Generation Y. Millenials. The Why-Worry Generation. Generation Me.
I have always struggled with generational indicators. I’m definitely too young to be Generation X, although I think my heavy exposure to Gen-X pop culture at a young age has made me more inclined to want to be grouped that way. My personal taste in music, movies, and politics skews me closer to Baby Boomers than anything else. My sister is 3 1/2 years younger than me and honestly, I feel like she grew up in a completely different world – and in many ways, she did.
Irregardless, because of the fact that I am in my mid-20s and have a basic concept of the Twitters and such, I’m lumped into a generational category that irks me. Generation Me – is anyone else insulted by that? I’m not exactly a shrinking violet but I’ve never really considered myself self-centered – and I wouldn’t characterize most of my peers that way.
But, according to researchers at the University of Michigan, we’ve earned the title – college students today are 40% less empathetic than those 30 years ago, with significant drops occurring for students entering college since 2000. That’s a pretty depressing statistic, when you consider they’re measuring empathy in terms of consideration for the welfare of others on a local and global scale.
“I’m not surprised,” said Dr. Bruce Perry, a child psychiatrist and an author of a new book “Born to Love: Why Empathy Is Essential — and Endangered.” “But I was hoping it wasn’t as rapid a deterioration as this study suggests.”
Wow, thanks Dr. Perry. I’m not a statistician – if I were, I’d probably be gainfully employed. I am, however, not sure if it’s a fair assessment of our generation. So I decided to take the Dr. Drew-created Narcissim Inventory. The result – I display high levels of authority and self-sufficiency, which placed my score slightly above the average. However, I scored quite low on the questions regarding vanity, superiority, and entitlement. Not exactly the profile of a Generation Me-Me-Mer. Perhaps the qualities that make us the a generation of young leaders, movers, shakers, and achievers can also cast us as self-centered in the eyes of an older, more modest generation?
Did you take the quiz? Where did you fall? Do you think our generation is narcissistic or just assertive? Leave it in the comments!