Millennials are the "ME ME ME GENERATION," writes Joel Stein for the cover of Time magazine, which is apparently a marked departure from the Baby Boomers, who were the plain old "Me Generation" (one me, no caps) and who created the "Me Decade" in the 1970s, and who coined the phrase, "But enough about me… what do you think about me?" in the 1980s when they were raising the next narcissists, Generation X. (...) The type of young person that magazine writers come across most frequently are magazine interns. Because the media industry is high-status, but, at least early on, very low pay in a very expensive city, it attracts a lot of rich kids. Entitled, arrogant, spoiled, preening — those are the alleged signature traits of Millennials, as diagnosed by countless magazine writers. (...)
Basically, it's not that people born after 1980 are narcissists, it's that young people are narcissists, and they get over themselves as they get older. It's like doing a study of toddlers and declaring those born since 2010 are Generation Sociopath: Kids These Days Will Pull Your Hair, Pee On Walls, Throw Full Bowls of Cereal Without Even Thinking of the Consequences. (...)
For some visual evidence of this phenomenon, here is a century or so of culture writers declaring the youth to be self-obsessed little monsters.
The Atlantic, September 1907: In the cover story, "Why American Marriages Fail," Anna A. Rogers warned, "The rock upon which most of the flower-bedecked marriage barges go to pieces is the latter-day cult of individualism; the worship of the brazen calf of the Self."
Life, May 17, 1968: "The Generation Gap." (...)
New York, August 23, 1976: "The 'Me' Decade and the Third Great Awakening." (...)
New York Times, October 17, 1976: "'76 Politics Fail to Disturb Campus Calm and Cynicism." (...)
The Washington Monthly, February 1980: Greg Easterbrook wrote about how young people were having trouble coupling in "Fear of Success" (...)
Newsweek, December 30, 1985: "The Video Generation." There they are, those preening narcissists who have to document every banal moment with their cutting-edge communications technology.
Time, July 16, 1990: Cover: "Twentysomething." Inside: "Proceeding With Caution." (...)
Swing, September 1996: "Generational Warfare." (...)
Time, August 6, 2007: "It's All About Me." (...)
Confesso que não estava à espera que em 1907 o artigo principal de uma revista fosse "Why American Marriages Fail?".