Friday, October 21, 2011

MTV and Youth Generation

“Since World War II (1939-1945) Television or TV has dominated American popular culture” (Pendergast, 2002, pg. 610). While the World War II happened, almost the society were busy to save themselves and also their family. They just thought about their safety. They did not think more about entertainment or something that could make their mind and body refresh. But, the changing begun after the World War II. The society started to think about their whole life. They did not just think about their safety, but also they thought about an entertainment for their daily life, so that they did not feel bored. “By the early 1950s, television was becoming a major force in the way Americans spent their leisure time” (Pendergast, 2002, pg.1027 ). The American society often spent their spare time in front of a television because they felt that they needed some kind of entertainment which could make them happy and enjoy their life. They had not already feel stress because of the war that just happened many years ago, but they could feel relax because of an entertainment in a television that they watched. Television became the main media for entertainment, news, sport, even politics, because television could be watched by people from different area in over the world and also from different age; child, teens and adult. There were many channel for different audiences. In basically, a television just for relaxing and refreshing our mind from our bustle.

In the 1981, there was a television program that made the audiences realized about a new change. The program named MTV or Music Television. It named by MTV because the programs in this channel contains of music. Almost the programs are about music. MTV also tried to add pictures in the music and made video according to the picture and music. “It was launched at midnight on August 1st, 1981” (Pendergast, 2002, pg.1147). MTV also became one of the most necessary television programs among society, because it could represent of global youth culture. MTV offered some programs in it, such as a mix of music, post-modern imagery, consumer goods and original programming.

MTV began as a twenty-four-hour-a-day music cable channel. MTV’s audiences grew from just over two million at the end of four months to twenty-two million by 1984. With its low production costs, the channel soon earned large profits, as advertisers proved willing to pay top dollar to reach this audience of young consumers. (Pendergast, 2002, pg.1147).

When we listen to the music, we can feel relax and enjoy because music can make our mind fresh. But it will depend on music that we listen. If we are listening to the classical music or instruments music, it really will help us to recover our mind from our bustle. Pop, jazz, R n B, Rock and Roll also can make our mind fresh. For example if we feel exhausted because of our activity or work, we can listen to Rock and Roll music, and then we can move our body in a floor, then we also can dance based on the rhythmic of the song. On the other hand, we will get dizzy if we listen to the heavy metal music or music that is contained of strange music; unclear voices of singer, absurd tone, dynamic and rhythmic.

The influence of MTV could be felt by youth generation. There are positive aspects related to MTV. The positive aspects are, firstly MTV became a creative way for youth generation, especially in making music video. MTV showed about how a music can be appeared in a television with a different style, it can be added some animates or object which could be seen. The youth generation can see how is making a good music video too. They also can try to make it by themselves according to the music video that they saw before. They could act as the singer who sang a song, or became someone who act as an artist or model, or they also could act as the director of the music video. Secondly, MTV became a powerful teacher for teenagers because “Researchers have found that the marriage of television and music is powerful as multisensory input reinforces the music’s content and message. MTV also offers a concerned parent a bird’s-eye view into the values, attitude and behavior of today’s teens” (Mueller, 2004). Thirdly, MTV became a source of information on trends in music for youth. The youth generation could know about the newest song by their favorite singers or bands. And then they also could know about a new singer or band that is included to the top rank on MTV’s hitlist chart. They can feel closer with their favorite artists because they can watch them on televison, especially on MTV everyday.

On the other hand, there also negative aspects related to MTV. Firstly, some of music videos that were appear in MTV brought violence issues. For example there is a video about war or fighting. Usually, the audiences under 16 years old will adapt what they see in the televison, and then they will do it. If there are two different group of boys who are fighting to conquest toys, they will adapt the way of actress or actor who are conquest something in a music video that they saw before. Glen said that, “there was youth who killed the police officer stated in court that they were influenced by the lyrics of Tupac Shakur’s song 2 Pacalypse Now which glamorizes the killing of a policeman”, in his journal. It was one of evidences that media, especially music television had a direct influence on the result for youth generation. There are also studies that show about youth who are already at risk are attracted to alternative music like heavy metal or rap music from artists like Marilyn Manson or Eminem.

“Research has shown a correlation between the angry, depressive, blatantly violent lyrics and the increase in youth suicide and youth violence by those who are experiencing depression, school or personal alienation, suicidal tendencies, drug addiction and/or alcoholic issues and family relationship problems” (Roberts & Christenson, 2001).

