Captivated Movie Review
One of the things that disturbs me when I take my kids to the play ground is that I see more and more parents busy texting and checking their smart phones while their kids play.  These parents can spend the entire time at the park not once engaging their children.

One reason we don’t have smart phones is because we can’t afford them, but another reason is that I don’t want to become one of those moms–present in body, but absent in every other way.  In our uber-connected society, this is a challenge.

When I had the opportunity to review the Captivated DVD by Media Talk 101, I was excited.  I wanted to learn more about the extent that we’re all addicted to media and what we can do about it.

Overall, I loved the message of this movie!

Movie Details

This movie has won several awards:

  • Best Documentary 2013 at the International Christian Visual  Media Conference
  • Best Documentary 2013 at the Midwest Christian Inspirational Indie Film Festival
  • Best Documentary 2013 at the GloryReelz Christian Film Festival
  • Best Documentary Runner Up 2012 at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival

This movie is 107 minutes long and is family approved for all ages from Dove.org.  I didn’t watch this with my kids since they’re too young to really grasp the concern and the message, but I think kids 11 and up could definitely benefit from viewing this film.  It sells for $16.95, but if you buy two DVDs, you get the second one for $5, plus you get free shipping.

Some Startling Statistics

Our house is relatively low tech; we only have one television, we don’t have video games, we don’t have smart phones, and all television shows and movies are monitored by us.  Before this movie, I didn’t fully grasp how widespread the problem of media addiction and consumption is

Some shocking statistics from the film:

  • 10% of kids are addicted to video games
  • there are more televisions in American households than toilets
  • the average screen time per child in the United States is over 53 hours per week
  • by the time the average child graduates from high school, she will have seen anywhere from 18,000 to 22,000 hours of television
  • kids average 3,339 text messages per month according to Nielsen
  • many teenagers sleep with their cell phone on under their pillow at night so they will wake up if they get a text message

Simple Solutions to Physical Problems?

One thing I found most fascinating in the film is that a school administrator shared that he had six different parents come to him and tell him that their children had been diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, or bipolar, and they were at a loss as to what to do.

The administrator suggested to the parents that before they medicated their children, they do the following:

  • feed their children three nutritious meals every day,
  • have their children go to bed by 9 p.m. on weeknights and 10 p.m. on weekends,
  • limit video gaming and television to a half hour per WEEK, and
  • take their children outdoors to play one hour every day during the week and 3 hours each weekend day

Amazingly, all 6 children were able to be healed following this advice and did not need medication.

Connecting with Media and Disconnecting at Home

This film looks at a variety of media addictions from smart phones to Internet to television to video games and even to music.

For instance, one mechanic stated he had been missing out on his child’s life because he was addicted to weekend sports games.  His schedule revolved around when Nascar races or football games would be on.  He cut the cable and hasn’t looked back.  He proudly shares that now, even though he doesn’t know who won the race or what happened in the big game, he can tell you when his daughter learned to ride her bike without training wheels and other details about her life he wouldn’t have known had he remained addicted.

The Solution

In addition to examining the problem, quite a bit of time is devoted to finding a solution.  Simply put, if you cut the media addiction, you need to fill your time with something else.

Many people who broke their addiction filled their time with religious pursuits and Bible study.  In addition, others began to keep journals, read more, and even forage for food.

The film urged families to try to take a media fast.  But they advised that media is addicting, so you should plan out a week or two of activities to help overcome the addiction.  Know that the kids will be grumpy.  After several weeks, you’ll really talk with one another and find a sense of peace  You may also find that your kids are smarter.

Weaknesses of the Film

Overall, I enjoyed this film and its message.  However, I felt that because the perspective was so heavily Christian, the producers of the film limited the audience.  In a sense, the film’s producers are preaching to the choir.

Media addiction is a huge problem throughout our society for Christians and everyone else.  All of America needs to see this film as it could serve as a wakeup call.  However, the film may not appeal to those who aren’t Christian.

Final Thoughts

Captivated is a very good documentary that will make you not only think about your own media consumption (and perhaps addiction), but also the effect media is having on your children.  Many teens have grown up surrounded by incessant media and don’t know any differently.  We, as their parents, have to help curb the endless access of media, especially trashy media, available to them.

If you’d like to learn more, follow Captivated The Movie on Facebook.

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