A new report says that youtube is the most popular social media site for kids. Even more popular than Facebook.
Over 3 billion videos are viewed every day on youtube
That’s a staggering statistic. Granted, youtube is full of non-music videos – we’ve all had someone tell us we just had to go watch the crazy video of a crying cat or the singing baby (or was it a singing cat and a crying baby?). But music is the most popular category on YouTube, accounting for 30.7% of all views on the video service. I did the math (I even Googled to make sure I got the right number of zeros): that’s 900 million music videos watched every day. No wonder M-is-for-music-MTV threw in the towel!
“We Found Love” found lots of opinions
A lot of you have shared your thoughts on the Rihanna video “We Found Love” that was included in a recent post. The discussion centered around whether or not it was appropriate for me to embed the video in the post. Both sides were represented (you can read the comments here), and I appreciate everyone weighing in.
But here’s what I’m afraid got missed in that conversation: whether you believe it’s appropriate to watch the video or not, the reality is your students are. As of this morning, the “We Found Love” video has been viewed 20,999,261 times on youtube.
So did you see what you really think you saw?
Here are my observations about the “We Found Love” video: Yes, it’s about sex and drugs. No, Rihanna isn’t wearing enough clothes. No, I don’t like watching it and I don’t think it glorifies God.
But here’s what I see when I watch the “We Found Love” video: A toxic, abusive relationship. Drugs. Alcohol. Hopelessness. Despair. Darkness. Four minutes of lies that this lifestyle might be “normal.”
And here’s why my eyes tear up when I watch the “We Found Love” video: Some of your students are living out the very same issues in this video. Or they know someone who is and don’t know how to respond. Too many teens watch videos like this and think “This is what the ‘real world’ is like.” I drive down streets in my neighborhood and see kids who are living this life (or are striving to because they see it glamorized by artists like Rihanna). And my heart hurts.
I don’t think it’s wise to throw the towel in on this
I agree that we must guard our hearts and minds, but I don’t want to get caught up in a debate about the boundaries of what’s appropriate and what’s not and ignore the reality that this video (and hundreds of others like it) is out there. And kids are watching.
We can’t stop kids from seeing videos online. But we can teach them discernment. We can help them understand that it does matter what they watch. We can talk about what they are watching (which is why sometimes we have to watch and listen to things we wouldn’t normally see or hear). And we can introduce them to music and videos (and artists) who offer a God-centered perspective. Don’t give up, and don’t walk away from this fight. Your students need you.