Generation Me?

1. Inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity.
2. Psychoanalysis: erotic gratification derived from admiration of one's own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development. -Dictionary.com

Apparently our whole generation is narcissistic. Reading articles about my generation, written by those not a part of it, I wonder about their conclusions. The articles (Don't Go Blaming Me. I Voted on 'Hot or Not.') in the New York Times say that we're narcissistic– but are we? To me, saying that a whole generation is narcissistic seems immature. Is writing off an entire generation just a self-obsessed cop-out due to the bad role models our parent’s generation provided? In my opinion, these articles ignore the role that society plays. Maybe we are narcissistic. On the other hand, we could just be products of the world around us– of the reality TV world we live in. We are told (or at least I was) to sell ourselves. To sell a product you have to believe in it, or at least pretend you do.

In the Ithacan yesterday, there was an article that revealed to the campus that not enough students are politically active. Is this another example of our self-involvement? Maybe we're caught up in other things ( like guitar hero, second life, the hills, etc...) maybe, just maybe, we're too busy with school. Our generation could just be suffering from anxiety about real life. There is so much pressure on us to succeed. We have been force-fed the American Dream so much that if we do break the law by protesting, or if we don't fill up our times with activities that will look good on a resume, we feel we won't get a good job. Maybe we're narcissistic because our parent's generation spent a little too much time talking about being successful and pressuring us to pick colleges while we’re still in middle school and a little less time letting us figure out things at our own pace.

I quote from an episode of Quarterlife, "A sad truth about our generation is that we were all geniuses in elementary school, but apparently the people who deal with us never got our transcripts because they don’t seem to be aware of it."

I’m not excusing us. We need to be politically active. I feel like I am, and most of my friends are. I have trouble keeping my head above water taking 15 credits. Does anyone else? If college was less about success and more about ideas, we would be more politically active.


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