There are moments in history I feel we must stop and acknowledge. On this day American culture changed forever. On this day, in 1981, MTV launched and teens in America began to see their IQ’s drop.
MTV began with an investment of $20 million and only broadcasting in the state of New Jersey. Now it reaches over 500 million people. We can debate whether MTV’s impact on the culture was more detrimental than positive, but we cannot debate MTV has been influential. There was the airing of Live Aid in 1985 and the infamous boxers or briefs question to then Presidential candidate Clinton. MTV is where Jon Stewart began with “The Jon Stewart show” in 1993. What people may not remember is that the concept of reality shows truly came to fruition on MTV with the launch of “The Real World.”
Oh yes, MTV has made an impact on America.
Remember its “Choose or lose” campaign in 1992, which is credited with encouraging the registration of 20 million people to vote? There was the “fight for your rights” campaign in the late 90’s to early 2000’s seeking to stand up against violence and drug use.
Then there was ‘Think MTV” described by Wikipedia:
think MTV, which discussed current political issues such as same-sex marriage, U.S. elections, and war in other countries. The original slogan of the program was “Reflect. Decide. Do.” As part of think MTV, the channel also aired a series of pro-conservation ads called Break The Addiction, as a way of encouraging their viewers to find ways to use less fossil fuels and energy.
Think MTV addressed twelve major issue areas: discrimination, environment, politics, health & self, crime & violence, poverty & disease, human rights, war & peace, relationships & sex, faith, substance abuse, and education. Young people were encouraged to choose the issues that resonate most and take action to make a positive change. The subsequent motto was, “Your cause. Your effect.” think MTV was also integrated into MTV’s programming.
And, most recently; “MTV act”, focusing on social issues, and “Power of 12” focusing on the 2012 issue.
To think all this began with this:
Then they aired their first video:
Yes, I was one happy teenager back then.
Now I think, video killed a whole lot more than the radio star.