There is widespread literature arguing that the millennial generation is more self-promoting and egotistical as a population than the previous generations. Dr. Jean M. Twenge has drawn significant media attention to this presumed shift in psychology with two books, Generation Me released in 2006 and The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement in 2009; the former sold over 100,000 copies. Both books compile surveys from around 1950 to present on personality traits regarding self-esteem, assertion, and narcissism. Upon analysis, the book highlights statistics that pose the millennial generation as being significantly more narcissistic (about 30% more) than college students in the 1950’s to 1970’s. This has sparked a slew of media debate regarding the cause for the personality shift Dr. Twenge has presented to society. Consequently, there have also been several discussions and academic research on the recent outbreak of social media networks being correlated with this alteration in psychology. The synthesis of these two media phenomena has led to an argument for the medicalization of millennial generational psychopathologies caused by social media networks.
The Millennial Generation and its Social Context
The Millennial generation refers to those born between the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s. This generation is also one of the largest with 75 million people, shy only to the Baby Boomers with 80 million (U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation). The spotlight on the psyche of the Millennial generation in comparison to previous Generation X and the Baby Boomers has peaked in the late 2000’s, when Millennials are aged anywhere from 9-29 years old. Rice University offers an overview of the core characteristics commonly associated with Millennials. The generation is defined as having a high sense of self-esteem and importance, sheltered as children, connected (24/7), and incredibly tech-savvy (Rice University, 2006).
The tech-savviness of the
References: American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). 2014 The Millennial Generation Research Review http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/millennial-generation-research-review accessed November 12, 2014 World Wide Web Foundation History of the Web http://webfoundation.org/about/vision/history-of-the-web/ accessed on November 12, 2014