Young people “love themselves more today than ever before,” says University of Kentucky psychologist Nathan DeWall, and the proof is in their music. His team combed though Billboards top 100 songs over the past thirty-six years and found a steady increase in self-centeredness and hostility toward others.
“In the early ’80’s lyrics, love was easy and positive and about two people” study co-author Jean Twenege tells The New York Times. “The recent songs are about what the person wants, and how she or he has been disappointed or wronged.”
What’s interesting about this study is the steady shift in words. “I” and “me” is showing up in more lyrics and “we” and “us” is showing up less. The study also registered a jump in angry lyrics about hating or killing and less frequency for positive words like “love” or “sweet”. The Archie’s “Sugar, Sugar” now sounds like a relic. Barry Manilow, Bread, and Lionel Richie, where are you now?
Is narcissism now the air we breath? And is that why so many more people feel sad and lonely than in previous decades, in spite of a gazillion Facebook friends?
What does this suggest for the church in the future? What do you think?