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Music And Socialization

Music has always been considered a great source of socialization among all age groups, especially in children and adolescents, as it portrays the truest of emotions composed in a symphony, having a great impact on its listeners. However, most of the music popular amongst teenagers is driven by lyrical content related to violence, drugs, and sex, which raises a concern for parents as they do not want their children to be influenced by that type of music.

From the parent’s perspective, the music should be categorized age-wise, and the songs or albums containing more vulgar lyrics should be branded with a parent advisory label to create awareness among adolescents not to listen to that type of music. In 1985, the first effort made to this cause was by Parents’ Music Resource Center (PMRC), a group led by Susan Baker, to make the record companies agree upon labelling the potentially offensive music content in trying to keep it out of reach from the children and teenagers(Pareles, 1990).

However, the initiative taken at that time of applying labels somewhat helped the parents to keep track of their children’s music choices and somehow succeeded in making sure their children were not listening to any raw music packed with offensive lyrics. However, with the passage of time, parents found it hard to control the choices of their children because the music became more diverse, and technological advancement in the form of the internet provided more platforms to access free music. Nowadays, adolescents can download the latest music that is also free of cost from the internet without even considering that either that song or album is labelled as offensive, as these teenagers know that it is almost impossible for their parents to keep track of their internet activity.

There are no regulated web filters that parents can use effectively to stop their children from using all these streaming sites like SoundCloud and YouTube to access free music regardless of the content. This scenario negates the overall concept of applying filters on the music records considered to be raw or not suitable for teenagers, as the youth is listening to those records irrespective of the label branded on them. According to a survey, among the ages of 13-15 years, 85% are using these streaming sites to listen to free pirated music and yet the majority of the parents are unaware of the fact, as they cannot monitor their children all the time (Post, 2017).

It’s also been observed that these days, the labelling of an album as offensive is proving to be a marketing strategy rather than a warning, as children listen to these albums and songs out of curiosity and develop a liking for them afterwards. So, the overall concept of marking a music album as offensive by putting a label on it has lost its actual purpose, and despite the label or any caution, adolescents are more likely to listen to that album as the probability of their parents finding that out is extremely low.



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