January 13, 2013


"We are raising a generation of deluded narcissists."

Several years ago, a study showed that a very high number of youth in the US and UK chose "celebrity" as their presumed "job" when they grew up. And why would they need to develop a talent when they see so many clueless train wrecks on reality TV getting their own shows? The hideous New York from Flava Flav's show was so psychotic that they'd even bring her back on other seasons just to terrorize and then gave her a show of her own, with her equally hateful mother.

Look at Adam Lanza, who gunned down those kids in Sandy Hook. He was so uncommunicative that he couldn't even make a sound when he was in physical pain. And what is the mindset of most young men? Thump their chests to say "I am the man!" and establish their own identity as they distance themselves from their parents. Well, it's hard to be "the man" when society ranks you on how many twitter followers and youtube views and facebook comments you have--and you don't communicate well. So what do you do? You bottle up your frustration and you gun down a bunch of people and SHAZAM!--suddenly the whole world is talking about you. You may be dead, but you're trending out the wazoo on twitter! Winning!

Of course, the vast majority of kids are not certifiably insane. But as outlined in this article, there is an emptiness and delusion attached to social media. And an unhealthy isolation. While I don't agree with this author's attempts to tie this to the president's failure to recognize business successes and the stock market (this is from Fox News after all), Dr. Keith Ablow has hit on a very real problem:

"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."