Posts Tagged ‘youth culture’

url-7-600x385The title alone should cause some neck hairs to stand at full attention, but after reading a recent Nerve magazine article, it’s definitely another reason why teens need godly adults in their lives to help them identify truth & health vs. deception & moral corruption.

The author, Kate Hakala, uses input gathered from teens about the top 10 reasons they feel that hooking up with a stranger is actually a good thing.  The author holds nothing back, and obviously her own morals are severely lacking.  It’s a shame that people are buying into this, but then again, a lot of her research is coming from the perception of teens themselves…or at least that’s the angle she’s taking…I’d like to see the source research on this where it was teens that actually responded, vs. college/university students and younger adults.

Now might be time for some of us parents to have a morality chat with our youth…not dwelling on the obvious of what’s accepted and happening, but rather on the ‘what ought to be’ and the consequences of walking outside God’s moral boundaries.

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more_storesIt’s often been said that “you are what you eat“, and while that’s true, it’s probably equally true to say “you are what you listen to.”  Music has always had a profound impact and influence on our past, and current generations, and that influence is growing stronger and more intense as the digital age advances.  Music not only “soothes the soul”, but is also opens the access panel into the very heart and soul of ourselves, and our culture.

If you’re looking for any level of understanding into the world of teen music and pop culture, then one of your first stops needs to be iTunes.  I’m not saying iTunes is the ideal place for youth and families to figure out what’s appropriate to listen to, or to use the top 10 lists to create your latest playlists.  But what I am saying is that, good or bad, iTunes is THE place youth 11-18 are going to find their music preferences…so if you want t understand a particular culture, you need to know where they’re hanging out, and why!

Jonathan McKee recently posted his top 5 observations about today’s culture from iTunes, and I thought it was a worth-while post to send your way!  Here’s a quick sneak peek into his observations, and if you’re still interested…make sure you read on…!

From Jonathan’s post...

1. TV is Still Huge! A quick peek at TV ratings will reveal The Voice already is one of the top 5 shows watched by America in any given week (it usually lands at No. 3, right under The Walking Dead and football, and always lands among the top 10 shows watched by 12-17 year-olds). But The Voice isn’t limited to a one-screen experience. Following the steps ofAmerican IdolThe Voice sells its performances on iTunes immediately after the show. Hence the blip on iTunes’ charts every Tuesday.

2. “Just Lose Control”
Sure, some music today is straight up raunchy. But I’d say that most of the songs that really last on the charts are the club hits that basically are singing, “Live for the moment, it feels so right, lose control, girl I wanna be with you because you look so good…” To young people, these lyrics are harmless, but they objectify women as sexualized objects. In addition, these songs clearly reveal the focus on the temporary thrill… the quick fix, with lyrics like “lose control” and “drink it up.”

3. Eye Candy Sells
If you pop on iTunes right now and click on Music Videos, you’ll see a music video from Pitbull for his song Don’t Stop the Party. If you click to watch the 30-second preview for that video, you’ll see a huge party, along with shots of naked (with just enough covered to keep it “clean”) and scantily clad girls lying on a bed like they’re in Pitbull’s “harem.” If you wonder about this song’s popularity, Bud Light is featuring the song with excerpts of the video for a new Bud Light commercial during the football games (which are the number one viewed television broadcasts watched by families right now).

4. iTunes is Teaching Kids a New Kind of “Clean”
The will.i.am and Britney song has an explicit warning, because it repeats two curse words. But Pitbull’s pornographic music video has no warnings anywhere.

Trust me, there is no logic to it. LMFAO wiggled their junk in front of our kids all last year without any “explicit” warning” whatsoever. Meanwhile, a song with the word “sh*t” in it will be declared “explicit.” Where this gets amusing (or sad) is when parents use the “explicit” warning as a gauge as to whether a song or music video is acceptable or not. In other words:

will.i.am and Britney song= BAD

Pitbull Music Video= GOOD

5. Humor Lasts
Yes, sex sells. And yes, those club hits really are popular. But nothing seems to sell like a good dance song with a little bit of humor.

Take the hit song and music video Gangnam Style, for example. This music video has been at the top of the iTunes charts since August! I constantly ask teenagers why they like it. Their first response is always the exact same. They laugh and say, “It’s hilarious!” Then they say something about it being a great dance song or wanting to learn to dance like Psy (I do love his dance moves).

Keeping up with what your kids are listening to and being influenced by is a daunting task…so much so that many parents give up before they really try.  Let’s face it, there’s so much music and artists out there, where do you begin?  Well you can start at the top…top of the charts that is.  There’s one band out there not only cranking out top 10 hits, but they’re having a whack of fun in the process!  It’s no secret that all music contains a message from the artist, and your kids are absorbing those messages everyday whether they consciously know it or not.  And what better band for parents to aim their search lights on than fun.?

