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Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans…

Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive,…

by Jean M. Twenge

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I gave up reading books on generational theory in the early 90's when I discovered that they said my generation (X) was lazy and apathetic. I didn't care to hear that, so I went and took a nap, and researchers ate their words as Gen X-ers proved to be active in social issues and apt at making money.

This book avoids some of the pitfalls of typecasting generations and for that it is praiseworthy. Twenge looks at what she calls Generation Me, a group which spans thirty years(70s-90s), as a generation which is entirely self obsessed. Her rejection of the typical generational categories is refreshing (X and Millenials), as is her research methods. Twenge based her studies on the results of psychological test results that were collected from the 1920's to present. By doing this, her examination of the difference between generations, has a more objective feel as she can prove statistically that people in their 20's in the 1960's generally responded this way whereas as people in their 20's respond this way today. This has empirical weight.

Unfortunately, Twenge messes up the objectivity by peppering this book with anecdotal evidence and personal observations. As such, she loses a little bit of scientific credibility. Still there are some good insights here, particularly about how people in their 20's and 30's were raised with a heightened sense of narcissism and greater social sensitivity. ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
More like Generation Feeb ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
Welcome to Generation ME: Millennium Edition

What if we lived in a world where "kids playing together at a day care completely free of cost to their parents, with children learning about colors and shapes and letters while their parents work. And when mom or dad swings by to pick up the kids, there is a hot meal waiting to take home." Just imagine if we lived in a world like that. Seems like a nice, perfect future? More like the mid-1940s America.

[b:Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident Assertive Entitled-and More Miserable Than Ever Before|273520|Generation Me Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled--and More Miserable Than Ever Before|Jean M. Twenge|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1173322144s/273520.jpg|533560] is all about...well, you guessed it: us (or more specifically, those born in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s). We're brought up in a world of high self-esteem, high expectations, and high dreams. Sounds kind of lofty, dontcha think? Now stop...and think about what could actually be negative about these attributes.

[a:Jean M. Twenge|300231|Jean M. Twenge|http://www.goodreads.com/images/nophoto/nophoto-U-50x66.jpg] talks a lot about the negatives about Generation Me. High self esteem can lead to children feeling like they deserve everything. If they cry, they'll get that candy bar at the store. If they whine, they'll get that video game. And if they puff up like the giant Marshmallow Man, they might just get that brand new shiny Mercedes Benz. Parents will argue with teachers when their kids got a low score...and so therefore what's the point in studying. Students will argue with professors in class, because they deserve to be heard in class. And what else? There's so much change in attitudes with every passing generation, and those that were brought up by the Baby Booomer generation are being immersed in these changes ten-fold. I mean, even Big Bird and Barney teach us it's okay to think about ourselves, be ourselves, and make ourselves happy. I would call this narcissism.

Because of this strong push for kids to think about themselves, they work harder to get into school. But then what? All this feeling that we are important and that we can be anything we want to be...and then the economy falls down the drain and we can't find jobs. Then what? Twenge correlates this high self esteem with increasing levels of depression in society...and I'm sure you see it too, what with all the ads on TV for anti-depression medication.

Every generation has its problems that may increase or decrease by the time the next group of youngsters grows up. So what about ours? What can we do? I'm afraid of answering for you, mainly because, as a generation, we really won't want to listen to another person's advice if it doesn't correspond with our own. So instead, I would highly recommend this book to get an understanding of where we are today in society (among a myriad of issues in society...I'm not trying to limit anyone's worldview here). I think [a:Jean M. Twenge|300231|Jean M. Twenge|http://www.goodreads.com/images/nophoto/nophoto-U-50x66.jpg] can be a little too critical of society here (but then again, who isn't?), but at least she offers some suggestions about how to change society for the better. Will anyone listen? Maybe...maybe not. You be the judge. Nonetheless, here's at least one advice that I wholeheartedly agree with:

"Value social relationships. Keeping up a friendship takes work--often work and time we feel we don't have in our busy lives. But one day you'll look up and wonder where all of your friends went. You wil be much happier if you make the extra effort needed to see friends and family. E-mail and the phone [and Facebook] are great, but person-to-person contact is better. It goes against our instincts, but we should also try to make those little social gestures that came so naturally to previous generations: welcoming a new neighbor, having friends over for dinner, joining a club." Now really...is it that hard to make a friendship work? Friendships are relationships too.

There has been a lot of research on depression and other negative feelings in the past. So why not do some research on happiness? Well, in fact, there has been a lot of recent research on happiness, and the number one factor to happiness is: your relationships with people. Think about that.

"So here's how it looks: Generation Me has the highest self-esteem of any generation, but also the most depression. We are more free and equal, but also more cynical. We expect to follow our dreams, but are anxious about making that happen."

So let's try to make a new generation, Generation WE: Worldly Edition. ( )
  jms001 | Jun 14, 2015 |
More like Generation Feeb ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
The most glaring problem I found with this book was the author's lack of citation and frequent use of first-name-only quote attributions, which undermined her otherwise thorough research. ( )
  katemo | May 16, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743276981, Paperback)

Called “The Entitlement Generation” or Gen Y, they are storming into schools, colleges, and businesses all over the country. In this provocative new book, headline-making psychologist and social commentator Dr. Jean Twenge explores why the young people she calls “Generation Me”—those born in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s—are tolerant, confident, open-minded, and ambitious but also cynical, depressed, lonely, and anxious.

Herself a member of Generation Me, Dr. Twenge uses findings from the largest intergenerational research study ever conducted—with data from 1.3 million respondents spanning six decades—to reveal how profoundly different today’s young adults are. Here are the shocking truths about this generation, including dramatic differences in sexual behavior, as well as controversial predictions about what the future holds for them and society as a whole. Her often humorous, eyebrow-raising stories about real people vividly bring to life the hopes and dreams, disappointments, and challenges of Generation Me.

GenMe has created a profound shift in the American character, changing what it means to be an individual in today’s society. The collision of this generation’s entitled self-focus and today’s competitive marketplace will create one of the most daunting challenges of the new century. Engaging, controversial, prescriptive, funny, Generation Me will give Boomers new insight into their offspring, and help those in their teens, 20s, and 30s finally make sense of themselves and their goals and find their road to happiness.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:35 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The Associated Press calls them "The Entitlement Generation," and they are storming into schools, colleges, and businesses all over the country. They are a generation with sky-high expectations and a need for constant praise and fulfillment. Psychologist and social commentator Twenge documents the self-focus of what she calls "Generation Me"--people born in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s--and explores why her generation is tolerant, confident, open-minded, and ambitious but also cynical, depressed, lonely, and anxious. Using findings from the largest intergenerational study ever conducted, Twenge reveals how profoundly different today's young adults are, and makes controversial predictions about what the future holds for them and society as a whole. But Dr. Twenge doesn't just talk statistics--she highlights real-life people and stories and vividly brings to life the hopes and dreams, disappointments and challenges of Generation Me.--From publisher description.… (more)

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