The "Me" Millennials

The “Me” Millennials
Alina Fairbanks 
Image result for woman taking selfie            Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube; there are so many social media websites. My Dad likes to combine some and call it “snap gram!” Bless his soul. I understand his confusion though. If you didn’t grow up in this generation, how can you keep up with this technology? “Did you see what (insert name) posted on Twitter? I can’t believe he/she said that.” Next time you’re on Instagram or Facebook, count how many selfies you see. Why do we need self-validation? Why do we receive a thrill from someone liking our photos?
I know I sound like our grandparents who say “back in my day” and “kids these days are so into themselves.” Every time I hear my grandparents say this about me and my generation, I think “but what did you do to piss of your grandparents?” Are millennials narcissistic because it’s a way to express ourselves in a rebellious approach? Every generation has something to complain about the current generation. The roaring 20’s for instance; they knocked on bookcases in hidden libraries to enter a secret bar during the probation. Textbooks, documentaries and class lectures have called flapper girls “rebellious” and “self-absorbed.” Jennifer A. Williamson wrote “The Sentimental Mode: Essays in Literature, Film and Television” and discussed the roaring 20’s and flapper girls. She describes them as “fiercely intensive” and “flapper’s self-absorbed pursuits.” Society thrives off rebellious pursuits: sex sells right?
            Time’s magazine wrote an article titled “The Me Me Me Generation” in 2013. Studies show from the National Institute of Health state that 58% more college students scored higher on the narcissistic scale in 2009 than in 1982. I personally blame all the parents who gave children an award for just participating, even though I was a kid who was always picked last for dodgeball and was beat by everyone in sports. Hey, it’s character building! I look back and wish I didn’t receive a blue ribbon for “Congratulations! You tried!” Every time I did, I would run to my parents and say “look Mom and Dad, I won a blue ribbon!” Oh crap, no wonder this generation thinks we are the best. Our life has consisted of blue ribbons for anything we do.
Maybe the self-absorbed characteristic isn’t always negative? There are many positive attributes about social media and our society today. Small businesses are easier to start. For example, an artist can post his or her art on social media and get recognition. What’s so bad about that? Maybe there are two types of social media users: those that promote themselves or those that promote their passions. Maybe those who promote themselves have always been here; maybe social media is just an easier tactic to show this characteristic. 
Has self-esteem evolved into narcissism? Has narcissism evolved into a rabbit hole that intrigues young men and women to dive into? That rush of many people liking a selfie makes you feel powerful, important and in the spot light. That’s great, but don’t let it get to your head. There is a real world out there, and I personally believe putting a lot of effort and energy into narcissistic social media will become a burden. I’m not hating on those who take selfies, I just want to express that it can be an addiction, almost like a drug. Do you feel antsy when you haven’t posted a picture on Instagram or updated your Facebook status? It’s okay to admit it! Hi, my name is Alina and I am obsessed with Instagram. You are not alone.   

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