Written by Putera Muhammad
As technologies continue to be advanced, young adolescents are now having wider access to electronic interactive games on game consoles, handheld players, computers, the Internet, and cellular phones as compared to many years back. This trend is seen as a good start for them in order to catch up with the evolution of technologies in our world.
Music or sound is the oldest way of communication even before it is considered as an entertainment product. It plays an important role in the socialization of society. Popular music is present in almost everywhere, and currently, it is accessible through the radio, various recordings, the Internet, and new technologies, thus allowing adolescents to listen to it in diverse settings and situations.
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Adolescents use music as a part of the process for identity development and their music choice provides them a place for group identity and integration into the youth culture. They use music to reflect their emotional state, particularly when they are feeling lonely or “down” and also as a stimulant, as a way to “boost” their energy level, or to create a more positive image of themselves.
Unfortunately, parents are often unaware of the lyrics in the song their children are listening to. It is because of the increasing use of downloaded music and also usage of headphones. In the popular music charts, many songs especially those which are form Western often contain lyrics that are explicit which includes drugs, sex, and violence as their reference in the songs over the years. If the adolescents keep searching into the web, they might find a song that is more explicit because they can have direct access the World Wide Web rather than the old times where the place to browsing is the computer in the living room.
It is true that they only use music only for entertainment, and there is a very little or no attention is paid to the lyrics, and if any attention is given, they do not comprehend it well and the understanding is limited and only related to the experiences lived by the listener but if they keep listening to those kind of lyrics constantly, the tendency to be affected without consent is very likely.
Hence, we should become familiar with the role of music in the lives of children and adolescents and identify music preferences of theirs as clues to emotional conflict or problems. The parents and communities should encourage themselves to become media literate and aware of the music industry’s parental advisory warning of explicit content to protect their children from offensive materials.