Consuming Music… and Cheesecake

David and I finished our annual recap of the songs that went #1 in the past year, just posting Part II of the article on this week’s Youth Culture Window page (if you don’t receive that free Youth Culture Window in your inbox, CLICK HERE).

Thirteen songs made it to the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart this year, giving teenagers plenty to resonate with…both good and bad. That two-part article provides you with an overview of each of those songs.

Every once in a while someone will ask me, “Why do you care so much about the music teenagers listen to?”

I guess that would be like someone asking me, “Why do you care about what your kids eat?”

Consider the love for cheesecake. If you sauntered into the Cheesecake Factory on a random Friday night and discovered their Dulce de Leche Caramel Cheesecake to be delicious, you might not be aware that you just consumed over 1000 calories, 44 grams of fat, and 91g of carbs in one piece.

I mean… who cares. It just tastes delicious!

Perhaps you begin eating a piece after every meal.

If someone warns you, “Hey, you’re gonna grow three chins if you keep eating all that cheesecake!” you might be tempted to reply, “I just don’t worry about all that stuff. After all, how do we really know that excess calories and carbs are bad for you anyway!”

Ignorance is no excuse.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying all music is bad. Quite the contrary (all food isn’t bad either). But, perhaps we should be aware of what our kids are consuming.

That’s why I spend a little bit of time in each of my parent workshops giving parents a tour of pop culture, and then sharing various research (like this and this) revealing that the lyrics do affect young people, something to ponder when they average about two and a half hours a day listening to said lyrics.

Interested yet?

Check out the top music of 2012.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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