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A generation of deluded narcissists

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#1    DieChecker


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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:45 PM



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.

Psychologist Jean Twenge, the lead author of the analysis, is also the author of a study showing that the tendency toward narcissism in students is up 30 percent in the last thirty-odd years.
This data is not unexpected.  I have been writing a great deal over the past few years about the 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.

On Facebook, young people can fool themselves into thinking they have hundreds or thousands of “friends.” They can delete unflattering comments. They can block anyone who disagrees with them or pokes holes in their inflated self-esteem. They can choose to show the world only flattering, sexy or funny photographs of themselves (dozens of albums full, by the way), “speak” in pithy short posts and publicly connect to movie stars and professional athletes and musicians they “like.”

I see this happening every day on Facebook. My wife's sisters are much younger and everything that goes on in social circles in High School and College is about the Drama of being recognized and not being disrespected. Giving a kid today negative feedback is not considered to be instructional anymore, it is considered an attack.

Kids have been taught that they are super special regardless of if they are C or even D students. Having good self esteame is one thing, but being delusional is another all together.

Edited by DieChecker, 09 January 2013 - 08:45 PM.

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#2    questionmark


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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:55 PM

That is a result of the mini family, there where there is only one or two kids they are made to feel special from day 1. We had that type before but not in such numbers.

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#3    OverSword


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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:58 PM

There didn't need to be a survey for me to know this.

#4    Drayno


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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:07 PM

I'll agree with this unfortunately. As a child of this generation, I've recognized this in many of my peers.

Even in myself at times; although it was always a matter of laziness and not intelligence for me.

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#5    ouija ouija

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:18 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 09 January 2013 - 08:55 PM, said:

That is a result of the mini family, there where there is only one or two kids they are made to feel special from day 1. We had that type before but not in such numbers.
IMO that's too simplistic because in a larger family a somewhat sensitive soul can get so trampled on and pushed to the back of the 'queue' all the time that their self esteem can be killed off almost completely. Likewise, if there's only one child in the family they can become the only focus of their parent's fears and worries, making them over-anxious and timid.

What, in all the world, could I do to earn my living and still live as myself, as I knew myself to be? Temporary masks, I knew, had their place; everyone was wearing them, they were the human rage; but not masks cemented in place until the wearer could not breathe and was eventually suffocated.

#6    AsteroidX


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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:22 PM

Kids may be smart but they lack 0 life experience and many lack the wisdom which comes from having a few more years not sheltered by a education system that is set up to spoon feed them what it wants.

#7    Coffey


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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:07 PM

View PostDieChecker, on 09 January 2013 - 08:45 PM, said:

Kids have been taught that they are super special regardless of if they are C or even D students. Having good self esteame is one thing, but being delusional is another all together.

Well Einstein didn't finish school (his choice though) and his class mates thought he was stupid.

So really you can't judge on School exam results. It's a very flawed system for  lot of reasons. One of the biggest being the fact 70% of kids that age do not take them seriously which means the results really show who did. Not how intelligent they are.

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#8    Pyridium



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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:38 PM

These are the people that will be running this country in a few years.  No need to excell at anything, all will be treated equally and nobody will be left out.  I am so glad that I have just a few more years on this planet, what I am watching is just making me sick.

#9    calaf


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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:09 PM

As a retired teacher of 35 years I have heard the plaint that our children needed more self esteem. I was not very popular when I suggested that was the last thing they needed and that a dose of humility would serve them better.

#10    WoIverine



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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:59 PM

I never could understand why people want to spread their lives onto the internet, I just don't get it.

#11    aztek


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Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:04 AM

don't blame your kids for being arrogant a holes, blame yourself for letting them become this way. lack of YOUR parent skills made that happen.


#12    Jinxdom


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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:06 AM

Not surprising, considering on how schools teach self-esteem. You need self-esteem to succeed. Reversing the cause and effect. Should be you get self-esteem when you succeed, when you don't succeed try harder to succeed. Nothing ever good comes out of making something out of nothing. Self-esteem is one of them.

Can't teach people how things really work because heaven forbid we hurt people's feelings.

Edited by Jinxdom, 10 January 2013 - 10:07 AM.

#13    Orcseeker



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Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:11 PM

A lot of people I know who have this problem have family issues. Thats where the problem is. I do agree, one such person wants to be famous, worships the famous people, is extremely insecure and has a low self esteem. Has mummy and daddy issues and mental issues on top of that. All I see in this is self destruction. I know I can help but not at this time.

People just need to realise all this fame and such means squat. If it meant a solution to all your problems we wouldn't have so many depressed celebrities. As mentioned earlier, people need some sort of humility. They all think the world owes them something but guess what, it doesn't owe them a thing.

#14    Rafterman



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Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:30 PM

I completely agree.

As harsh as it sounds, kids need to be told that unless they have the drive and bust their asses to excel they will, more than likely, simply lead insignificant and unimportant lives.  And frankly, even if they do those things, there's still a good chance that they'll live little to no mark on the planet that they ever existed.

No amount of Facebook/Twitter friends and duck faced self shots will change that.

That's the reality of things.

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#15    Mantis914


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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:12 PM

I have seen positive characteristics in some of the youngsters that come through the doors of our college.  Polite manners are not all gone and some students are quite friendly and kind of remind me of the way we (80's kids) were growing up.  For the most part, I am shown respect from a lot of the students that are probably fresh out of high school.  Of course, there are the ones that want me to do the work for them or snap their fingers to get my attention or in general hate to be told what to do or how to do things.  These are probably be the kind that end up making AT&T commercials in their ad department which are probably the most disrespectful commercials I think I have ever seen...

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