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Open Features: Me Me Me Generation

Most young people are in love with themselves, writes Kul Bhushan.

As a teenager and as a twenty something, most young persons are in love with themselves, their looks, their achievements, their projects and their ‘toys’. They are called narcissists or being totally absorbed in self. The extreme narcissist is the center of his own universe. The word comes from a very handsome Greek god Narcissus who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. He gazed at his own image so much that a flower was named after him.

The young ones who are maturing after 9/11 in the US have been termed ‘Me Me Me Generation’ in a cover article of TIME magazine. Growing with technology and the internet, this group is seen as self-centered and totally absorbed in themselves and their world. Today they are easily identified with their mobiles, laptops, tablets, TVs, music systems and clothes. Now that India is part of the global village, this Me Me Me Generation is also everywhere among the middle and the rich classes But this is nothing new. Only the labels keep changing.

Most of the time, you will find them looking at a screen – their mobile, laptop or TV. They are deeply absorbed with themselves. Sending SMS or Emails, chatting on Facebook, Orkut, Instagram, Twitter or WhatsAp, these teenagers or twenty plus generation make up the biggest group of 88 million in the USA and form the majority of the population of India.

They are narcissists or being totally absorbed in self. The word narcissist comes from a very handsome Greek god Narcissus who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. He gazed at his own image so much that he was drowned and a flower was named after him.

This ‘Me Me Me Generation’ as TIME magazine labels them in a recent cover story is dominated by their peers so much that they send and receive an average of 88 SMS messages daily. Not keen to interact or learn from their elders to develop their minds or benefit from experience, they go to Google or other search engines for information, knowledge and experience.

They click more photos and shoot videos of themselves in a year than their parents did in 20 years. And show them off on social media as fashionistas, achievers and celebrities. Technology has made them free and they are using it to the fullest.

Osho says, “Narcissism has many dimensions to it. That is the first kind of love, the most primitive. Every child passes through that state of being narcissistic - he loves only himself, he is his own world. It is good as far as it goes. One has to love oneself; that should be the foundation. If you don't love yourself you cannot love anybody else. If you can't even love yourself, how can you love anybody else?”

Then they move on to love others. This generation also loves fair play, justice and protests for environment, political and social change as during the Arab Spring in Egypt and, anti-rape protests in India. This shows that they are not all egoistic, lazy and self-centreded but also earnest, positive and fair.

If you start loving yourself deeply and totally, you may dissolve your pride and ego. When your ego has disappeared, your love will start reaching out to others, to nature, to existence. Then loving yourself leads you to bliss.

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