Me? Self involved? Egotistical?
'In the book 'The Uncertain Art' by Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland writes that we live in an age of Narcissism.
Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D. wrote a book in 2006 called Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans are more confident, assertive, entitled- and more miserable than ever before. It is an eye popping revelation by a generation me-er about her own generation. Since the dawn of time each generation that comes of age, looks around and finds their elders have messed it up and the younger generation rebells or raises hell.
In her studies of surveys going back years, Dr. Twenge made some startling discoveries. 'In the early 1950's, only 12% of teens aged 14 to 16 agreed with the statement "I am an important person." By the late 1980's, an incredible 80% - almost seven times as many - claims they were important.' Over and over test have shown that narcissistic behavior is growing in the newer generations. As she states, " Narcissism is one of of the few personality traits that psychologists agree is almost completely negative. Narcissists are overly focused on themselves and lack empathy for others, which means they cannot see another person's perspective. They also feel entitled to special privileges and believe they are superior to other people."
The book deserves to be read and digested because it backs up its theories with figures gleaned over the years from personality scores and other testing. Her analysis and suggestions are intelligent and wise. If only someone will listen. But the me generation may be too attuned to the beating of its own drum to hear.
I believe the development of a narcissistic culture in America stems from a long series of events. The Great Depression and World War II generation wanted to give their children everything; the boomers were the first generation of children who grew up in a continuos era of prosperity. They were allowed and even encouraged to do 'their own thing.' The following X generation was smaller in size, therefore did not have to contend with the Boomer generations main obstacle - their great numbers. So there were more jobs with fewer applicants, fewer students in classes, and eventually they believed they should and could become millionaires in their twenties. Generation Me sees the fall out of all this hedonism and self interest. No one is asking them to make sacrifices (in general) and so they believe they were born with a silver spoon in their mouths. Armed with no values except that espoused by Madison Avenue -consume/shop till you drop - they have become paragons of narcissism. They will fall one day, and when that happens they may not be equipped to deal with defeat and hard times.
Read Gilles Deleuze and his idea of being owned by capitalism.