December 14, 2009

Side effect of bad pop music -- you can get more homework done

Since pop music went from fun and infectious to annoying and whiny, have young people been able to get more done? Yep -- high school sophomores did a lot more homework in 2002 than in 1980.

I recall easily distracting myself with music while trying to force myself to study. But now it'd be impossible, except for the tiny minority of young people who have more INXS than Linkin Park in their ipod. Really, what else is going to tempt them away from their textbooks -- all that engrossing reality TV?

5 comments:

  1. Music is so cheap to make these days there's a ton of it available in every flavor. There is no shortage of whatever you'd like to distract yourself with, plus easy access to older music.

    Of course in a crowded marketplace it can be a lot of work to find what you're looking for, but there are ways. If you want to discover where today's most fun pop music is, ask metalheads what they really hate. The names they rattle off will almost all be very catchy, enjoyable, and free of annoying pretentiousness.

    See, metalheads are good for something! They can filter popular culture for old, out-of-touch people like me!

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  2. All you need are a few favorites and Pandora will provide you with endless hours of distraction.

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  3. Except the main function of music for high school sophomores is to signal their group membership, not to search out for the best music. Very few high school tribes take their music from 20 or more years ago. It has to be contemporary.

    If contemporary music isn't that great, you won't be so tempted away from homework by it.

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  4. Brian Eno: "The idea that something is uncool because it’s old or foreign has left the collective consciousness."

    Besides, I doubt that homework would trump Facebook or Playstation as a pastime.

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  5. "The idea that something is uncool because it’s old or foreign has left the collective consciousness."

    But remember that teenagers aren't choosing music primarily based on what's good -- if so, there would be plenty of cliques whose preferred music was Bach, Michael Jackson, and lots of others.

    They may admit that it's quality music, but you can't make that your main source of music because you won't fit in with most peer groups. It has to be something contemporary.

    "Besides, I doubt that homework would trump Facebook or Playstation as a pastime."

    Definitely trumps social networking:

    http://www.npd.com/press/releases/press_091215.html

    47% of consumers spend an average of 5 hours per week on social networking sites. Most of those are already young people.

    But the chart on homework shows that 37% spend less than 5 hours on homework, and 63% spend more than 5 hours.

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