All About ME

The May 20, 2013 issue of
Time Magazine featured a quite intriguing statement that somehow
describes today’s generation, as what the writer Joel Stein coined:
The ME, ME, ME Generation, otherwise called as The Millenials. On
the cover, Stein perceived this generation as “lazy, entitled
narcissists who still live with their parents”…and double-spaced
away, he added “Why they’ll save us all.”

Weeks
ago, I was watching the news when a cable news channel also
featured this issue and it got me interested for the reason that,
drawn from the “ME ME ME” phrase itself, self-vanity and
narcissistic tendencies have become apparent not only in the United
States, but in the Philippines as well. Zooming it in, I have
observed these behaviors in people whom I deal with everyday
especially in the social media. But of course, Stein has presented
his statistics to prove his claim based on the studies conducted by
some institutions, for instance, “the National Institute of Health
states that the narcissistic personality disorders are three times
as prominent in Generation-Y as they are in those that are now 65
years of age or older.” I don’t need to define narcissism, but
considering how Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other forms of
social media changed the way young people perceive society today,
our folks might find it hard to understand. In our barangay, there
is this one famous dialogue between the old and the young when the
argument about generation gap comes in. When a parent or a
grandparent would reprimand a child about his or her “odd’ ways or
behavior, the latter would often answer back “Ti iba man
ang kato sa kadya”
(The then is different than the now)
and the scuffle continues. Indeed, things have changed a lot since
then especially with the advent of technology and information
superhighway. The internet has become a pool, and, seeing ourselves
in it, we fall in love with our own reflection.

A
friend told me once about how this friend of ours would often
complain because she doesn’t get as many likes than her other
friends have. She would often check her Facebook and tries to
compare her photos with her friends and get dismayed after finding
out that she has only few likes, and worse, she would send private
messages and tell them to like the photos. How narcissistic can you
get? I guess we are all guilty of that, subconsciously or not, we
try to get attention when we post statuses or our photos on
Facebook or Twitter. It’s all about sounding good. It’s all about
looking good.

Life’s
Paul Hudson wrote in his article “Why Generation ‘Me’ Will Change
the World’ as published in elitedaily.com,

Once Generation-Y hits such an
age, I am sure our narcissistic tendencies will have been far-gone.
I can agree that our generation may be more focused on our looks
than previous generations when they were of similar age, but this
is a result of our environment. The fact is that our lives are
recorded and published on the Internet with or without our
consent.

We are bound to appear in photos on
Facebook no matter whether we take them ourselves or not — most
often we will find ourselves tagged in the photos of our friends.
If we know that others will be looking at us and judging us — as is
human nature — then it only makes sense that we would take more
care to look
presentable.

Indeed. I mean,
no one wants to expose their pimply faces or flaunt their
disheveled hair without stopping by a Photoshop. With just a click
and a little tweak, voila, your Photoshop godmother has turned you
into a Cinderella!

Joel Stein may be too blatant
in calling this generation lazy, entitled narcissistic who still
live with their parents. Or maybe he’s too honest to debunk the
truth which, in a way, is very apparent in the world of social
media. However, that’s not all there is to say about the ME
Generation. Personally, I don’t totally agree with Stein. First of
all, he was trying to categorize people into groups and brand them
in terms of behaviors, interests, etc. I believe that every
generation has its own share of manifesting certain behaviors and
interests but that doesn’t mean they are as good as other
generations that came after them. I mean, laziness is universal.
Being dependent is universal. Being narcissistic is universal. What
separates these differences is the kind of environment that
influence such behaviors and interests. It all boils down to
technology. And it isn’t a bad thing after all, right? Seeing our
artworks being liked or even our blog being read by other netizens
boost our confidence to do more. To work harder. As a writer, I
love to publish my work, and blogging, being an embodiment of my
own vanity serves as my own way to share my talent to the world.
But getting a low register in my blog statistics doesn’t enrage me.
I have high hopes, just as other young people who hope that they
could be celebrities, politicians, and just plain activists through
their photos and tweets.

Laziness? I don’t think
so. Again, society may brand this generation a bunch of slackers, and not
getting out of the house or still living with their parents are
tantamount to being lazy, but in my opinion, the youth today are
silent workers. With the influx of online and outsourcing jobs, who
needs to keep themselves away from home? And yes, giving in to that
label “narcissistic”, today’s generation want to be their own boss.
We are saturated with many dilemmas in terms of economy and social
situations that more often than not. we get tired of hearing or
even experiencing when we get employed in the future. Thus, we turn
inside, and make things successfully on our own. Because we have
the drive. The confidence. I certainly agree with what Hudson wrote
to refute Stein’s claim about the generation’s so-called
laziness,

The truth is that we
are too smart to fall into the same trap that previous generations
have succumbed to. We aren’t lazy; we understand that it is stupid
to make life harder for ourselves. We may not all work 40 hours a
week — although I have to point out that I cannot be alone having
at one point worked 80 hours a week — but we work on ourselves,
bettering our character and our habits in order to prepare
ourselves for the positions that we actually wish to hold. Of
course not all — because such stereotyping is silly to think
factual — but I dare to say the majority.

I
think it cliche to end this article by saying that the only thing
constant is change. And previous generation can learn a lesson or
two from today’s generation. Society is not at all that perfect.
And instead of pointing out our differences and castigating faults
that this generation entrapped itself in, we should open our mind
and look at the possibilities this young people will take us. As
Joel Stein concluded his article, “Me, I choose to believe in the
children. God knows they do.”

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One thought on “All About ME

  1. Reblogged this on thewallflowerconfessions and commented:

    Joel Stein may be too blatant
    in calling this generation lazy, entitled narcissistic who still
    live with their parents. Or maybe he’s too honest to debunk the
    truth which, in a way, is very apparent in the world of social
    media. However, that’s not all there is to say about the ME
    Generation.

    Like

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