A thought-provoking article that lays out some provocative ideas but leaves matters unresolved. The gist of the article is the movement of kids from generation to generation toward more self-centeredness. Or as one of my earlier articles puts it: “Self-Centered: the New Normal.”
The idea is that kids are raised looking at themselves in photos they make of themselves and trying to push themselves ahead in terms of how good looking or cool they are, and that parents play into this trend by working to help their kids feel better about themselves, regardless of what they may or may not have accomplished. This is Generation Selfie, an apt term because of so many kids learning from an early age to snap pics of themselves with their cell phones and then send them onto their friends on Facebook and elsewhere.
There is no serious mention, however, that the media culture itself is at the heart of some of these developments. It’s become common, for instance, for every kid to have a cellphone and for those without one to feel deprived. Further, even as I was turning on my my computer and moving through the procedure to send an email, I ran across pics and articles entitled “Kim K Catches Some Rays,” and “Brittney share racy photo.” Naturally we’re meant by Comcast to get distracted from our work and take a peek at the bodies of the two starlets, one of who has a few talents as a singer and dancer, the other no specific talent at all, except the capacity to catch a few rays and a few fans for her reality TV show.
Sure, parents are responsible for buying the cellphones with the cameras built in, but a society that thrives financially on bottom lines subliminally sends messages to our kids that all that matters is looks and that achievements are only valuable if they have economic value.