Secondly, the lyrics in some of songs also bring bad impact for youth. Glen also wrote that “Marilyn Manson readily refers to himself as the “anti-Christ” or as an anti-god. His music videos and concerts encourage suicide and his message easily goes into the face of the organized church”, in his journal. For example there is a lyric from his album Antichrist Superstar that is contained about anti-Christ. “I am the Anti-music god.” “Here's your Antichrist Superstar”. There is also a lyric from his album The Reflecting God, “You'll understand when I'm dead I went to god just to see, and I was looking at me, saw heaven and hell were lies. When I'm god everyone dies”. Those lyrics are already shown a bad things for youth. Those also can make youth generation believe in Marilyn Manson about being impious. Youth generation who are already taught by their parents about religius values will forget about and leave it, and then they will switch it with what Marilyn Manson said.

Thirdly, almost teenagers or youth spend their leisure time to watch video music in television especially in MTV.
82% of MTV’s viewers are ages 12 to 34 with almost 40% under the age of 18. According to research, MTV is the “most recognized network among young adults ages 12 to 34” (Nielson Media Research, 2000). In fact, music videos are designed predominately for teenagers 12 to 19 years old. In this age group, 73% of the boys and 78% of the girls watch MTV regularly. Boys average 6.6 hours, while girls average of 6.2 hours per week watching MTV (Rich, 1998).

Almost students will use 6 hours just to watch television. In a fact, they have to use around 6-7 hours in school. After that, they also have to study and do their homework around 1-2 hours. They can play or do relax with their friends or family around 2-3 hours in a day. They have to take a rest during a day around 8 hours. So, spending 6 hours in front of television is wasting time. It will be useful to allocate the rest of time to take a break or do something relax in order to make the body and mind refresh. Fourthly, the way of MTV presents life is misleading and too glamorous. The teenagers or youth generation should be able to think themselves creatively based on their own ways. In a fact, many of them imitate the luxurious stars attitude or fashion. For example Lady Gaga. We know that she becomes a superstar because she can brings a new concept of fashion in her performances. She always wears something different with others. She wants to make people notice her because she is unique. The youth generation should be themselves, they may immitate the superstar’s fashion but it will be nice if they do not too much immitate it, because it will decrease their creative way to mix and match the stuff that they want to wear.

Although MTV has several negative aspects, it will not make MTV be banned, because there are still many things that make MTV more popular and brings good impact for youth generation. All of the singers, bands, boybands or artists in all the world should say thanks with MTV, because MTV had already make them popular in order to distribute their music videos to the audiences in all the world. MTV also had already make hitlist chart for those songs, albums, or music videos that are often to be listened and watched by the audiences from the radio and television. MTV also made an appreciation event for those singers and bands named Video Music Awards since 1980s. In the 1984, there was The Cars with its song You Might Think who became the first winner. In the 1994, there was Aerosmith with his music video Cryin’ who also became the first winner. In the 2008, there was Britney Spears with her music video Pieces Of Me who became the first winner too. In the 2010, Lady Gaga won the video of the year with her song Bad Romance. This Video Music Awards had already helps the singers or bands to increase their popularity because their fans will know about the progress of their favorite singers or bands.

MTV not only popular in America, but also the existence of MTV felt by the youth generation in all the world. “By the mid-1990s, MTV reached 270 million households in more than 125 countries scattered across five continents” (Pendergast, 2002, pg.1148). MTV became an influential source of pop culture and entertainment in the United States and other parts of the world, including Europe, Asia and Latin America, which all have MTV-branded channels. “Music video and MTV are major ingredients of television programming internationally. MTV Europe, launched in 1987, was followed by an Asian service in 1991 and MTV Latino in 1993” (Burns, 2011). There is MTV Asia which is showed in area around Asia. There is also MTV in Indonesia. Youth generation in Indonesia can know about the newest music or singer or band based on MTV. MTV helps youth generation to express their feeling with a good activity, such as making a band, being singer, being a director for video music, or being VJs (Video Jockeys) on television. Since MTV was broadcasted in Indonesia, the music industry in Indonesia seems increasing. Now, there are so many music lables in Indonesia which are adopted United State’s music lables. Such as Sony-BMG Entertainment, Alfa Records, Musica Studio, E-motion.

1. Pendergast, Sara. Bowling, Beatniks and Bell-Bottons. Pop Culture of
20th- century America Volume 3, 4 and 5. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2002.

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