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Well, pop culture has changed a lot since the summer of 1990. Most notably, technology has revolutionized the way we interact, both with each other and with entertainment. But some things never change. For example, much of entertainment still appeals to our worst instincts and appetites. A few years ago, filmmaker Judd Apatow said of his raunchy comedies, "It's difficult to shock America these days." Yet he keeps trying, as do others. Which is why discerning families continue to rely on Plugged In for a thorough, biblically based breakdown of the entertainment competing for our attention.

I can tell you from nearly 18 years of experience that keeping up with popular culture is a full-time job. And while the tools we've used to assist families have evolved since the heyday of mullets and Madonna, our purpose remains the same. We're here to tell you more than a movie rating can. We'll let you know what those song lyrics are really saying. We'll separate the trash from the treasures and help you teach your children how to tell the difference. Media discernment is a learned skill, and together we can equip the next generation to think critically and Christianly about the voices of their culture.

The Plugged In team has seen God work in powerful ways over the years. Countless families have thanked us for guiding them toward more informed choices, or being the "tiebreaker" when parents and children reach an impasse. In fact, pluggedin.com now receives about a million visits every month. If you've never browsed our site, take a minute to explore the different ways we want to serve you, keeping in mind that it all began 20 years ago with a slide show and a humble, four-page newsletter.

I encourage you to page through our special 20th anniversary retrospective, an online flipbook that looks back at trends and key moments in popular entertainment. It's our celebration of Plugged In's ongoing efforts to help families thrive.

Published October 2010