This May 2013, John Stein wrote an article titled “The Me Me Me Generation” that featured on the cover of the monthly issue of US Time magazine. Shortly after the its release, I logged into Faceable to find a flurry of posts by my “friends” expressing their offense at the article and being called “lazy, entitled narcissists” on the front cover of a national magazine. I even encountered one scathing critique accusing Gene X of “raping our planet”. After deciding to read the article, and strangely found that I agreed with it.
The article begins with facts from highly regarded academics on how narcissism test exults have sharply increased over the past 20 years with the rise of social media. Stein suggests that we have turned into brands defined by the number of followers. Because we seem to embellish our own lives Just to keep up with the highly interesting posts that we constantly see, Stein dubs us as the most narcissistic generation in existence. However, the second half of the article goes on to focus on how this could be a positive thing. Our need to keep up with friends and technology could be translated to having a need to advance in the corporate world.
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Yet the fact that so many of my peers, myself included, were so easily bruised by the offensive title is worrying. Underneath the negative sub heading, John Stein inserts “Why they’ll save us all”, a part that was completely overlooked in every post. I highly doubt that any of the Faceable critics actually read the article, because had they done so, they would have realized that it does not attack our generation, but rather provides a balanced summary of our generation. Perhaps we are as naive and immature as the title suggests after all.