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We Are A Nation Of Narcissists
Townhall.com ^ | April 17, 2014 | Derek Hunter

Posted on 04/17/2014 4:43:16 AM PDT by Kaslin

People have been saying the country is “going to hell in a handbasket” for decades. It’s sort of a rite of passage for every current generation to look at the next one and think it will screw up things so badly everything will be ruined. But the handbasket this current generation is creating may well be the one that sinks us.

Every generation is the product of the previous one – its culture, morals, priorities, everything. In the 20th century, that meant passing on a work ethic, the importance of family and the American Dream that each generation will do better than the last. That optimism hit a wall with the baby boomers.

Baby boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, are the current leaders and, as such, set the tone for what comes next. The example they’ve set as the “me generation” planted the seeds for what we’re seeing now in the news, and those images do not bode well for the future.

Baby boomers pioneered the “if it feels good do it” mentality prevalent in the ‘60s and ‘70s – sex, drugs and rock and roll; a lifestyle that lived for the “now,” future be damned. They seemed to lack an appreciation for consequences; the hangover never sets in if you don’t stop drinking.

But the bills will come due; the piper must be paid.

Baby boomers are the credit card generation, living on money borrowed – taken, actually – from their children and grandchildren. They’re also the generation that placed emphasis on self-esteem above all.

High schools and colleges across the country have, and are, graduating little monsters who’ve never heard the word “no,” who’ve been told they’re never wrong and every choice is equally valid. These kids don’t have parents, they have “best friends.”

Parents aren’t solely responsible for this, although they are individually responsible for their own children. The culture they created, accept and celebrate is the main culprit.

We once celebrated success. Now, we simply elevate being. We once shunned certain behaviors; now, they are the yellow brick road to the future.

Andy Warhol famously said "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes," and he was nearly right. Nearly because “famous” is no longer a result of actions; it’s the goal. Celebrity is heroin, and we have a generation entering adulthood as addicted as any junkie.

Talent or achievements are no longer required for fame; it’s now as easy as being willing to make an ass of yourself on video and post it online. Successful people in the working world were once admired and held up as positive examples; now they are the object of scorn and ridicule. Unwashed children of privilege “occupy” parks and protest at their homes while networks cover these actions as if they’re accomplishments.

The media is an unindicted co-conspirator in the dumbing down of the future. It’s not just the news media – though it’s possible to watch all three major network newscasts and not learn anything worthwhile – it’s all the media. We are collectively dumber for knowing what a “Snooki,” a “Chrisley,” or a “Honey Boo Boo” are. How many brain cells committed suicide rather than be dedicated to remembering which inflated bimbo the vacant Juan Pablo hooked up with? Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian would’ve been cautionary tales 20 years ago; now they make millions for existing. The collective IQ of “reality TV stars,” musicians and celebutantes is dwarfed by the number of teeth in the mouth of a newborn baby, yet these are people admired by tens of millions of people who will assume the reins of power in the not-too-distant future.

People magazine doesn’t outsell every news magazine in print by accident, it outsells them because it is more interesting than news magazines. Why drink no-brand cola when Coke is available?

Self is all-encompassing – but it’s not the individual, it’s the collective “self.” The pursuit of attention, the need to make everything about “me” is overwhelming people now. If it isn’t shared on social media it didn’t happen.

Twitter and Facebook are the Holy Grail of this new narcissism, and we’ve all been ensnared in it to one degree or another. Having a good meal? Post a picture of it or it didn’t happen. Have a thought on a news story? Tweet a link or it doesn’t matter. Have a solid bowel movement? Well, you get the idea.

We are over-sharing like a drunken uncle at the family Christmas dinner talking about his ex-wife, and there will be consequences.

Recently, the president of the National Organization for Women clumsily tried to make to make an irrelevant point about how bad employees have it nowadays. But in the process, she accidentally made a good point. She told MSNBC employers have an advantage, “They know everything they need to know about their employees … all they have to do is go on Facebook.” She’s right, but who put it there?

If you smoked a joint with Snoop Dogg last weekend, it will make for a fun story to share with friends. But when you share it with the world, complete with pictures, it may have consequences when it comes to getting a job in the future. Stupid moments are fleeting; the Internet is forever.

When a student went on a stabbing spree in a Pittsburgh-area school, one of his victims posted a picture of himself in his hospital gown on Instagram. The “stabbing selfie” brought about a small firestorm of criticism, but it’s what society created.

Reality is being reduced to a series of 140-character tweets and a “like” button. Get punched in the face by a comedian? Don’t defend yourself, tweet it! A madman shooting up a mall? Forget getting to safety, the world must know your every thought.

