According to a new study by 5 psychologists, this generation is much more narcissistic and self centered than the previous ones. Can we argue there? Look at MySpace, YouTube and the other hundreds of other social networking sites that cater to this type of behavior. These are the most popular sites on the web, rising faster than Yahoo, MSN, and Google put together.
What I mean by this type of behavior, is that these sites put importance on popularity, and who is seen the most is considered “better” than others. So it becomes a wild wild west type of atmosphere where everyone tries to outdo one another to “be seen” the most. It’s quite ironic that a social networking atmosphere creates more self absorbed individuals, rather than group and sharing oriented individuals, but that’s the truth.
This reminds me of another study I came across a while back, saying that reality TV contestants are the most self centered people in society, even more than career actors or entertainers. It’s this thirst for wanting to be in the spotlight that can be detrimental to society. And when you have people pushing these ideas (tv execs, websites) to make large sums of money, it is a recipe for disaster.
Self centered people are more likely than others to be violent, cheat on their spouse, lack emotional warmth, and lie. This is NOT a good direction to go into. But as long as reality TV shows and sites like MySpace are so popular, this is not about to change whatsoever.
Glorifying individualism is a bad idea in the end, because we should be pushed to collaborate with one another. That’s where humans create magic, by working together. Sure, you can argue that it’s human nature for some to crave to rise above the rest and stand out. My answer to this is: There is a BIG difference between displaying leadership, and simply craving to be seen. Both crave to rise above the rest, but one is for a positive purpose (a leader leads others, and a good leader will lead for a good cause), while the other is purely to satisfy their meaningless ego. Technology has the ability to bring humans closer than ever before, let’s hope we end up using it to help one another instead of for self serving purposes.