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Millennials: The Greatest Generation or the Most Narcissistic?

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posted on May, 4 2012 @ 05:00 PM
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Some recent research suggests that the answer to the question in the title is the latter choice:

SOUR CE: The Atlantic Magazine


The results for civic engagement were clear: Millennials were less likely than Boomers and even GenXers to say they thought about social problems, to be interested in politics and government, to contact public officials, or to work for a political campaign. They were less likely to say they trusted the government to do what's right, and less likely to say they were interested in government and current events. It was a far cry from Howe and Strauss' prediction of Millennials as "The Next Great Generation" in civic involvement.

Millennials were also less likely to say they did things in their daily lives to conserve energy and help the environment, and less likely to agree that government should take action on environmental issues. With all of the talk about Millennials being "green," I expected these items to be the exception. Instead, they showed some of the largest declines. Three times as many Millennials as Boomers said they made no personal effort to help the environment.

Millennials were slightly less likely to say they wanted a job that was helpful to others or was worthwhile to society. This is directly counter to the Generation We view predicting that Millennials would be much more concerned for others. Volunteering rates did increase, the only item out of 30 measuring concern for others that did. However, this rise occurred at the same time that high schools increasingly required volunteer service to graduate.


On the plus side, the rates of teen pregnancy, early sexual intercourse, alcohol abuse, and youth crime have continued to decline, while equality and tolerant attitudes are up.

Despite the few plusses, its a dismal picture of my generation. And just when our generation is facing the biggest problems in, well, generations. Maybe ever.

Come on people, wake up!





posted on May, 4 2012 @ 05:10 PM
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I can certainly agree with this...but I tend to think they are close with the babyboomers.




posted on May, 4 2012 @ 05:17 PM
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I was born in 1982, so barely made it into this generation...but I've been telling people for years that the youth my age and younger are quite disgusting to me. I either hang out with people who are much older, else much more mature for their age. I can handle some immature things...am even willing to talk with teens, but they have to have a concern for the larger issues for me to show much interest.

I was talking to this lady at the bar who was in her 50's. She had worked at this restaurant for 5 years now, and said the recent round of new hires (all of whom were under 21) were the worst bunch she had ever had to deal with. Spreading lies, stealing her things, not caring to do basic duties, etc...she agreed with me that societal standards are declining a little bit each year and especially among the youth.

I think the decline of empire is reflected in the character of the youth. Everything else being equal, they are a product of their upbringing and environment.
edit on 4-5-2012 by unityemissions because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 05:27 PM
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notice that these kids are being shaped by msm ideals.

by ideals, i don't mean something they actually believe in, but propaganda and agendas being put out by politicians and political parties.

keep future generations occupied with saving a tree in the alaskan tundra or a global warming "problem" that honestly if it wasn't mentioned in the news, no one would even know about it and keep them completely disinterested in what washington and the power structure in control of the nation are doing.


edit on 4-5-2012 by randomname because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 05:33 PM
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I find, as a very broad generalization, that they are extremely self entitled, narcissistic, and shallow. They claim on one hand to dislike corporate trappings, yet they voraciously consume all things corporate, worship corporate celebrities, and don't seem to know anything outside of corporate ubiquity. They do not seem to value privacy at all. To the point that they think other people actually care about their trivial day to day activities (ie facebook updates). Self reliance and personal responsibility are not even close to being on their radar.
Again, this is very general. Many "millennials"/Gen Y/whatever are hard working with good attitudes and a good head on their shoulders. But as a generation, they need some improvement.
But, hey, as an obscure Gen X band sang about their own generation in the early 1990s- "Every generation has its own disease."



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 05:35 PM
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It could be narcissism...or it could be the small fact that most of us are so poor or indebted that we're super busy trying to keep our own heads above water. Most of the Millennials I know probably aren't doing the things that they probably should do because they're in tunnel-vision survival mode.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 05:43 PM
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reply to post by Leftist
 


I will some what agree but not all of us. This also depends on upbringing, environment, and other factors. Many of my generation are not fit to even work in fast food, but on the flip side of that coin the remainder of us are highly intelligent, and are only waiting for some form of societal jump to take place.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 06:19 PM
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Narcissism remains undefined by this article, so we are forced to presume or assume what is meant by the word. Narcissism comes with a wide variety of meanings, but is generally used to describe self involvement. It is amusingly ironic that the auth or of this Atlantic article, when first using the word narcissism begins that paragraph as such:


In my 2006 book Generation Me, I presented data showing generational increases in self-esteem, assertiveness, self-importance, narcissism, and high expectations, based on surveys of 1.2 million young people, some dating back to the 1920s. These analyses indicated a clear cultural shift toward individualism and focusing on the self. But perhaps both views were correct -- maybe Millennials' greater self-importance found expression in helping others and caring about larger social causes.


