[INTJ] Millennials, the Internet, and Narcissism

Millennials, the Internet, and Narcissism

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This is a discussion on Millennials, the Internet, and Narcissism within the INTJ Forum - The Scientists forums, part of the NT's Temperament Forum- The Intellects category; ...

  1. #1

    Millennials, the Internet, and Narcissism

    Recent research has suggested that increasing number of Americans (not sure about other nationalities/cultures) born in the 1970s to early 1980s (Generation X) as well as in the 1990s (Millennials) are suffering from an epidemic of narcissism as a consequence of the emphasis placed on self-esteem and self-promotion in modern parenting and the media, and fed by Internet social networking sites (like Personality Café) that reinforce an obsessive need for admiration and ego-enhancement (see also most recent reality TV shows – particularly egregious is My Super Sweet 16 on MTV). Indeed, some researchers have grouped these cohorts into a single cohort, labeling it “Generation Me” (See Twenge & Campbell 2009 The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement). In 2007, 60 Minutes focused on the work ethic and expectations of Millennials…money quote: “You now have a generation coming into the workplace that has grown up with the expectation that they will automatically win, and they'll always be rewarded, even for just showing up” (The "Millennials" Are Coming - 60 Minutes - CBS News).

    Let’s define narcissism. Social psychologists argue that narcissists are characterized by (1) a positive and inflated view of the self, especially on agentic traits (e.g., power, importance, physical attractiveness); (2) typically display social extraversion, although people high in narcissism have relatively little interest in forming warm, emotionally intimate bonds with others; (3) employ a wide range of self-regulation efforts aimed at enhancing the self (e.g., attention seeking, taking credit from others, seeking high-status romantic partners, and searching for opportunities to achieve public glory). Further, those high in narcissism also tend to lash out with aggression when they are rejected or insulted. In sum, narcissism can be conceptualized as a self-regulating system, where self-esteem and enhancement are sought through a variety of social means but with little regard for the consequences borne by others (Narcissism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

    I would like to open this up for discussion with the following questions in mind:

    Are newer generational Americans more narcissistic in their view of self, deserving the label “Generation Me”?

    Do social networking sites (and blogs) promote narcissism?

    Do you think that the “self-esteem” movement does more harm than good?



  2. #2
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    I don't know but being narcissistic is a pretty good feeling.

  3. #3
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Well, probably.

    I think we all have some of these tendancies and it takes time for the teenagers and young adults to learn to manage them.
    MindBomb thanked this post.

  4. #4
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Quote Originally Posted by MindBomb View Post

    I would like to open this up for discussion with the following questions in mind:

    Do social networking sites (and blogs) promote narcissism?

    Do you think that the “self-esteem” movement does more harm than good?[/FONT]
    Well that depends. Everyone has some narcissism in them, otherwise you will be considered psychologically ill. It's the occasional sense of superiority. Nothing wrong with it. But of course that depends on how you define narcissism. From a psychological point of view, narcissism is actually pretty good, provided you are already accomplished to begin with. An inflated ego coupled with incompetence is your worst nightmare. Anyway, I find narcissism a form of psychological reassurance. Confidence is an important factor in essentially everything you do. Probably that's why competent narcissists are more difficult to deal with as compared to a equally competent non-narcissist person. All I see in social networking is promoting ' cyber propaganda ' and probably some PR. Lol.
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  5. #5
    Unknown Personality

    a positive and inflated view of the self, especially on agentic traits (e.g., power, importance, physical attractiveness); (2) typically display social extraversion, although people high in narcissism have relatively little interest in forming warm, emotionally intimate bonds with others; (3) employ a wide range of self-regulation efforts aimed at enhancing the self (e.g., attention seeking, taking credit from others, seeking high-status romantic partners, and searching for opportunities to achieve public glory
    Nice. Vague. How do you measure this? How do you "over-value" yourself? I think a little bit of overvaluing is probably healthy - seeing the grim reality of one's existence hurts a lot. And what is wrong with social extraversion? And what is wrong with wanting high-status partners? Taking credit from others is less nice, but that's something that history is made off.


    Why am I even dignifying this with a response?

  6. #6
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Quote Originally Posted by Filo View Post
    Why am I even dignifying this with a response?
    Because it deserves consideration.

    I had a similar discussion with coworkers yesterday morning surrounding the recent election results in the US. (There has been a significant backlash against the President's party as a result of the continuing economic crisis, among other things.) One gentleman made the bold statement that the day we ended the draft was the day we set the stage for the mess we are in now. His reasoning: GenXers have lost touch with the idea of service.

    Baby Boom parents didn't want their children to experience the horrors they saw inherent in military conflict so they encouraged their kids to go to college and get jobs instead of join the military. They encouraged their kids to be focused on themselves, on status, and on material things. (Go to school, get a good job, don't do what I did, don't settle for turning a wrench, don't be a jarhead, you can do better than me, etc.) This narcissistic focus led to a sense of entitlement which can be attributed to the inflated credit market and subsequent collapse. We were not satisfied with a humble existence and so sought the means, any means, to greater status and luxury. A long cycle of self-centered focus, from corporations seeking to make greater profits for demanding shareholders to moms who wanted the safest most posh vehicles for their babies, resulted in an initially booming economy then, as jobs were outsourced to allow for greater profits, collapse.

    Perhaps if we had been encouraged to serve something greater than ourselves, we would have been able to mitigate, even avoid, much of our current situation. A sense of self-sacrifice for the greater good, of being responsible for and to other people, is a vital character trait that is missing in my generation.

    (I am NOT suggesting that military service, conscripted or voluntary, is necessary to develop that awareness. It is just one avenue.)
    MindBomb, Hermes, Snakecharmer and 1 others thanked this post.

