Sunday, 8 December 2013

The Me Me Me Generation

A slightly different blog post than usual, but this is a matter which struck my mind some time ago, and thereupon researching, found hardly any tangible resources. This article (which my good friend Sanya will find useful for when writing her public speaking speech) is not intended to be a smear article, rather my own enlightenment on an issue which I feel has been sensationalised by the masses.

Firstly, let me present you with the cold hard facts: narcissistic personality disorder is nearly three times as high for people in their 20s as for the generation that's now 65 or older. 40% of millennials believe they should be promoted every two years, regardless of performance. When faced with a moral dilemma, 60% of millennials believe that they will be able to just "feel" what's right. If you have not yet caught the gist of this article, then allow me to present it as simply as possible: we are a generation of selfie-obsessed, self-entitled twerking narcissists.

Illustration by Emma D.
Image source
Before I hear complaints on this rather sweeping generalisation, and I admit it is a rather sweeping generalisation, I would like to remind you that I myself am a member of this generation, and hence I am involved in the ins and outs of its happenings. We live in a generation where you are judged by your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram feed, and apparently, your personality can firmly be established just by a few nonchalant conversations partaken online. Now I am not in any way denouncing social networking, rather, just some of the close-minded people who use it. It all seems rather ridiculous to me, and that is probably because it is nothing but ridiculous.

We live in a generation where it's seen as "cool" to be "uncool". By the looks of it, you won't find these "cool" kids near anything "mainstream", simply because, it's cool to be "different". Although I fully advocate individuality, I think the whole notion of being unique has been lost within this forced pretence of trying to be different. Individuality essentially comes best to people who are simply themselves, whether this means you are at the pinnacle of a stereotype or the furthest thing from it; that part really doesn't matter. What does matter is this slightly odd undercurrent of self-entitlement which runs through many of these "cool kids". This idea of being better than someone else, just because you don't do what everyone else does, is totally abhorrent!

Illustration by Caitlin.
Image source
Take for example, the concept of the "nerd". Now firstly, let us establish the definition of the word nerd, as the definition itself has been the cause of an unscrupulous debate: "a person who is socially awkward and unpopular, an intelligent person who does not fit in with other people". For some reason this very concept has been the cause of a few colourful debates, (one debate ended with said fellow pitifully trying to alter the very definition of the word!) and has also sparked the topic of my good friend Sanya's public speaking speech. ("Is it cool to be clever?") Frankly, I find nerdism, (a term cleverly coined by my good friend Sanya) rather foolish. Nowadays, what is a nerd? A person who watches TV shows that nobody else watches? A person who reads book? Prides themselves in being socially awkward? Or is it really the pinnacle of narcissism? Surely, by calling oneself a "nerd", one is implying that they are oh so clever and unique, consigning themselves to this whole notion of being "cool" because they're "uncool". Collate this concept with my ideas shared in the previous paragraph, and it is a no-brainer really as to why I think nerdism is silly. Nerd culture is probably one of the most irritable and pointless concepts I have come across. What is more doltish and slyly self-indulgent, than calling yourself a nerd? Not much.

The original point of this article has perhaps been diluted somewhere, probably somewhere in that rather controversial rant-y paragraphy regarding nerd culture. My opinion of millennials, as a millennial myself, is certainly not a bad one. Although we are a generation full of faults, there has never been a generation that isn't. Yes, there's a stack of data suggesting how narcissistic and lazy and self-entitled we are, and indeed, many of us are, but beyond the statistics; the greatness of a generation cannot be determined through numbers, but by practices and stories, by undertaking great challenges and successfully carrying them through. 80 million strong, millennials are open-minded, welcoming to multi-culturalism and certainly possess the characteristics of a bold and daring generation. I genuinely do believe in our generation, and God knows our generation certainly believe in our generation.

Love from,

Miss Iffa
xoxo

7 comments:

  1. WAAAAHHHH you blow my mind. This is so amazingly well written with extremely well-rounded points. It's so difficult to start writing about an emotive subject without getting someway in and thinking "where was I even going with this..?" so don't worry about the point being diluted, though I don't think it is. A****. You should write for your college newspaper, flex your scribe muscles.
    xoxox

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    1. This is so lovely, thank you so much for all your kind words, much appreciated :)

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  2. That was so inspirational! xx Very well worded you literally took the words right out of my mouth!! :D I agree completely. Nowadays there is no such thing as individuality because if you don't follow societies standard of individuality then your uncool and not the cool "uncool" but the no one likes you kind of uncool.
    Anyways t'was a great read :D

    Iesha xoxo

    http://secretlifeofanirishteen.blogspot.ie/

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  3. LOVE THIS

    http://iamaleena.blogspot.com.au/

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  4. Dear Iffa,

    first of all, I have to congratuale you for this article! It is very well written, an evidence of a clever, distinguished, sophisticated, open young mind, and shows you're really self-reflecting and empathetic.
    I agree with you. I think, though, narcissm is deeply rooted in human nature and has been evident in all generations and centuries. What is it but narcism that Napoleon Caesar, and other great and - most of all - totally incapable leaders and people showed when they turned themselves into a wannabe god-like existence?
    But nowadays, everyone is able to promote their lived through social media. It's way easier than twenty or even ten years ago - and if something is easy, more people are likely to do it.

