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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Captivated DVD - "Finding Freedom In A Media Captive Culture" By Media Talk 101 (Schoolhouse Crew Review)


For the past year I've been struggling with the knowledge of how much time I spend on my computer. Even my youngest son has shared his concern with me as I wrote about in an earlier post, "Mom, I think the computer has become your idol." When I learned about the opportunity to review the Captivated DVD by Media Talk 101, I felt that it was a DVD that I was meant to watch.

Captivated is a 107 minute documentary that through data, interviews, and testimonials, addresses our need for discernment in a media-saturated society. Media Talk 101 approaches this subject from Biblical principles, not from legalistic rules.

Captivated is recommended for adults, but is approved for all audiences. We watched it as a family.

The cost for the DVD is $16.95. They are currently offering a sale where you can purchase a second copy for only $5.00 (as of the posting date of this review). This includes free shipping.

There is an abundant amount of information within this DVD. I will highlight those that I feel were most important.


"Everywhere you go you're surrounded by screens, surrounded by people whose eyes are fixed on screens."

How many of you have experienced this scenario? You go into a restaurant and you see a family sitting at the table. The children are playing some kind of electronic game and the parents are texting, or you see a group of teens sitting at a table together and they each are texting or surfing the Internet?

The documentary begins by having you contemplate the answers to several questions, some of which include:
  • "Has today's connectivity drawn us closer together or strangely more disjointed?"  
  • "Is it the greatest leap in productivity, or the biggest setback from the things most meaningful in life?" 
  • "Has today's connectivity brought us closer to one another, or are we strangely more disjointed?" 
  • "Has it brought us nearer to God, or are we building a tower of Babel?" 
It continues by sharing the history of the telegraph, which is how we first began using media as it allowed people to connect instantaneously across distance.

I learned that there are more TVs than there are people per households.

Following are the five major sections of this DVD.


They discuss the amount of time being spent on media which includes television, video games, and texting. Below are some points they share within this section.

According to Dr. David Walsh, the screen time for the average child is 53 hours per week, that's almost 8 hours a day! He shares how there is an imbalance that children have between activity and media.

I found alarming the statistics shared by Mr. Kerby Anderson, Director of Probe Ministries. He stated that by the time a teen is finished with high school he would have watched between 18,000 to 22,000 hours of T.V. Do you realize that this means that the teen would have spent more hours in front of a T.V. than they would have spent in a classroom?

The more television a child of age 3 or below watches, the likelier they are to have shorter attention spans when they begin school. Dr. Dimitri Christakis, from the Seattle Children's Hospital, explains the reasoning behind this. However, the more you read to your child, the less likelihood of their having a short attention span.

What about texting? How is that affecting our children? According to Mr. Anderson, teens send an average of 3,339 text messages per month.

Technology should be used as tools, not to take the place of face-to-face interaction. You will listen to the testimony of one young woman's addiction to Facebook and what she did about it and another family's choice to take a one month media fast and how it affected their family. I loved what the father stated at the end of his testimony, "We're not saying no media. Use it in responsible and God glorifying ways."

What about the impact media has on our physical bodies such as carpal tunnel, hearing issues, accidents due to texting while driving? This is also something that needs to be considered.


Here it discusses how media impacts people's behavior through the content they are viewing or listening to.

In 1930, there was a Motion Picture Production Code which was a self-regulated guideline to keep unacceptable content out of motion pictures, but by 1968, it was abandoned and replaced by a new coding system.

Through research they learned that within a 15-year-period, Hollywood had produced 12 times more R-rated films than G-rated. However, the G-rated movies made 11 times more profit.

As Christians, the way to show Hollywood that we do not want R-rated movies is by not going to see those types of movies. Sadly, many are not doing this.

Also, are we becoming desensitized by the content we are viewing? What about the philosophies being shared? This is addressed in this section.


Are people becoming enslaved by media? This section addresses this question.

A young lady shares her testimony about her bondage to "angry" music.

You learn that according to research, 10% of children are addicted to video games which paralleled 1:1 to a gambling addiction. Video games give you a false sense of accomplishment and an escape from reality. How does God want you to spend your time? What reward do you get from video games, or is the real reward found within reality?

A woman shares her testimony about her addiction to Farmville and how she took something that wasn't real and replaced it with something that was.


Media is not neutral. It is after the minds of our children so as to get them to change the way they think, live, and vote so that the future becomes more like what the secular humanists believe is the way we should live versus what God says. We have to make sure to put on the full armor of God.


Shares tips on the various ways you can unplug from media and the advantages you may experience from doing so. Also includes suggestions of what to do in place of media such as partaking in outdoor activities and spending time together.

They discuss the importance of having family Bible readings, bible verse memorization, and prayer.

