While strolling through Netflix I like to randomly pick new things to watch. The streaming platform has so many awesome documentaries and in an effort to give our daughter new and interesting things to watch other than the same old shows she binges on when she can, we'll pick something none of us has seen before and watch as a family.
The latest was the documentary Gravity is Just a Habit, a behind-the-scenes documentary of the OK Go video for the song "Upside Down & Inside Out." The band is known for their fun and incredibly innovative videos. This particular video was shot while on 21 zero-gravity flights in Russia. It's absolutely fascinating!!
In order to successfully film the video during zero-gravity spurts of about 27 seconds each (meaning, they were only weightless for 27 seconds during each flight), a team of Russian cosmonauts, a camera crew, choreographers, and aerialists worked together while overcoming a language barrier and a whole host of other challenges. I found the whole documentary to be so inspiring, mostly because none of what this team achieved would have been possible without immense curiosity, teamwork, and the drive to overcome setbacks. The video is a real testament to what's possible when you combine science and creativity. The documentary also inspires us to play, invent, and experiment.
This is the kind of media that I love to show my daughter. So much of what children see on TV these days depicts instant gratification. Often any difficulty the main characters experience is due to some arch nemesis and rarely due to the actual difficulty of achieving a worthwhile task. I think that kind of storyline teaches that any shortcomings are usually someone else's fault and don't teach the importance of hard work. Of course this doesn't go for all TV shows and movies, but take note next time you watch something on TV or in the movies. As always, I encourage parents not to simply boycott all media (that gets difficult really quickly) but rather talk to your kids while watching. Ask them what the characters are going through, what challenges they're facing, how they're overcoming adversity, and most importantly, what would your kids change if they were writing for the show or movie.
It's so critical to teach children that there are actual people who produce and write tv shows and movies. Content creators can change the story, change what the characters say, etc. Children can challenge these creators to do a better job and they can even grow up to be media creators as well.
In the meantime, enjoy documentaries like OK Go's. There is definitely some great content out there. You just have to take the leap, embrace your curiosity, and watch something new and different.