- December 4, 2015
- Posted by: thesocialnetworkingeffect
- Category: Features, News, Research
Title:The Special Generation
Written By: Christopher Andrews
According to recent studies, the average young American adult has been labeled as narcissistic due to being raised in a society where children are often told how special they are. Psychologically, narcissism is defined as extreme selfishness with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration. Building high self-esteem in children is a challenge to parents because they would not want to boost their child’s self-esteem so high to the point that they develop a sense of entitlement towards the world. However, the lack of a parent’s affirmation can leave some children emotionally crippled which could lead to deeper psychological issues. When children are often told that they are special, it leads to their growing up to be self-centered while using excuses and justifications as a crutch.
Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University nailed it when she noted that the trend of narcissism could be harmful to personal relationships and American society. Nowhere is the aforementioned point more significant than in my generation. Young adults, ages eighteen through twenty six, have become so consumed with themselves that many feel some type of way when they are not congratulated or rewarded for any little thing that they do. The rise in Social Media use has served as a measuring stick for the value in which people view themselves. Being raised to constantly think that you are special has begun to translate to social media because when certain people don’t receive enough “likes” and or comments under their posts they’ll often delete that post because it was not popular enough. The social media thinking process is indeed a detriment to themselves and society and that has been proven by the hike in social-media-related suicides in recent years. When not enough people think that your posts are special by “liking” them or showing interest in them, some people take measures such as ranting or stepping away from social media in general.
The challenge in preventing children from growing up to think they are special lies in the fact that children need love, emotional support, and reassurance at all times. No parent wants to be responsible in creating the adult that feels like nobody loves them just because they were rarely uplifted as a child. It can be seen in school classrooms for example that the more you positively pour into children, the more effort that the child will apply towards their studies. In order to prevent being constantly labeled “special” from becoming a detriment in adult life, parents should let their children know that they are indeed special to them as parents but may not be seen as such by others. Parents can prevent narcissism by specifically explaining to their children why they are special to them as well as participating in humbling activities with their children such as volunteering at a homeless shelter.
Conditioning your child to think that he or she is special even without merit could place them in a false reality that may have negative implications on their adult lives. Professor Twenge’s study notes that narcissistic people are more likely to have romantic relationships that are short-lived. Plenty of romantic relationships today are short-lived because people quit on their relationships too fast due to feeling as though they are not getting their worth from their significant other. “Special” kids sometimes turn into “special” adults who cannot keep a consistent romantic relationship going because they are unwilling to compromise with their significant other because their self-esteem will not allow them to. Growing up and often being told that you’re special could lead to a sort of mental disorder that stems from self-centeredness and the inability to separate the self from actual reality.
As you can see, when a child is often told that they are special it can lead to narcissistic adult. A self-centered adult is one of the biggest detriments to society because they are unwilling to compromise and apply the necessary effort to make the world a better place for everyone. Narcissism in today’s society is displayed through the classroom and social media, just to name a couple exhibits. In the classroom, certain students apply a lackluster effort and are shocked when their grade reflects the same because they never thought that receiving a bad grade could happen to them. Once certain young adults fail to achieve a certain level of admiration they often look for new ways to cultivate their desired admiration. The narcissistic culture is shown on a daily basis though social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram; when that adult does not feel special in the form of “likes”, they’ll either delete the post or deactivate their social media for lack of attention.