozer
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)
I watched the film with eyes new. He mentions that many who think he is Anti Media and Technology are sensitive to this conversation.
And I think that is where we are today. Not sensitive to cover our addition, but I know what steps we’ve taken to be in control of our screen time. We try to use Facebook and our blog to encourage others. I look to emails to share information. I try to keep our goals for the day the priority and leap to the outdoors whenever the weather allows, and in rain jackets and wet suits when it does not comply.
But others. Maybe you? Have been battling this issue? Smart phone in your pocket? Laptop on the couch, Cable on the TV? What is captivating you? Do you know what your kids are watching on their iPods? Their Tablets or their TV upstairs?
The movie urges: “You can’t just stop technology in their lives – you have to put something else there. Parents are lazy and do not want to supervise.” I saw this in myself as a young mom.
Even this weekend. We had out of town guests. First thing they did on Saturday Morning was rush to the end of the dock with their quiet time materials in hand and a steamy cup of tea. It’s been a good long time since I’ve done that. I prefer my little cove near the window, where it is warm, and the tea is close by. And there is wifi. Yesterday I challenged myself to go outside, before I got online. Today I challenged myself to do my home chores, before my online work chores. And I feel much more balanced. I will continue to make ‘first thing in the morning lists’ that do not require a modem.
My hope is that you watch Captivated DVD without a sensitive mindset. That you will take a fresh look at your parenting style. Are you using discernment while choosing programs to watch? Video games to play? YouTube Videos to laugh at? Music to listen to?
It all swings back to Intentional Living. Intentional with our days. What captivates you?
Founded by former youth pastor, Phillip Telfer, Media Talk 101 is a non-profit organization that provides multiple resources from a biblical perspective for equipping adults and young people with the tools needed for media and entertainment discernment.
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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.
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.