Of course the author is Dr. Jean M. Twenge a professor of psychology at San Diego State University who also co-authored a book called The Narcissims Epidemic:


Narcissism—an inflated view of the self—is everywhere. Public figures say it’s what makes them stray from their wives. Parents teach it by dressing children in T-shirts that say "Princess." Teenagers and young adults hone it on Facebook, and celebrity newsmakers have elevated it to an art form. And it’s what’s making people depressed, lonely, and buried under piles of debt.

Jean Twenge’s influential first book, Generation Me, spurred a national debate with its depiction of the challenges twenty- and thirty-somethings face in today’s world—and the fallout these issues create for educators and employers. Now, Dr. Twenge turns her focus to the pernicious spread of narcissism in today’s culture, which has repercussions for every age group and class. Dr. Twenge joins forces with W. Keith Campbell, Ph.D., a nationally recognized expert on narcissism, to explore this new plague in The Narcissism Epidemic, their eye-opening exposition of the alarming rise of narcissism and its catastrophic effects at every level of society. Even the world economy has been damaged by risky, unrealistic overconfidence. Drawing on their own extensive research as well as decades of other experts’ studies, Drs. Twenge and Campbell show us how to identify narcissism, minimize the forces that sustain and transmit it, and treat it or manage it where we find it. Filled with arresting, alarming, and even amusing stories of vanity gone off the tracks (would you like to hire your own personal paparazzi?), The Narcissism Epidemic is at once a riveting window into the consequences of narcissism, a prescription to combat the widespread problems it causes, and a probing analysis of the culture at large.


Dr. Twenge has joined "forces with W. Keith Campbell, Ph.D., a nationally recongnized expert on narcissism" to save us all from the pernicious plague of narcissism, but given that Dr. Twenge is a psychologist is she addressing what psychologists like to call Narcissistic Personality Disorder or is she simply speaking to what is otherwise known as Healthy Narcissism? This is not made clear by her article in The Atlantic, nor in the advertising link that article offers for her books.

Is this narcissism truly a problem, or is Twenge hiding behind a wall of credentials to launch yet another attack on individualism?



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 06:22 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


It's implied


All that intellect, yet you can't seem to infer this.

Narcissism is healthy to the extent that you can actually perform as imagined. If this generation is the most narcissistic, are they the most productive?!

I don't think so.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 06:29 PM
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Originally posted by unityemissions
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


It's implied


All that intellect, yet you can't seem to infer this.

Narcissism is healthy to the extent that you can actually perform as imagined. If this generation is the most narcissistic, are they the most productive?!

I don't think so.


Anyone paying attention knows full well I did infer this. I am quite obviously challenging the "expertise" of Twenge on this matter, and now I challenge yours.

It is not my personal experience, nor have I found any credible study to support the notion that today's youth are any less productive than the generations that came before them. One can reify and claim otherwise, but reification hardly outperforms the imagination.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 06:52 PM
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Every generation is rather self absorbed when they are younger...it takes a few trips to the school of hard knocks before most seem to develop a sense of humility. I think when it is all said and done, this generation of young people will have had it much tougher than the gen x or boomers ever had it, and as they get older they will probably be more akin to the silent generation of the depression era. Or at least that is one theory.....



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 07:00 PM
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I appreciated anything that was given to me as a minor, and easily understood when my parents wouldn't buy something. I would never pull the guilt-laden crap that my kids are trying on me, especially my oldest non-minor son. I'm paying for his college expenses, which is more than my parents did. My dad just gave me a ride to the military recruiting center.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 07:04 PM
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Originally posted by Mijamija
Every generation is rather self absorbed when they are younger...it takes a few trips to the school of hard knocks before most seem to develop a sense of humility. I think when it is all said and done, this generation of young people will have had it much tougher than the gen x or boomers ever had it, and as they get older they will probably be more akin to the silent generation of the depression era. Or at least that is one theory.....


I often hear people make the argument that we are too caught up in pride and do not seek enough humility. This astounds me only because in my world, I only have to get out of bed and start my day before humility comes and finds me. Pride, on the other hand, is something that must be earned. I suppose there is an argument to be made that this is true for humility as well, but it takes little effort at all to look up at the nighttime sky and feel humbled by the awesome vastness of the universe, or to watch the hummingbird flutter as it does, to see the adorable smile of a child, to notice the remarkable beauty that surrounds us and not be humbled.

I agree that the younger generation of today faces many obstacles that previous generations have not since at least the Great Depression, and it is for this reason that I feel compelled to counter the data provided by this psychologist and argue that pride is worth earning, and can only be felt from the satisfaction of accomplishment and this is not a bad thing, it is good. It is infinitely good.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 07:08 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


They don't have to be any less productive, just more narcissistic. They are, so obviously it's pathological.

