Vol. 5 Issue 49 | December 6, 2019
Three Things This Week
What it is: GQ Australia has named 23-year-old Zendaya their 2019 Woman of the Year, and in her acceptance speech (language), she offered some timely advice.
Why it’s what we need: In the speech, the former Disney actor turned major star and activist described her life as busy, work-focused, and full of constant motion, then vulnerably admitted she often forgets to stop and enjoy what she’s worked so hard to accomplish. She invited the audience to pause for just a second to “look around, and have a beautiful night, and take in the moment.” What an important reminder in the midst of the “go, go, go” nature of the Christmas season. It’s easy to let beautiful moments pass us by because we forget to stop and actually enjoy them. This week, help your family heed Zendaya’s words to take in every moment, to be present, by removing some things from the to-do list and scheduling in time for reflection.
2. TikTok Trouble
What it is: The wildly popular app admitted to suppressing videos posted by users identified as disabled, fat, or LGBTQ+ in an imprudent attempt to reduce cyberbullying.
Why it’s not the answer: In a clear case of good aims with unfortunate ends, TikTok moderators were encouraged to deliberately prevent from going viral videos made by users they deemed especially susceptible to bullying. We admire their heart, but according to Slate, this form of social media censorship “denies people economic, political, and cultural opportunities and, in that sense, really isn’t that different from an employer not hiring a software engineer because they use a wheelchair.” Does your teen agree or disagree? Why? Instead of targeting potential victims, what could the social media giant have done to identify and excise cyberbullies who continue to prey on vulnerable users? More importantly, what can your kids do daily on these platforms to join the fight in protecting those at risk?
3. Tinder Predators
What it is: A new investigative report reveals that many online dating services, especially free ones, permit registered sex offenders to use them.
Why it’s serious: While the stories in the report involve older women being preyed upon by older men with criminal pasts, they point to a larger problem: the lack of protections for users due to the difficulty of verifying identity and screening criminal backgrounds. Of all 45 dating services owned by Match Group, none of the free ones (including Tinder, which appeals to younger daters and is their most popular app) provides any sort of background screening. So while your teens may not be permitted to use dating apps while in your home, chances are only increasing that they’ll use them in the future. It’s important to have conversations about how to protect oneself in any dating situation, as well as to remind them that a quick Google search could make a huge difference.
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A Decade Wrapped
It’s December, which means we have officially entered the last month of the year...and the decade. So 2019’s year-end lists have double significance, giving us a glimpse into the ethos of the last 10 years. And though Spotify’s rise to earbud dominance didn’t largely come until the second half of the decade, their stats for the decade give a good glimpse into the music and artists that have filled our days.
So here’s what stood out to us from Spotify in 2019 and the entire decade:
- Women. 2 of the top 3 most-streamed artists in 2019 were women (Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande), whereas women weren’t even in the top five in 2018. Ariana was the only woman in the top 5 for the decade.
- Drake. He was the most-streamed artist of the decade and of 2018, with 2 of the top 5 tracks of 2018 and 1 for the decade. But he didn’t make the top 5 artists or even the top 5 male artists in 2019, nor did his compilation album Care Package make the top 5 albums (it did debut at #1 on Billboard, though). It may signal a shift in dominance. Or not. TBD.
- Genre No More? Post Malone was the most-streamed artist and the most-streamed male artist, as well as had the third most-streamed track and the second most-streamed album in 2019. What’s most significant about this is that he doesn’t stick to one genre, instead blending them all together, and clearly Spotify’s listeners love it. This and Lil Nas X’s rise to fame via the “Old Town Road” genre controversy may mean more artists will become harder to pin down in any one genre in the years to come.
- It’s Hard to Keep Up. Remember “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen or “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye? Yeah, those came out in this decade. But it feels like forever ago because there are so many new artists and so much new music to keep track of (thanks, technology).
- Global influence. K-pop superstars BTS became one of the most-streamed groups (beating out American groups like Maroon 5, Coldplay, and Imagine Dragons), while Latin artists Bad Bunny and J Balvin were some of the most-streamed artists of 2019, evidencing listeners’ broadening tastes and global awareness.
Check here to see the full lists (you’ll need a Spotify account; if your teen logs into his/her account, you’ll also be able to see what they listened to most in 2019). What stands out to you? To your teens?
Keep the Faith!
The Axis Team
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