OCALA, Fla., July 18, 2014 — In our near future Generation Y, “(t)he generation of people born during the 1980s and early 1990s, will rise to power. The name is based on Generation X, the generation that preceded them.
“Members of Generation Y are often referred to as ‘echo boomers’ because they are the children of parents born during the baby boom (the ‘baby boomers’). Because children born during this time period have had constant access to technology (computers, cell phones) in their youth, they have required many employers to update their hiring strategy in order to incorporate updated forms of technology.” – BusinessDictionary.com.
Everyone is self-interested by nature. This is an essential component of survival; ordained by evolutionary biology and castigated by moralistic crusaders. Needless to say, sometimes these crusaders do have a point, specifically when self-interest loses its rational anchor and delves into the pit of self-absorption.
Generation Y has a particularly difficult problem with this.
One only needs to watch Gen Y walk down the street stopping, heads bent down as they share their lives via their smart phones. The proliferation of the “selfie” and the social media, like Instagram.com, that celebrates the individual’s every though, mood, food choice and “look.”
“The previous generations were only self destructive to a large extent with their drugs and depression but this new generation if not handled with Care and Compassion would wreck havoc in society with their selfish zeal that they have learnt as an acceptable norm from their mediocre previous generation. – Subbu Iyer
One cannot debate that Gen Y is first about Gen Y.
Academic and author Dr. Jean Twenge decided to illustrate the facts about the generation that can’t seem to see beyond itself. In her 2007 book Generation Me, she explained the social dilemmas often faced by members of Generation Y. As co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic, she outlined how self-absorption is actually changing America’s cultural landscape.
“The two benefits the self-esteem movement hoped to produce — more successful and more caring young people — have not resulted,” Dr. Twenge explained to me in 2012. “Standardized test scores for high school students are, depending on the test, unchanged or lower since the 1960s. Empathy, perspective taking, and concern for others have declined, according to large studies.”
The danger of becoming self-absorbed is present for all of us. Yet, many say that Generation Y is more narcissistic than its predecessors ever were.
“This isn’t a matter of agreeing or disagreeing, as empirical studies have answered this question,” Dr. Twenge mentioned. “These studies are unequivocal and numerous. Eleven studies show a generational increase in narcissism. They include respondents from high school age to adults, four different ways of measuring narcissism, three different research methods, four different ways of recruiting respondents, three different countries, and eight sets of authors. Five of these studies compare GenY with their predecessors at the same age. This includes one dataset that originally claimed to show no change that demonstrates significant change when analyzed correctly. Nine additional studies show increases in positive self-views.”
Social networking has kept more people in contact with one another than ever before. Nonetheless, many members of Generation Y report feeling lonely. How can this be?
“Humans thrive on in-person relationships,” Dr. Twenge stated. “If social networking means we spend less time face-to-face, that can lead to loneliness. Social networking that leads to in-person interaction has benefits, but it is not a replacement. If in-person relationships resemble healthy food, social networking is junk food.”
In the future, might Generation Y take a turn for the better? Or, could it be expected to introduce new norms to our society?
“Two things are likely to happen: GenY will adjust to the world and the world will adjust to GenY,” Dr. Twenge explained. “We’ve already seen new norms adopted in response to this generation: For example, less top-down authority and more flexible work schedules. As long as these new norms are beneficial to everyone, they are good developments. If they instead compromise learning or profit, they are unlikely to survive.”
“The future is now” is one of those sayings we here. If we are living in what is to come, is there anything new or better awaiting on the horizon? In which direction is America marching? After all, it is undeniable that we are either pushing forward or falling back.
No society can stand frozen in time.
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