Have you ever taken your kids to a movie that was said to be “fun for the whole family” and after the first few minutes of the film you realized that someone else’s definition of fun was not the same as yours. What they deemed as appropriate was most definitely inappropriate in your eyes?
After experiencing the above scenario, I have decided to take the pre-viewing approach. Before watching, reading or listening, I take a quick Internet stop to Plugged In, a Christian based website that gives you the inside and outside scoop of what to expect in what you are viewing, reading, playing, or listening to.
The reviews on the site give a well-rounded perspective of what to expect, good, bad, or indifferent. It also gives you a “heads up” for categories such as sexual content, violence, and language which is a great tool to use in deciding whether or not to pursue that specific media or to postpone until your child is a little older or in some cases, an adult.
For example, before we go to our local theatre, I log on to PluggedIn.com and read through the quick review with my kids. That way, they know what to expect and we can discuss as a family whether the film is appropriate to see or not. On a few occasions, there were movies which received rave reviews, but after reading a quick review off of Plugged In, we decided as a family that the film, although possibly highly entertaining, was not appropriate to see because the bad outweighed the good.
By reading before making a decision, we also had the time to discuss why people were giving the movie such good reviews and why our pre-view research did not agree with what the majority was saying.
I am also grateful to this resourceful tool because it reminds me that although we live in a media saturated world where we can be drawn into the mainstream choices, it is highly important when imitating Jesus to not be conformed to the ways of the world. Instead, we are to guard our hearts because out of the heart flows everything we do in life.