As for your understanding of pride, me thinks it's incomplete. Well deserved pride can be thought of as true pride, but false pride seems more prevalent today.
edit on 4-5-2012 by unityemissions because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 07:16 PM
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reply to post by unityemissions
 


There is no such thing as false pride, and what you are referring to is arrogance. Arrogance is a presumption of knowledge, but the proud do not presume knowledge, they simply know.

As for your dismissal of today's youth, history will yield the ultimate judgement. In the meantime, I have great faith in this youth, and my bets are on them, not the fools who occupy preceding generations.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 07:21 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


Proud people can't be arrogant?! Come on now, they're not mutually exclusive.

I hope you're right concerning the youth. I think there is a minority who are wise and utilizing the abundance of information available for the good of society, but fear the majority use the modern conveniences and avenues for entertainment to outweigh the good of the few.

Hopefully, I'm incorrect.
edit on 4-5-2012 by unityemissions because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 07:29 PM
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reply to post by unityemissions
 


Everyone should feel prideful about their accomplishments. I'm proud of what I have achieved and collected in my years. I've put all my effort into attaining the small bit of luxury I enjoy today. I do not take pride in my possessions, but instead the work that it took to have them.

My son, for example, takes pride in something simply because it has a monetary value. It was especially evident whenever he wished to borrow a car for a date. He would insist on my sweetest ride, and try to refuse the beater car. He still don't understand what I mean by "Don't try to impress a chic with something that you can't buy yourself." One day, he'll get it.

I watched a few minutes of a talk show which was themed with this topic. They had some young male adults explaining why they deserved to be spoiled by their parents well into their 20s. The only thought I had was how easy they are making it for me to pick up young female adults.
edit on 4-5-2012 by tamusan because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 07:35 PM
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reply to post by unityemissions
 


I never said proud people could not be arrogant, but when it comes to their pride, this is not something they've developed through arrogance, but have done so through the satisfaction of accomplishment. "False pride" is an arrogant coining of a phrase. Even the humble can be arrogant. People who prance around claiming accomplishment with no record to support such a claim are not proud, they are arrogant.

I understand your concerns about people today, and this includes the youth of today. However, your concerns about entertainment bring to my mind a serious problem today created by the disruptive digital technology of piracy. Certainly there is a wide swath of young people today who believe they should not have to pay for entertainment and can just simply download it regardless of the damage this does to those who invested hard work and money in making that entertainment happen. Yet, this phenomenon has as much to do with the use of language as it does any sense of entitlement.

Thoughts are things, and it was only a matter of time, after a hard and concerted effort by a corporatist agenda to replace the word buyer with the word consumer, that buyers would quite naturally become consumers. Then a disruptive technology like the digital technology comes along and while there are still buyers, now there are genuine consumers who simply just download their entertainment for free. We all reap what we sow.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 07:39 PM
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Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux

Originally posted by Mijamija
Every generation is rather self absorbed when they are younger...it takes a few trips to the school of hard knocks before most seem to develop a sense of humility. I think when it is all said and done, this generation of young people will have had it much tougher than the gen x or boomers ever had it, and as they get older they will probably be more akin to the silent generation of the depression era. Or at least that is one theory.....


I often hear people make the argument that we are too caught up in pride and do not seek enough humility. This astounds me only because in my world, I only have to get out of bed and start my day before humility comes and finds me. Pride, on the other hand, is something that must be earned. I suppose there is an argument to be made that this is true for humility as well, but it takes little effort at all to look up at the nighttime sky and feel humbled by the awesome vastness of the universe, or to watch the hummingbird flutter as it does, to see the adorable smile of a child, to notice the remarkable beauty that surrounds us and not be humbled.

I agree that the younger generation of today faces many obstacles that previous generations have not since at least the Great Depression, and it is for this reason that I feel compelled to counter the data provided by this psychologist and argue that pride is worth earning, and can only be felt from the satisfaction of accomplishment and this is not a bad thing, it is good. It is infinitely good.



Yes, perhaps humble is not the right word.....I just think all young people struggle to find their place in the world, they have grand ideals and hopes, but have not been out in the world long enough to develop a more balanced perspective. This comes with time and experience. Right now the milinials are going through a very difficult time and slowly I think they are realizing how truly difficult adulthood is. This is still of course a rather broad generalization of course because the milinials are a huge group.

They will indeed struggle to find their place and in this current economy they will have to get really creative to survive, a lot of "out of the box" thinking is neccessary in these tough times, and so as the old jobs and old ways of acquiring work become obsolete, new ways will be formed, and what is the expression? Necessity is the mother of invention?

I personally think they will do amazing stuff, once they decide to really dig in and go for it. Many have already begun this, others will follow I hope.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 08:31 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


Ted Nugent is arrogant.
It's a synonym of arrogant in Webster's.



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