Plugged In Celebrates 20 Years of Helping Families Navigate Media in an Ever-Changing Culture

Colorado Springs, Colo. – Focus on the Family’s Plugged In is celebrating 20 years of helping families navigate the world of media and entertainment! And what a busy 20 years it has been …
• In 1990, just 3 million people had access to the Internet worldwide. In 2010, 1.8 billion people worldwide have access. 
• In 1990, only 5 million Americans owned a cell phone. Today, that number is more than 70 million. 
• In 1990, almost no teens owned a cell phone. In 2010, 79 percent of teens own one and, on average, send nearly 3,000 texts a month!
• In 1990, the average price of a movie ticket was $4.22. Today, the cost has nearly doubled.

Along with the advances in technology over the past 20 years have also come new problems, including cyberbullying, sexting, social network addiction, Internet addiction and increased exposure to pornography.  However, through the changes and turmoil, Plugged In has remained one constant parents can continue to count on to guide them in their families’ entertainment choices.

Plugged In began in 1990 out of a growing need to help families become more sensitive to the power of media and to establish media standards in their homes.  Now, two decades and nearly 2,000 movie reviews later, parents trust Plugged In as their primary source for sound advice on movies, TV shows and video games. In fact, today Plugged In Online gets more than 1 million visits each month and its 1- and 2-minute radio features reach more than 6 million listeners weekly!

“Entertainment industry ratings only tell you so much,” said Plugged In Director Bob Waliszewski. “We go deeper, diving into specific content and the meaning behind it. Plugged In is designed to give families the essential tools they need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which they live.”

Not only has the entertainment industry experienced significant changes over the past 20 years, but social media and entertainment technology have also transformed. In order to better serve families and keep up with the times, Plugged In will launch a mobile phone app next month for iPhones, Androids and BlackBerrys giving parents access to reviews on the go. The app will also allow users to purchase tickets, see movie times and more.

“Gone are the days of trying to decide at the ticket counter which movies are safe for kids,” Waliszewski said. “The Plugged In app gives you access to mini-movie reviews right at your fingertips while you stand in the theater line.”

To commemorate 20 years, a special anniversary edition of Plugged In magazine will be included with the Nov/Dec issue of Thriving Family magazine. 
To schedule an interview, please contact Carrie Kintz at 719-531-3312 or

About Focus on the Family 
Reaching more than 220 million people in 155 nations, Focus on the Family is a Christian nonprofit organization dedicated to serving, strengthening and defending families worldwide. Founded in 1977, Focus on the Family provides practical tools, spiritual resources and emotional support to families at every stage of life. Focus on the Family is online at