There is nothing not shared on social media anymore – from births to birthdays, dates to break-ups. Everything is fodder for the attention monster we’re all becoming. Facebook is full of profile pictures featuring everything from people’s most intimate moments to their latest appearance on cable TV as if they’d cured cancer, Foursquare lets the world know where you are at any given moment. It’s hard to tell if people truly are upset the NSA is tracking their every move or if they’re simply mad the NSA beat them to the punch. Privacy isn’t being stolen as much as it’s being voluntarily traded for a quick fix of micro-fame.

We have become a nation of narcissists – attention junkies measuring our success by the number of Facebook friends and Twitter followers we have rather than our accomplishments. None of us are immune – to one degree or another we’ve all been affected by this attention seeking. What that will mean when the next generation assumes power remains to be seen, but it can’t be good. I opine about it regularly on Twitter. Give me a follow!


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: millenials; selfie; twitter

1 posted on 04/17/2014 4:43:16 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Yes, but how does this news affect ME?!


2 posted on 04/17/2014 4:50:21 AM PDT by WayneS (Help Control Politician Overpopulation - Spay or Neuter Your Senator or Congressman Today!)
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To: Kaslin

I refer to the millenials as the “selfie” generation because you see so many if them on their FB posts that way. They sure seem to “love” themselves enough...


3 posted on 04/17/2014 4:52:05 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: Kaslin

facebook proves it

I try to tell my clients shut the thing down but they apparently believe their lives are so so Kardashianly fascinating that photos of them with their pierced tongues out are great.

Honest people of integrity who just want to live a quiet life raising their children are few and far between.


4 posted on 04/17/2014 4:52:39 AM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: jsanders2001

The narcissist posts about herself, even when holding someone’s new baby, instead of talking about baby and mom, talks about how she wants one. Never a picture without the narcissist or her belongings (which include husband and children).

All narcissists posts are me me me me!


5 posted on 04/17/2014 4:56:21 AM PDT by Chickensoup (Leftist totalitarian fascism is on the move.)
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To: Kaslin

That’s a photo of some of the cast from ‘The Young and the Restless.’ I’m not sure what that has to do with the article, though...


6 posted on 04/17/2014 4:58:33 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: Kaslin

Years ago we didn’t have the internet. No You Tube, no cell phone cameras, Facebook, stuff like that. Many people are fascinated with their selves because there are so many ways to say “look at me”.

Shame they don’t care about their freedom in the same way. If the government ever turns off their fun, they will sink into deep depression.


7 posted on 04/17/2014 4:58:55 AM PDT by dforest
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To: fieldmarshaldj
I’m not sure what that has to do with the article, though ...

I think it's to illustrate people's taking pictures of themselves. It was probably chosen because it was free to use, no copyright, and included public figures.

8 posted on 04/17/2014 5:06:53 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Entropy is high. Wear a hat! And carry an umbrella.)
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To: Kaslin
"Why drink no-brand cola when Coke is available?"

Because it tastes better? Personally I get most of my soda from Simpson Springs here SE Massachusetts. They have great products and if you like birch beer it is one of the few places you can buy it. I buy RC Cola because I think it is better.

9 posted on 04/17/2014 5:10:24 AM PDT by MSF BU (n)
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To: Kaslin
The SELFIE anthem:

#SELFIE (official music video by the Chainsmokers)

10 posted on 04/17/2014 5:12:32 AM PDT by Maceman
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Probably because they look nice, are doing a group selfie, and it’s a soap opera. The article is really about America becoming a collection of self-absorbed drama queens living out fantasy soap opera lives.


11 posted on 04/17/2014 5:13:47 AM PDT by henkster (I don't like bossy women telling me what words I can't use.)
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To: jsanders2001

I know plenty of women my age (49) that are constantly posting pictures they can’t wait for “Throw Back Thursday” so they can spend the day posting pics from 20 or 30 years ago. Some people need a life.


12 posted on 04/17/2014 5:16:53 AM PDT by angcat
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To: Kaslin
Barack Obama is the country's First Narcissist.
Michelle Obama is no slouch either and runs a close second.

Have you ever noticed how Barack almost always manages to twist every occasion around to how it impacts him?
When he gives a speech about a significant event like a scientific breakthrough, a war or a tragedy, he always manages to explain to the world how it affects him. After all - isn't that the most important aspect of every event everywhere in the world?

Back a couple of years ago the White House rewrote the biographies of past presidents to include Barack into the narative.
The modified biographies include commentary on how their accomplishments or their lives affect or impact Barack.

Obama Inserts Himself in White House Bios of Past Presidents

The White House website has always featured biographies of past presidents. The biographies are largely designed for students, so they can research the history of the White House occupants; the text is taken from The Presidents of the United States of America, by Michael Beschloss and Hugh Sidey.

