Move over baby-boomers, there’s a new monster in town, and it’s my generation. I’ve always said I don’t like people who are around my age (let’s say the 18-to-30 age group), and now a study conducted over the past 47 years that has surveyed roughly 9 million young adults gives me a rationale for my feelings.
The study showed that college freshmen over the last 47 years have steadily come to think more and more highly of themselves, believing they are above average and exaggerating their skills and talents.
As the UK’s Daily Mail reports,
“While students are much more likely to call themselves gifted in writing abilities, objective test scores actually show that their writing abilities are far less than those of their 1960s counterparts.”
Psychologist Jean Twenge, one of the authors of this study, remarked on the inflated narcissism of today’s youth.
“What’s really become prevalent over the last two decades is the idea that being highly self-confident–loving yourself, believing in yourself–is the key to success. Now the interesting thing about that belief is it’s widely held, it’s very deeply held, and it’s also untrue.”
Other studies complement Twenge’s, showing that attempts to boost kids’ self-esteem more often result in kids performing worse than before. Roy Baumeister of Florida State University explains, “An intervention that encourages [students] to feel good about themselves, regardless of work, may remove the reason to work hard.”
This is why America’s youth largely support Democrats. One of the key Democratic philosophies is that success is not earned, but inherited, so don’t bother trying; failure is not the result of our own actions, but of the actions of others. If we fail, we deserve a reward; if we succeed, the right thing to do is to give your earned reward to someone who failed. Trophies for participation shall be just as grand and glittering as the trophy for the winner.
The findings of Twenge’s study also help explain the failed Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011. OWS protesters were little more than romantic idealists who felt that they were entitled to things and stuff, man, and that if they didn’t receive those gifts, they were going to defecate without inhibition, stomp their feet, and break things–much like an undisciplined, improperly parented child.
And this is, of course, why Barack Obama won re-election. He was largely supported by the youth, who felt that they were deserving of the handouts Obama was promising.
So to future generations, let me apologize on behalf of my fellow mid-Generation-Y brats. I tried reaching out to them to show them how destructive their selfishness would be to future generations–but how do you tell the selfish that they’re hurting others and expect to see any change in behavior? The very nature of the selfish is to shrug their shoulders in response to the imploring and say, “So?”