I don’t know how many times in the last year my wife and I have received a movie from Netflix only to get about five to ten minutes into it and be amazed at the junk Hollywood is putting out. Some of these are PG and PG-13 movies. In the last six to nine months we’ve taken a different approach to consuming a lot of different media. Amazon reviews have been a good source when it comes to books and some movies and close, online friends have been great when it comes to video games.
For a long time, I’ve been wishing for a one-stop place on the web where all aspects of media consumerism are reviewed with the family in mind. Enter a little Common Sense Media.
I’m not for sure how long the site has been around, and I’ve only just come across it today via a new feature on Netflix. However, this site does an excellent job of being descriptive but also being spoiler free. A quick scan of some popular movies, books, and games and they have been pretty much spot on. Some reviews even present some discussion questions you can use with your family if you do decide to let them consume something that may not be normally appropriate for children.
I think I’ll be visiting the site a little more in the future before we decide to allow the boys to consume any type of media. Of course, we’re still going to be more responsible than that by viewing it ourselves as parents before they do. We took them to see Madagascar 2 based on the standards of the first movie alone. We enjoyed the movie, but my wife and I were a little apprehensive taking them to see something that potentially we wouldn’t want them to experience.
Let me step on my soap box for a moment. There will be a time where our boys will see and experience violence, language, bad humor, sex, and all sorts of other things that we won’t let them see now. However, that will be when they are grown up and on their own and, hopefully, have the same level of standards and responsibility that we’ve tried to instill in them. We want them to have integrity and to not be morally corrupt. However, the choice is still their own. Until then, they are my responsibility.