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Narcissism strings ego along

Written by Quasha Ross

 

Remember the infamous “Imma let you finish” speech given by Kanye West at the 2009 MTV VMAs? We’ve seen many instances where he has thrown a temper tantrum because he felt entitled to win. Well, the scary thing is that America is filled with a world full of Kanyes. Narcissism has taken over America, and this form of self-absorption and pride can become dangerous.

Psychologists have been tracking narcissism through surveys of American college students since the late 1970s, and levels of it—often measured as a lack of empathy—have never been higher, according to assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s Research Center, Sarah Conrath.

“If you look at the levers in society, almost all of them are pushing us towards narcissism,” Conrath said.

Media and technology are the main driving forces behind our narcissistic ways.  Online social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram create a bubble, so to speak, that allows us to be admired and praised.

When we tweet something extremely funny or popular, we are praised with retweets and favorites. We also have the option to post only flattering and sexy photos on Instagram and Facebook. Twitter and Facebook give us the opportunity to say something witty without sounding like complete idiots because we’ve had several minutes to proof and critique it before presenting it to our “friends.” We do all of these things to make ourselves look cool, hip, popular, smart, etc. These desires feed our narcissism.

The CIRP American Freshman Survey reveals that college students are more than ever likely to call themselves gifted and driven to succeed even though their test scores and time spent studying are decreasing.

Jean Twenge, Ph.D., a San Diego State University psychology professor, is the author of a study which shows that the tendency toward narcissism in students has gone up 30 percent in the last 30 years.

Pop culture is also playing a role in the narcissism of young adults today. Celebrities such as Terrell Owens, Kanye West, Chad Johnson and the Kardashians represent the type of narcissism that we see in today’s society. We’re living in the “generation of me,” and it’s scary that our society is actually embracing this way of thinking.

So what’s to become of our society if we continue to let narcissism dominate the way we think? Well when you think of all the things narcissism consists of—egotism, disrespect and apathy—it’s likely that we will become our own worst enemy. We’ll be engulfed in a society full of selfish individuals who don’t care about the greater good of the people as a whole.

In order to run a successful and lively nation, we must be tolerant, compassionate, selfless and respectful of each other. It’s time that we reinstate the elementary quote that once meant so much: “There is no ‘I’ in team.” We need to look past ourselves and see the bigger picture. Let’s not turn into a world of self-absorbed Kanyes who snatch the mic at every chance provided turning every “we” into “me.”

 

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-jim-taylor/narcissism-america_b_861887.html

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/02/narcissism.aspx

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/07/17/narcissism-is-on-the-rise-in-america.html

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