I love me some boy bands.
I remember New Kids on the Block but I was a little too young to really get into them. When NSYNC and Backstreet Boys were at the height of their popularity, I was too cool for school and pretended that I didn’t like their music. Now that I’m firmly established in my adult life, though, I’m more than happy to listen to NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. I love playing their music for VBS and youth group. I’ve really come around to loving me some boy bands.
That love really doesn’t extend to One Direction yet.
Since I work with students I have been well aware of One Direction for over a year. The boy band from England is incredibly popular and their song “That’s What Makes You Beautiful” was one of our summer anthems for youth group. “That’s What Makes You Beautiful” was a fun song with a relatively positive message about self-esteem. Their new song, though, has an extremely negative message about making poor choices.
One Direction’s new single, “Live While We’re Young”, is all about making poor choices and using youth as an excuse to do so. The song basically says, “Hey, we’re young, so let’s do stupid things regardless of the consequences.” Here is the chorus for the song:
Let’s go crazy, crazy, crazy till we see the sun
I know we only met but let’s pretend it’s love
And never, never, never stop for anyone
Tonight let’s get some
And live while we’re young
I assume that the “some” to which they’re referring is sex since another lyric in the song discusses illicit cell phone pictures. So, according to this song, it’s acceptable to feign love for sex as long as we’re young.
That’s not an ideal message.
As a society we’ve lowered the bar for today’s young people. Instead of helping them make wise choices that honor God and set them up for a successful life, we’ve told them to do whatever they want because the choices they make don’t matter. If they hear that message enough, young people will eventually believe it; they’ll equate irresponsible living with being young.
I’m not calling for a ban of One Direction or an end to boy bands; that would make me sad. What I am hoping for, though, is that young people would see that the choices they make now matter. The choices we make when we’re young can either set us up for success or failure. Buying into One Direction’s beliefs about being young will lead to a much more difficult life when we’re older. I also hope that adults will seize opportunities to invest in the lives of young people. We need to help usher adolescents into adulthood; if wise adults don’t give them sound advice, they’ll just look to One Direction, Katy Perry or the Jersey Shore.
Who helped you avoid making poor decisions when you were younger?