Psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow says that we are raising a generation of deluded narcissists: “A new analysis of the American Freshman Survey, which has accumulated data for the past 47 years from 9 million young adults, reveals that college students are more likely than ever to call themselves gifted and driven to succeed, even though their test scores and time spent studying are decreasing.”
Dr. Ablow sees a tendency toward narcissism that has developed over the past thirty years. He sees a “toxic psychological impact of media and technology on children, adolescents and young adults, particularly as it regards turning them into faux celebrities—the equivalent of lead actors in their own fictionalized life stories.”
Where does all this narcissism originate? Dr. Ablow cites Facebook, Twitter, computer games, and MTV as four sources.
On Facebook, one can claim hundreds of “friends” while feeling they are actually connected to celebrities that they “like.”
With Twitter, the ego is aroused by the feeling that they actually have a “following” that cares what they do even if they have to explain it in 140 characters.
When playing computer games one “can pretend they are Olympians, Formula 1 drivers, rock stars or sharpshooters while “ they are really in dens and playrooms on side streets around America; that is after their hearts have raced and heads have swelled with false pride for being something they are not.”
I have a neighbor who is 60 years old. She knows that I used to be a 200+ average bowler so one day she excitedly told me how her daughter in law had bowled a 298 game. Needless to say I was impressed! A 298 is only two pins away from a perfect 300. When I asked what kind of ball she threw, I was informed that the score had been accomplished on a video game!
I didn’t know whether to laugh or shake my head in disgust so I just smiled and told her “good game.” It was just another example of how people want fame the easy way. It’s kind of like phony awards being given to losing teams and individuals in the never ending quest for someone to try and get their 15 minutes of fame although by false methods.
The original "veejays" on MTV in 1981. L-R, Nina
Blackwood, Alan Hunter, Martha Quinn, J. J. Jackson,
(back) Mark Goodman
MTV shows kids on “reality” TV shows like "Jersey Shore" that are not even close to real life but kids suck it up and portray themselves in the same manner as people like Snooki and her friends.
Does anyone remember when MTV came on the air in 1981 with “veejays” Martha Quinn, J. J. Jackson, and Mark Goodman? Do you remember the first song they played? (Click here for answer) It was a great music network then. Now, they do “Jersey Shore.”
I have said it before and will repeat it now: I think a lot of the false ego trips and artificiality of younger people today, especially males, is that they never had to serve in the military. Dropping the draft in 1973 was a huge mistake. The military turned a lot of boys into men; much more than the young lifestyles of today where "responsibility" is just another word they can’t spell.