You can watch the official trailer for Captivated below:

I love how watching this DVD with my family, which included my 7-year-old son, gave him and me the opportunity to discuss this documentary. He shared his thoughts with me about the film and it led us to have a discussion about using discernment, which I feel is the main point of Captivated - media can be good or bad and you need to use discernment when using it.

My son said that he didn't think using technology made us slaves to media. (There was a part in the documentary in which a gentleman states that many of us have enslaved ourselves {to media}.) This must have really made an impact on my son because he brought this point up weeks after watching the DVD.

My son backed his reasoning by sharing how he felt we could use technology such as an iPad to read the Bible or to watch Christian movies. We could also use the Internet to research movies to see whether they would be appropriate to watch. I agreed and then explained to him what discernment was and how important it is that we use it to know if what we are doing, watching, or even playing (via video games), glorifies God. We must also ask ourselves if it is something that is bringing us closer to God and our family, or is it separating us?

At the end of the conversation he told me that he was glad we had talked about it. :-)

After watching the DVD, I spoke to my children about considering our taking a fast from media for a certain amount of time during the summer. I said we could decide later what that time frame would be. At first they were against it, but after I explained some of the things I wanted to do with them in place of certain media, they were more open to the idea.

I believe this DVD is one that should be watched not only by Christians, but by others as well. I believe that most of us are aware of the impact that media is having on our lives and our children's lives. Captivated helps put into perspective what that impact is and what steps we can take to make better choices for our lives.

Follow Media Talk 101 on Facebook or Twitter @CaptivatedMovie

What about you? Do you feel that media is having an impact in our children's lives?

Click to read Crew Reviews

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  1. I agree, this DVD seems to reach outside of religious discussion and talk about something that impacts all religious backgrounds. Your son had some good insight as to the positive aspects of screen time - smart kid!

  2. I liked it. It was very thought-provoking. And while I didn't agree with every single thing, I did think there were some good points and I was convicted to make some changes!

  3. I agree that we spend way too much time glued to screens. (part of) The problem is is that kids use computers and tablets and iPads at school, watch TV & movies at school and at home, all have cell phones, have tvs in the car so they'll be quiet, and on and on.

    It's time for parents to interact with their kids, and not just sit them somewhere and expect them to be quiet.

  4. Great concept for a documentary. My husband and I discuss this topic all the time. We are starting a screenless Sunday challenge. Every day for the next year we are avoiding all screens including phones on Sundays.

  5. THIS is so true!! I have tried to avoid "the screen" for my little one, but gave her the iPad on our most recent vacation - I learned quickly that they become addicted to that stuff!!

  6. I definitely agree that the screen plays a much too prominent role in all of our lives. I need to make a better effort to fix that.

  7. It is so hard to keep a balance I find, and yes, it does play too much of a role in our lives!

  8. Biblical or not our society is a mess. We have a family rule that if we're eating we have nothing ON. No tv, no phone, no devices. Period. My kids know that when my laptop is open mom's working. But I make a point to physically shut it and walk away - otherwise I feel like I'm always half waiting to go back to it. As good as technology is it can be so bad for family life.

    I'm not surprised so many people have more tvs than people in a house. Disappointed. Just not surprised.

  9. Whenever I think back to my own childhood, I realize how things have changed in the last 2 or so decades... and I can only imagine what things will be like in another 5-10 years from now. Screens all over is a fairly new concept and I wonder how much of our day will be spent looking at a screen in 2024?!?

    I rely on my laptop, smartphone, tablet for work. I think it's important for families to realize that quality time at a restaurant is important! I do get sad when I see a family at a restaurant -- everyone (parents included) with their heads down, not communicating, and all the phones are out. While technology is important and vital this day in age, I think many families need to enforce a rule ("no phones between 7pm-9pm") to help them stay grounded and communicate!

  10. I've been very guilty of overdoing the screen time. I'm pretty strict with the kids, but forget to lead by example. I've been trying to stay off the computer during the hours when they are awake so I can give them my full attention or show them that reading, sewing or something other than screens can be entertaining :)

  11. This is all so true! I can't stand 99% of the media and it's really desensitizing us. Bad!

  12. I agree!! I've been trying to break away from the screen, but it does make it hard when one works utilizes a computer! I've made it a point that soon as my hubby gets home from work, the computer goes off :)

  13. Yes, I do feel it's kind of sad sometimes.I take my son to the playground and most of what I see are moms or dads playing on their phones. Really sad.

  14. I don't like the idea that kids at very young age are so exposed to computers, tabs, etc.
    they should be enjoying their time outdoors.
    And we parents, should be an example to that. Time management in front of the computers should be imposed.

  15. Thanks for sharing information about this DVD. My son likes his iPad but I try to get get him outside too.

  16. This is amazing. This is exactly the kind of information I am committed to spreading! I am very compelled to watch this DVD with my family. Thank you!

  17. Whew! Those are strong words from your son, but maybe a way for him to be more aware of how he spends his own time, too.


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