Who is “Generation Me?”

If you really need me to explain… I will. Born somewhere in-between 1980 and 2000, we are also knows as “Gen-Y.” The children of the baby boomers. But more than that we are:

& this is just to name a few. Basically we are successful people who are prosperous for all the wrong reasons

David McCullough, a high school english teacher from Wellesley, Massachusetts, observed this reality of  millennials during his commencement speech, “You Are Not Special,” a few years ago. His advice?

“[To] Climb the mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.”

 

dan-johnson-commencement
David McCullough presenting his speech to a more than thrown-off audience.                      Image Source: Arcataeye.com

Maybe this sounds positive. Maybe negative. We can probably agree to a mixture of the both. Either way, it is something we have to be aware about. The same qualities that make us a thriving generation, sometimes ultimately lead to our downfall. Try to think about it contextually: 

 

We are social media fiends. We find a way to display our individuality as often as possible. This is part of the self-branding we buy into so intensely. Maybe this includes sharing our peaks as a status on Facebook, or our funnier moments on Snapchat, our most attractive moments on Instagram, or even our ugliest moments on our finstas . This as a positive makes us into crazy-good marketers. If we know how to market ourselves so well across multiple platforms, generally we are going to be able to represent our future companies pretty well too. So what’s the problem here? We engage in these types of medias with our own interests always at the forefront. We do this to self-brand, not for a sense of ourselves, but to give others a sense of who we are and/or who we want to be. This constant need to self-brand and interact with the world around us can create an aspect of narcissism, one of the most negative qualities associated with being a millennial.

The concept of narcissism in millennials is brilliantly discussed in Time Magazines edition,  Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation. The article starts off harsh, I almost had to start reading it because it seemed incredibly bias to me. Millennials are bashed and accused of having “narcissistic personality disorders.” The article then goes on to explain how it is not our fault (thank you I guess?), and it is the fault of how our parents raised us, with a you-can-do-anything parenting style, and our access to bounds of information, regardless of our economic class. As I moved deeper into the article, I could see that this was not a hate fest featuring millennials, but a rhetorical construct crafted to create an understanding for non-millennials. Yes we may be narcissistic, some may argue entitled, but we are this way as a result of the culture we have grown up in, not because we were a “bad batch.” Although we have some poor qualities, as all generations do, we have our immense strengths as well. We are optimists. We challenge convention. We are not naive enough to think we can beat the system, so we join it. 

 

We are generation me, and proud to be.

 

Featured Image Source: Joy Loftus

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