    I daily see tomorrow's doctors (in fact, I'm sitting among them during a lecture right now as I'm writing to you), and I'm scared! Most of them have reached their mid-20s, but are still self-absorbed children with little to no life experience, and think being a doctor is cool, "cowboy", and just wearing a white coat makes them so incredibly awesome that they don't have to put any more effort into it.
    That's scary! Seriously, I wouldn't want to be treated by 99% of them!
    We are a generation of self-absorbed brats. Sorry I have to say this, but the main part of all the people I know are now able of showing any empathy!!
    And how are they supposed to? Most parents fullfill their children's every wish, and praise them for everything they do. We're the generation that gets trophies just for showing up!
    Children are spared all the troubles their parents have to endure - mothers and fathers are scared of "emotionally" damaging their kids of they admit their marriages aren't picture-perfect, or to having financial problems... That's not healthy! Children have to learn there are conflicts in life - and that you have to face them in order to solve them.

    The nerd thing is an interesting point, too. A friend of mine actually writes a thesis about nerdism, and know a lot more about it than I do, but from what I got from here, it's really a new "mainstream" thing to be "non-mainstrem"... which makes the whole thing kind of pointless.

    It goes so far that I have no clue anymore if I'm a nerd or not. From what I wear, I guess: No. And I don't think "The Big Bang Theory" is funny. And I never understood "Lord of the Rings".
    There certainly is nothing glamarous about being a real "nerd" and being studious. At least, I don't feel so "cool" when I study till the early morning hours, or replace sleep with coffeine pills... But that is the "uncomfortable" part of being a nerd (when you have to proof you're ambitious), and is hardly practiced by anyone, I guess. Because you have to work to achieve it.

    Last week, I saw post by a girl who asked for job advice. She wanted to find a profession with
    - high income
    - little resposibilities
    - not so many working hours
    - high prestige
    ... and some more, totally unrealistic requirements.
    She probably thinks she gets 100 punds an hour just for showing up, since that it what she learned so far...
    I first thought that was a bad joke, but she really meant it.
    I think I don't have to say anything else about that...

    There are, of course, other people I got to know - people like you. But I'm not so sure if they have always been few in every generation (people liek you)... But it's these people who make a difference (e.g. the late Nelson Mandela, Elizabeth I....).

    So always say what's on your mind, self-reflect and stay critical towards yourself and others, and never stop questioning. ;)

    Much love
    Ninon

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    1. Hi Ninon,

      Thank you very much, it is so flattering to hear your kind words, just as it is lovely to hear from you again!

      I completely agree with everything you say about being a generation deeply rooted in narcissism, and it's really frightening to think of the next generation of doctors! Sounds like a string of economic moral hazards waiting to happen! Although, I would like to think that this is just a minority of doctors, and the majority are true to their name!

      And I couldn't agree more with your comments on parenting style! I do find it odd how we award prizes for simply showing up to something or simply taking part, surely that's the easiest part! The real challenge is the consistency, the hard work and the actual progress attributed to said project. This attitude is so dangerous, it embeds a sense of self-entitlement at an early age, it paints an unrealistic view for children, and can only lead to disappointment, when their needs are not met.

      The attitude of the girl you mention with the unreasonably high standards for a job is honestly really pitiful, but I am certain she is not the only one with such unrealistic expectations! Again, it is this sense of self-entitlement, this idea that you are entitled to the very best, without contributing anything, which is in many respects is causing havoc in our economy. With over 2 million people unemployed, this self-entitled view is simply not compatible with today's economy! By all means, one should aim high, but this should not negate the blatant facts of reality!

      Your final words are very touching, again, I really appreciate your feedback, it inspires me to write more, so thank you!

      Regards,
      Iffa :)

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    2. Also, regarding your comments on "nerdism", I have to agree with you totally there too!

      Your friend's thesis sounds very interesting indeed! I think the whole notion of a "nerd" is not a new concept, but I feel like it totally epitomises narcissism. The idea of calling oneself clever is the very antithesis of a true intellectual being. Although, dare I say, the people who refer to themselves in this way probably don't have a single brain cell to share between them!

      It's a trivial example really, macrocosmically speaking, the issue at large is simply the narcissism, yet the "nerd" is simply one of the many forms of narcissism itself.

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