The new cover of Time magazine showcases an article by Joel Stein about how millennials are the “ME ME ME generation”.
I am about to do what old people have done throughout history: call those younger than me lazy, entitled, selfish and shallow. But I have studies! I have statistics! I have quotes from respected academics! Unlike my parents, my grandparents and my great-grandparents, I have proof.
Here’s the cold, hard data: The incidence of narcissistic personality disorder is nearly three times as high for people in their 20s as for the generation that’s now 65 or older, according to the National Institutes of Health; 58% more college students scored higher on a narcissism scale in 2009 than in 1982.
Elspeth Reeve eviscerates his argument here and shows why Stein’s “empirical” evidence is basically wrong.
Here’s the truth:
From the Pew Research Center:
To a large extent, the things that Millennials value in life mirror the things older generations value. Family matters most, and fame and fortune are much less important. When asked to rate how important a series of life goals are to them personally, being a good parent ranked at the top for all four generations. Overall, 50% of the public says this is one of the most important things in their lives. An additional 44% say this is very important but not the most important thing for them personally. Only 5% say this is only somewhat important or not important at all. Although only about a third of Millennials (34%) have children, they are just as likely as their older counterparts to place high value on good parenting. About half (52%) say being a good parent is one of the most important things to them. This compares with 50% of those ages 30 and older.
Every single older generation labels every single new generation as the “me” or “selfish” generation. Don’t buy it.