My neighbour’s teenage daughter celebrated her birthday on Saturday and like any teenage party there was laughter, noise and loud music. Laying in bed both my wife and I smiled many times listening to these teens sing to the lyrics of practically every song played, and at the top of their lungs. It continually amazes me how they can know every single song, or maybe I am just getting old.
Then the controversial Miley Cyrus song played, and as clockwork, they sang to the song, yes, at the top of their lungs. I must be honest, it sounded cute when they sang along, despite me knowing the lyrics to it. What concerned me was, the amount of adults who were encouraging these teens to sing along, and I would assume, even dance some kind of Miley dance to this song considering her disconcerting display of dance moves at the VMA last week.
Looking at the news this morning, I see Lady Gaga debuting a few songs at the iTunes festival, with titles like, “Jewels and Drugs,” “Sex Dreams” and “I wanna be with you.” Consider Bruno Mars’s “Gorilla” and yes, even the Miley Cyrus song “We can’t stop.” There is nothing good in these songs and nothing good can come of them.
I’m sure many of us are aware of the thinking that media shapes the minds and lives of our teens, there is nothing new in that understanding. What does scare me is that how few adults know of either the lyrics or the message behind them and often encourage our teens to enjoy it and dance to it and not realise how we encourage possible reckless behaviour and lifestyles. We should be careful what we condone and encourage our teens to listen to as we, the adults, continue to give away the right to be gatekeepers of what enters the teen world.
Music is life? Can we really say that?