Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Culture of "Me"

Here's another article by Dr. Keith Ablow, one which I highly recommend: We are raising a generation of deluded narcissists.

As the title suggests, Dr. Ablow is flagging the growing epidemic of narcissism and self-centeredness in our society - a result of our infatuation with media and technology. Regarding the data that indicates a growing trend of narcissism in young people, Dr. Ablow writes:
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.
Self-centeredness gives way to unhappiness and the realization that the world doesn't revolve around "me." Ablow says this:
That’s really the unavoidable end, by the way. False pride can never be sustained. The bubble of narcissism is always at risk of bursting...Distractions, however, are temporary, and the truth is eternal. Watch for an epidemic of depression and suicidality, not to mention homicidality, as the real self-loathing and hatred of others that lies beneath all this narcissism rises to the surface.  I see it happening and, no doubt, many of you do, too.   
Such an important article for parents to read. In spite of modern advances in other directions, I believe that it's getting harder to parent kids. We're responsible for protecting them from the infiltration of media and predatory marketing, which is getting stronger every day. The end result of letting down our guard may be unpleasantly surprising.

Parents can't do it alone. We need the help of everyone to acknowledge the negative side effects of embracing the onslaught of media and technology without reservation, self-reflection and regard for the public good. Change might be like turning around the Titanic. But we owe it to ourselves to try.

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