  7. #7
    Unknown Personality

    Perhaps if we had been encouraged to serve something greater than ourselves, we would have been able to mitigate, even avoid, much of our current situation. A sense of self-sacrifice for the greater good, of being responsible for and to other people, is a vital character trait that is missing in my generation.
    First of all, I am very unconvinced that we have a "situation"; the comments about youth have been the same since Plato. Lazy, self-absorbed, do not care for the greater good, etc. Secondly, I doubt that forcing people to comply to the will of the State will do any good. We already have this system in place. It is called "school". If 14 years of schooling can't instill a sense of community, then why would a year of boot camp do it? And if it were to work, why not integrate it in school?

    I'm not even touching the ethical hot potato of whether the State has the right to interfere with the well-being of its citizens to that extent, the practical matter of how successful States that try this are, or the ethical ramifications of sending young men and women out to a godforsaken hellhole to have their limbs blown off by an illiterate goatherder because they just happened to be born on a certain piece of soil. As for "greater than myself", I do not consider the politicians that currently mismanage my country to be greater than myself, especially the unelected Eurocrats that make more than half the rules.

    So yes, I'd completely agree with your friend, I definitely won't serve an institution I have no inherent respect for.

    My apologies if this seem caustic: this is a very sensitive subject for me. The idea of violating the free will of another human being, and forcing him to do things he or she does not want to do is physically abhorrent to me. I fully understand how a rational human being, reasoning from different ethical values, can come to a different conclusion, and respect your viewpoint.
    MindBomb and mushr00m thanked this post.

  8. #8
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Quote Originally Posted by Filo View Post
    First of all, I am very unconvinced that we have a "situation"; the comments about youth have been the same since Plato. Lazy, self-absorbed, do not care for the greater good, etc. Secondly, I doubt that forcing people to comply to the will of the State will do any good. We already have this system in place. It is called "school". If 14 years of schooling can't instill a sense of community, then why would a year of boot camp do it? And if it were to work, why not integrate it in school?

    I'm not even touching the ethical hot potato of whether the State has the right to interfere with the well-being of its citizens to that extent, the practical matter of how successful States that try this are, or the ethical ramifications of sending young men and women out to a godforsaken hellhole to have their limbs blown off by an illiterate goatherder because they just happened to be born on a certain piece of soil. As for "greater than myself", I do not consider the politicians that currently mismanage my country to be greater than myself, especially the unelected Eurocrats that make more than half the rules.

    So yes, I'd completely agree with your friend, I definitely won't serve an institution I have no inherent respect for.

    My apologies if this seem caustic: this is a very sensitive subject for me. The idea of violating the free will of another human being, and forcing him to do things he or she does not want to do is physically abhorrent to me. I fully understand how a rational human being, reasoning from different ethical values, can come to a different conclusion, and respect your viewpoint.
    Did you perhaps miss my last line?
    Quote Originally Posted by ChanceyRose View Post
    (I am NOT suggesting that military service, conscripted or voluntary, is necessary to develop that awareness. It is just one avenue.)
    Service to something other than one's own purpose does not necessarily equate to service to the State. I, too, place strong emphasis on free will and minimal interference from the State. Service can come in the form of volunteer work within the community, within a faith-based organization, or simply being a helpful neighbor.

    School, in the US, does not instill a sense of service, humility, or even a good work ethic -- all of which are missing in the GenX and Millennial culture which contributes to the rise in narcissism. The current thought in education is that all children are equally intelligent and deserving of high recognition. High schools regularly graduate multiple valedictorians. The children are told that they deserve <insert whatever child wants> because the other children are getting it. Trophies are handed out for participation, not for winning. Good grades are given because a child did the best he/she could (in the teacher's estimation) and not because the work was stellar. Adults pick up after the children, refuse to discipline them for rude behavior, and dismiss destructive attitudes because "kids will be kids" or "they only have one childhood." All of this contributes to a sense of entitlement that is the heart of the self-esteem movement the OP refers to.

    You are correct that the "Lazy, self-absorbed, do not care for the greater good." This is narcissism. The OP is not concerned with the healthy sense of self-worth that is expressed in confidence and self-preservation or the justified ego of an accomplished individual. Rather, the OP is referring to the inflated and unsupported conceit of individuals who feel that the world owes them an easier life simply because their parents, the media, and the marketing gurus told them so.
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  9. #9
  10. #10
    Unknown Personality

    Did you perhaps miss my last line?
    No, the issue is that if you do not make it mandatory, you won't reach the people who would benefit most from it.

    School, in the US, does not instill a sense of service, humility, or even a good work ethic -- all of which are missing in the GenX and Millennial culture which contributes to the rise in narcissism. The current thought in education is that all children are equally intelligent and deserving of high recognition. High schools regularly graduate multiple valedictorians. The children are told that they deserve <insert whatever child wants> because the other children are getting it. Trophies are handed out for participation, not for winning. Good grades are given because a child did the best he/she could (in the teacher's estimation) and not because the work was stellar. Adults pick up after the children, refuse to discipline them for rude behavior, and dismiss destructive attitudes because "kids will be kids" or "they only have one childhood." All of this contributes to a sense of entitlement that is the heart of the self-esteem movement the OP refers to.
    To be honest, that seems to be a US thing. Here, kids do not get that kind of treatment. Kids are segregated based on intelligence and talent at age 11, and the less intelligent ones are forced into trade school. 40% of students in high school has to redo a year, on a good high school. Basically, people without good work ethic will not go to college. You learn the price of incompetence and failure at a very early age. After a summer job cleaning crates of rotten vegetables, I knew very well that this would be my career if I didn't work my sorry ass off in uni.
    PyrLove, MindBomb and mushr00m thanked this post.


     
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