I won’t go too deep into explaining who the band is and what they’ve been up to…I’ll let this week’s Youth Culture Window article do most of the talking.  But I do think it’s important for parents to know who’s making headlines in the music world today, because they’re kids will be buying their tunes tomorrow.  The band fun. has really burst on the scene over the past 8+ months with hit singles ‘We Are Young‘ and ‘Some Nights‘, and were on top of things at the 2012 Teen Choice Awards.  Many of fun.’s lyrics are an echoing anthem of the angst and bliss of teenage life, so it’s no wonder band’s music is resonating with so many teens across North America.  And hey…it doesn’t hurt fun.‘s branding strategy that their name is the freedom call for teens across the planet.

So parents, you may find yourself liking the music of fun., and you may not (think Queen, Weezer, ELO ), but one thing is certain…and that’s the fact that, at least for now, fun. is on the top of the charts.  And with that in mind, it’s likely that fun. will also be high on the playlists (or wish lists) of your teens/pre-teens.  So make sure you know the message behind the music and the artist, and what filter your kids are using to determine what’s appropriate ‘now playing‘ music in their ears.

In case you missed the link above, here’s the article I was referring to when writing this post!

There’s been a truck-load of articles and resources lately that have addressed the Millennial generation, although more from an American point-of-view, but our Canadian Millennial culture is certainly on par with our US friends.  Most of the insight either profiles the contributions and characteristics that Gen-Y offers to our culture (tech-friendly, community/tribe-oriented, cause-oriented, etc…), or highlights areas of complaints/deficiencies that the older generations see in their younger counter-parts.  Generally speaking though, we hear about how Gen-Y is a generation on the move at warp speed…the more culture changes, the faster and more adaptable Gen-Y becomes.

Well…the infograph below (props to Accredited Online Colleges!) identifies somewhat of a newer insight into the Millennial generation.  Instead of a fast-paced and forward moving crew, could Gen-Y be a generation that is quickly becoming stuck in the very world they’ve seemed to thrive within?  Again, these are American stats and trends, so not everything is going to completely indicative of Canadian culture.  But the plight facing the American Gen-Y generation is within very close proximity to what we face here south of the border.

So just what exactly are some of the contributing factors for a generation that is stuck?

  • 1 in 4 US Millennials has more debt than savings
  • 13% are unemployed (due in part to more Baby Boomers hanging onto their jobs longer)…yet they have higher education on their resume
  • 40% have been forced to move back in with their parents for an interim period

One issue, not present in the infograph study, is one of maturity.  Is part of the problem with today’s ‘stuck’ generation due to the model portrayed to them by the previous generation(s)?  There’s been much conversation lately about delayed adolescence, and how today’s youth have been affected by the tides of a generation before them.  In a June 8th, 2012 Christianity Today article, this question is posed…When Are We Going to Grow Up?  The Juvenilization of American Christianity.  Although the article targeted the youth ministry movement in America, there is much insight into how Baby Boomers and Gen X have influenced the trends, culture and ‘entitlement’ mind-set of today’s younger generation.  Could there be more to this than we’re seeing!

What are your thoughts?

Thanks to new data from Millennial Branding and Identified.com of over 50 million facebook data-points, they’ve discovered interesting nuggets into the social networking lives of 18 to 29 year-olds.  Even though they are primarily using facebook to keep up with family and friends, they’re also using their facebook profiles as an extension, or branding, of their professional lives.  

Here’s a few things that stood out in Carter’s article;

  • 64 percent of so-called generation y fails to list their employer on their profiles, yet they add an average of 16 coworkers each to their friend group.
  • Young people are using Facebook for personal over professional reasons, yet they are ‘friending’ their co-workers
  • 80% of gen y list at least one school entry on their Facebook profiles, while only 36 percent list a job entry. They define themselves by their colleges instead of their workplaces.
  • *10% work/have worked for a Fortune 500 company *(added by me!)
  • They spend an average of just over two years at their first job. They are job hopping multiple times in their careers.
  • Only seven percent of gen y work for a Fortune 500 company because startups are dominating the workforce for this demographic in today’s economy. If large corporations want to remain competitive, they need to aggressively recruit gen y workers. Gen y will form 75 percent of the workforce by 2025 and are actively shaping corporate culture and expectations. Big corporations can’t afford to be left behind.
  • “Owner” is the fifth most popular job title for gen y because they are an entrepreneurial generation. Even though most of their companies won’t succeed, they are demonstrating an unprecedented entrepreneurial spirit. Companies need to allow gen y’ers to operate entrepreneurially within the corporation by giving them control over their time, activities and budgets as much as possible.
  • The travel and hospitality industry hires the most gen y candidates now because young people are having trouble getting internships and jobs so they turn to bar-tending and waitressing jobs.
  • The U.S.military is the largest gen y employer overall, and Deloitte is the largest corporate employer. Companies such as Walmart and Starbucks ranked high and should focus on training their in-store workers to become corporate employees when they graduate.
  • 64 percent of so-called generation y fails to list their employer on their profiles, yet they add an average of 16 coworkers each to their friend group.

Gen Y needs to be aware that what they publish online can come back to haunt them in the workplace. Gen y managers and co-workers have insight into their social lives, which could create an awkward workplace setting or even result in a termination,” ~Dan Schawbel, Founder of Millennial Branding~