Music has always been an escape for people. For those who create it or listen, it has been a reprieve amongst society for centuries to find peace and relatability, which has also allowed people to bond over it.
Music has undoubtedly changed the world, how we live, and how we socialize. Despite iconic pieces of work coming from legendary artists, a recent theme in music has caused a negative ripple effect in society.
This theme is most prevalent in recent years, where music is less emotional and more expressive in ‘not caring.’ Mainstream music has become so dismissive to the point where even the ‘love’ songs are not about love anymore, but why we dont need love.
The influence music has on people is greater than we think; it is something consumed daily by society, and some even claim they can’t go an hour without it. It makes people find solace in words or beats that comfort their current feelings, or takes them away from what they want to feel, and the latter is more predominant.
Why have we become emotionally numb?
Consuming your day with messages that caring less is better and the goal in life is money, not feelings, it starts to affect how you view people and connections. Most importantly, it encourages you to suppress those human feelings because we are told that the new cool is to be nonchalant.
I believe that society is going through an epidemic where individuals have become emotionally dead, and music plays a big part. People look up to artists, whether it’s because of their aesthetic, their success story, or their music; we can’t help but put them on a pedestal and, in some way, want to be like them.
The problem with this is that we take their lyrics as solutions to our problems, how their lyrics sound next to the beat glamorizes what they are saying, and we take it in as a lesson. For example, if we are going through a breakup and we are feeling emotional, but the song we are taking in tells us, “Who needs love?” we automatically feel a sense of power not to care and kind of push our feelings to the side.
Is Music Conditioning Society?
Music has also become a lot more vulgar and degrading. Words like b**ch and h** are used to describe women by male artists. This encourages young listeners and men, in general, to think it’s acceptable to call women by these names.
In addition to this, music is also a lot more explicit. Despite this seeming harmless, it puts the sexual aspect of a relationship at the forefront of people’s minds, and lust becomes the sole reason why people seek ‘relationships.’
As a society, we can’t deny how music has shaped our thinking, feeling, and acting. In recent years. Studies show that music can control our moods as it increases blood flow to brain regions that control emotions. Studies also show that listening to certain types of music/ genres can increase anxiety and depression.
This can explain one reason why society has become emotionally dead. If we are bombarded with music that constantly reinforces lust, lack of emotion, superficiality, and status, then we will become a byproduct of our surroundings.
Music has so much power that it can make or break society, and at the moment, it is causing a huge negative impact. A phrase constantly used is “they don’t make music like this no more” when listening to an old song, and this is true.
How Has Music Changed?
Music in the 90s/2000s was based around love, connection, and expressing emotions, and it was conveyed in society. Think about Whitney Houston’s song ‘ I will always love you’ it was the biggest song in the moment. if you compare the biggest hits today, the lyrics are very different.
Perhaps we have reached our musical peak; perhaps artists have run out of stories to tell and emotions to express and have taken an easy route. The instrumentals and beats have also changed as the music is much louder. Beats used to be more complex with a variety of instruments, but the music these days is generally louder with lesser dynamics.
Society has become used to these types of beats and also brainwashed as mainstream music is played everywhere, making us know the lyrics to every song without even realizing it. This subconsciously makes people adapt to things they hear and see often, which is why we now replicate what we hear in real life. For example, If we are constantly hearing and singing songs about suppressing ones feeling, then that will be replicated in our daily lives.
I believe in order for society to improve, music also has to change. Don’t get me wrong; there is still great music out there with stories being told, but as a whole, music has gone downhill. Music is not the only factor as to why society has negative aspects, but it definitely is one. Music needs to change the direction it’s going in before being emotionally disconnected is seen as the norm.