The Me Generation….

June 24, 2013

Time Mag Cover

  • The incidence of narcissistic personality disorder is nearly three times as high for people in their 20s as for the generation that’s now 65 or older, according to the National Institutes of Health; 58% more college students scored higher on a narcissism scale in 2009 than in 1982. Millennials got so many participation trophies growing up that a recent study showed that 40% believe they should be promoted every two years, regardless of performance.
  • They are fame-obsessed: three times as many middle school girls want to grow up to be a personal assistant to a famous person as want to be a Senator, according to a 2007 survey; four times as many would pick the assistant job over CEO of a major corporation.
  • They’re so convinced of their own greatness that the National Study of Youth and Religion found the guiding morality of 60% of millennials in any situation is that they’ll just be able to feel what’s right.
  • Their development is stunted: more people ages 18 to 29 live with their parents than with a spouse, according to the 2012 Clark University Poll of Emerging Adults.
  • And they are lazy. In 1992, the nonprofit Families and Work Institute reported that 80% of people under 23 wanted to one day have a job with greater responsibility; 10 years later, only 60% did.

Source: The Me Generation – TIME.

The first thing I want to talk about here is that you can’t put everyone in the same box. I’m sure there are millions of kids born since the 1980s that don’t fit the description above. I have met several of them who come to volunteer at the soup kitchen where I spend two days a week. That being said I don’t doubt that millennials are more about themselves than previous generations.

It seems every generation has some common general characteristics that label them. My generation, which was the first wave of baby boomers were labeled by the protest marches of the 60’s along with its recreational drug use.  While I was in college in the 60s and saw both the marches and the drugs I did not participate in either activity. So, I do sometimes get edgy when someone labels me such.

The current crop of young people are actually the first to grow up totally enveloped in a social network world. While I understand the value of instant communications I think that we as a society have put too much priority on things like FaceBook, Twitter, and such. What is the big socially redeeming value of spending so much time with what I for the most part consider frivolous things?

But for me one of the most damaging aspects of the Me Generation is their sense of entitlement.  I think that this generation overvalue themselves more so than most. They have received awards in most competitions regardless of their actual level of participation and therefore some seem to have a lack of respect for the hard work required to actually accomplish something.   In their childhood everyone got an award so no one would feel unimportant. Now before you start flaming me I totally realize that this description does not fit all or maybe not even most of the kids in this pre-defined box.  But I do believe that they need to come to the realization, sooner rather than later,  that they are not as indispensable as many think they are.

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3 responses to The Me Generation….

  1. 

    This is all about the US and western Europe- correct?
    My kids are a part of it- as are my nephews and nieces. All are employed. Most are married. Granted, most of those kids were raised in ’50s household – intelligent at home mom or dad who held child’s feet to the fire when something needed to be learned. I don’t resent those who live at home. Living away from home is a realitively new. Kids almost always put off marriage during depression.

    You normally flame me when the rest of the items are mentioned by me. The individual rights have become more important then the group. They are told We are not the best country. The teachers are “wrong”. We should not push our will on others- even if someone is being injured in the process. But, if someone says something politically incorrect to someone who has interventionist parents, they recieve severe punishment. No one needs to serve anyone. They were raised in households where everyone works so kids can go to cool classes and travel teams- but no one has time for them. They are opting out of fatherhood…choosing to have children but not tie that to responsibility. Not everyone for sure, but it is a “dark” trend – using your words.

    Peace, free love and self actualization ? Where does that come from?

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  2. 

    I worked with people in this age group. I found them to be veryard working and grateful to have a job. Maybe they have to live with their parents longer because they are having a hard time getting a job.
    I haven’t met anyone like you have described here.

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  3. 

    Some interesting comments here. First of all I was only commenting on the story as reported by Time Inc. I have little personal knowledge of this so called phenomenon. The last paragraph of my words are the result of a few personal observations of one girl who is about 20 years old. She was constantly telling those who are more experienced and older than her that she feels unappreciated and think they belittle her great ideas. She was finally fired for showing so little respect for her employer and always questioning instructions he gave her.

    I do believe that all the social networking that is so predominant today is having some less than noble effects on the kids who are now mid-teens to early twenties. But, that is just my opinion. But like I said at the beginning of my post I certainly don’t put all, and probably not even most, of the kids in this box.

    But I do like reading and discussing stories such as these to see if there is any consensus. Thanks for your thoughts.

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