Never in my life did I think I’d utter the sentence to my husband: “Hey babe, I gave Kirk Cameron my phone number this morning.” But early last week, I DID, and my husband’s reaction was rather enjoyable. We had a good chuckle as I explained to him that it was because I was set to interview Kirk for this article about his new documentary movie Kirk Cameron CONNECT. As children of the 80s, my husband and I grew up with Kirk Cameron as Mike Seaver on Growing Pains (as a matter of fact, just days before I found out about the interview, we made our kids listen to the Growing Pains and Family Ties theme songs at dinner one night, because OUR KIDS ARE MISSING OUT ON THEME SONGS, am I RIGHT?? But anyway…) and as Christians we of course are familiar with Kirk’s faith-driven movies like Fireproof and Left Behind. Well now, parents, you have a really good reason to reacquaint yourself with Kirk: his new documentary Kirk Cameron CONNECT is just for parents (and for parents to TAKE YOUR KIDS to!). It focuses on how our kids interact with smart phones and social media, and spoiler alert: it is SPOT stinkin’ ON.
Kirk Cameron CONNECT is a movie that equips parents to parent their kids in the age of social media.
I happened to see a trailer for Kirk Cameron CONNECT when I was at a movie with my kids over the holidays, and right away, my interest was piqued, because if you’ve ever read my articles before, you know I write about this subject A LOT. As a matter of fact one of my favorite lines is “I hate that I have to write these articles but I will keep writing them until I no longer have to.” Truth be told, the more parents that go see CONNECT, the more likely it is that I can stop writing about the damage that social media and smartphones can do to our kids. But enough about me. Let’s talk about this movie, which will be in YOUR local theaters for two nights only, on February 27 and March 1, 2018, thanks to Fathom Events. You can get tickets at your local theater, ConnectMovie.com, or ironically, using your smartphone and an app like Fandango. You can go ahead and purchase them now, even, as I saw on my app this morning:
So why Kirk Cameron CONNECT? Why make a movie that is so drastically different from all his other projects?
I asked Kirk this, and got a pretty simple answer: “I’m an enthusiastic learner, and I understand and retain information better when I share,” he said. But the reason he wanted to LEARN this info in the first place? Well, that’s easy. Kirk and his wife Chelsea are the parents of six children, who were ALL teens at the time they got smartphones. He says in the film that he and Chelsea agreed to purchase the phones on a whim, and the kids were thrilled.
“So,” I asked him on the phone, “how long did it take before you were concerned about the effect the smartphones were having on your kids?”
He didn’t hesitate for a second. “About a week.”
WOW. Only a week before he saw that smartphones and social media were changing his kids’ behavior? I’ll say this for his children: they are LUCKY they have parents who sat up, took notice, and DID something about it.
With the revelation that *maybe* smartphones and social media weren’t the BEST thing to ever happen to his kids, Kirk jumped full force into finding out what the effects of this kind of technology really are, and Kirk Cameron CONNECT was born. I had an opportunity to view the movie before I interviewed him, and I can say that the information is EXCELLENT. It does a great job of explaining the CHALLENGES and downsides of social media and unlimited internet access on our kids while also providing solutions from experts on how to parent them THROUGH this. The film acknowledges that technology isn’t going away and that we can’t just throw it out the window, and helps equip us on how to parent in this digital age so that our kids get the positives from it and not the life-long negative effects such as tech addiction, social-media induced anxiety and cyber bullying, and the relationship-killing pornography use and addiction.
As you would expect from Kirk, CONNECT is a movie that contains all this information and interprets it from a Biblical perspective. The facts apply to ALL smartphone technology consumers, and there are huge takeaways for everyone, but Christian parents will also be equipped to understand how this technology can be very effectively used as a weapon in the spiritual battle that we and our kids fight EVERY single day, and that for me is also a valuable part of the film — and one that’s important for our kids to understand as well. Now more than ever, in the digital age, they need to put on the FULL armor of God. The experts Cameron pulls together as well as the now-grown-up teens that are featured in the film talking about their social media and Internet use drive these points home really well, pairing practical “do it now” advice with spiritual truths that apply to their WHOLE lives as well. That is what will set this movie apart from others on the topic.
Well, that, and the cheesy, “over the top” (his words, “cheesy” was my word) scene where Kirk fights a demon. But…it IS entertaining. 🙂
Bottom line: take your teens to see the film, or at least go yourself (there is talk about pornography so keep that in mind if you plan to take younger kids). If nothing less, THIS is the conversation starter you need to talk to your kiddos about how their smartphone, Internet, and social media use can affect the REST OF THEIR lives — and explain why a mean parent like ME (and I asked him to see if we were in solidarity on this) and Kirk Cameron won’t let our kids use Internet behind a closed door.
Check out this trailer for a sneak peek, and then get thee some tickets!
Kirk Cameron CONNECT is in theaters February 27th and March 1st, 2018 – two nights ONLY! Get tickets online or at your local theater, and please have a popcorn with extra butter and some Twizzlers for me.
Read this next: To the Mom Down the Street With the Porn Problem.