Now, however, President Obama has decided that those other presidential biographies weren’t complete without a sentence about him. Seriously. As it turns out, all past presidents are just a window into President Obama’s grand accomplishments.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/05/15/President-Obama-White-House-biographies


13 posted on 04/17/2014 5:18:59 AM PDT by Iron Munro (The future ain't what it use to be -- Yogi Berra)
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To: MSF BU

You’re riffing on the whole narcissist thing, right? Please say yes.


14 posted on 04/17/2014 5:20:12 AM PDT by Oratam
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To: MSF BU
I buy RC Cola because I think it is better.

Thanks for that endorsement. I, too, think that RC Cola is a superior cola, much better than Coke, Pepsi, and the rest.

Unfortunately, ours is a minority opinion.

15 posted on 04/17/2014 5:33:28 AM PDT by OldPossum ("It's" is the contraction of "it" and "is"; think about ITS implications.)
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To: Kaslin

16 posted on 04/17/2014 5:33:36 AM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: Kaslin
 photo bidenselfie.jpg
17 posted on 04/17/2014 5:37:58 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever!)
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To: Kaslin

We are a nation of narcissists with a King that suffers from the worst case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder ever known to mankind.


18 posted on 04/17/2014 5:49:59 AM PDT by Old Yeller (In Latin, the word sinister means left. Which is appropriate for left-wingers.)
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To: Kaslin

I was sitting around one day thinking and something reminded me of an ex-girlfriend I had 20 years ago. I wondered where she was, what she had become.

I found her in 30 minutes. Her (new)name, address, phone number, workplace, kids names with multiple pictures, friends names... I even found out that she is home alone certain hours of the day and I found out that she was going on vacation for a week in May.

I am not a computer hacker nor a stalker. This information was right there, public.

I hope she don’t have any other ex’s that left on bad terms or are psychos. That is dangerous information.

I hate, hate, hate,... I LOATHE Facebook and Twitter.

Nobody knows when I take a dump ecxept for me and the unfortunate soul that comes in behind me.


19 posted on 04/17/2014 6:12:42 AM PDT by envisio (Its on like Donkey Kong! ..... ♂+♀=♥)
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To: envisio
"I was sitting around one day thinking and something reminded me of an ex-girlfriend I had 20 years ago. I wondered where she was, what she had become. I found her in 30 minutes."

A few years ago, even before Twitter was so big, my husband searched out a long-lost relative. She had been born to a couple who eloped and quickly divorced in about the early 1940's. Within a few hours of online searching, he'd located her, learned about her family and found her phone number. He and a cousin established contact and we visited with her once. It was quite amazing really, and sobering as well. Even without Facebook and a Twitter presence, there is a lot of personal information available online about each of us.

20 posted on 04/17/2014 6:44:44 AM PDT by Think free or die
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To: Old Yeller
We are a nation of narcissists with a King that suffers from the worst case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder ever known to mankind.

Which is why he got elected.

21 posted on 04/17/2014 7:14:58 AM PDT by henkster (I don't like bossy women telling me what words I can't use.)
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To: Chickensoup
All narcissists posts are me me me me!

You rang???



22 posted on 04/17/2014 9:08:05 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: envisio

I was sitting around one day thinking and something reminded me of an ex-girlfriend I had 20 years ago. I wondered where she was, what she had become.

I found her in 30 minutes.

...ditto with my ex-sweetie...found out where she lives, her situation, phone number, and I even know how she aged, as I see her picture on Facebook (still sweet looking,forty years later, still the girl I loved), all the while never leaving the comfort of my armchair...but I don’t hate the technology...for what it’s worth, it’s good to know she’s done okay in her life...


23 posted on 04/17/2014 9:41:56 AM PDT by IrishBrigade
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To: IrishBrigade

Good. Mine ex blew up.... and I mean FAT.

But I had no hard feelings against her. She was the type that believed all these commercials and whatnot where the man is a bumbling idiot and the woman can basically belittle him all she wants.
She wanted me to be a male version of her sister.... completely submissive to her.
Sorry honey, you’re barking up the wrong tree. But I still am glad she found someone that she completely emasculate and re-mold to her liking.

Though I am quite sure her new husband, unless he is a complete ‘yes honey’, wants to kill himself.


24 posted on 04/17/2014 9:54:47 AM PDT by envisio (Its on like Donkey Kong! ..... ♂+♀=♥)
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To: Oratam

I could not understand why the Coke reference was included; I gave them the answer. I agree with the thesis, at least that the nation as a whole is much more self-centered than it once was. Where else do people readily admit to killing their own unborn child because it comes at a inconvenient time?


25 posted on 04/17/2014 6:00:05 PM PDT by MSF BU (n)
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