Thursday, January 17, 2008

By a Hair

According to this New York Times article about narcissism that FoxyJ sent me (trying to tell me something?), a study released last year dubbed Americans 18-25 the "Look at Me" generation.

Phew. Last year I was twenty-seven.


Mr. Fob said...

P.S. The article is actually about critiques of that study, saying that narcissism is not a generational characteristic but a trait of youth from any generation. "It’s a temporary condition of being self-focused, not a permanent generational characteristic." Which means, I suppose, that there's hope that I'll grow out of it.

MoHoHawaii said...

Here's what old people think (smallish sample size):

View 1: Aging tempers narcissism because life eventually kicks you in the teeth. Middle age is all about understanding your limits-- finding out how far you will go in your career (or more to the point, won't go), failing at something or other, watching your body start to go south, etc. So, Mr. Just-Turned-Twenty-Seven, don't worry about your narcissism. Let's compare notes when you're in your late 40s.

View 2: Narcissim is a luxury. The Greatest Generation, you may recall, faced truly wretched circumstances. When times get tough (and they appear to be headed there), young people will adapt. As harsh as it sounds, this problem will fix itself in a generation.

View 3: Reality is no fun whatsoever. As everybody knows, fantasy is much more fun. Narcissism is a form of reality avoidance, much like blogging or, especially, blog commenting.

In summary, the narcissist may ask himself if he is 1) immature, 2) spoiled or 3) avoidant. This comment sounds just like an old person, doesn't it?

Mr. Fob said...

A wonderful interpretation! I'll take all of the above. Especially the part about narcissism being like blogging. I definitely see the connection there.

Oh, and I was twenty-seven last year. I'm a mature twenty-eight now.

Th. said...


You and me, we're harbingers.

Mr. Fob said...

Do you suppose I can talk about that on the leadership section of my graduation portfolio? "I led an entire generation of Americans into narcissism."

Sir Jupiter said...

I lost interest in this post because it wasn't specifically about me.

Mr. Fob said...

Hm. I feel the same about your comment.