Millennial self-focus not necessarily negative trait

It’s no surprise that when people look at society today, all they see are narcissistic young adults who cling to their cell phones for dear life. Narcissism is psychologically defined as “extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration.” It is a word that millennials are probably quite used to hearing. But I would question whether or not that is a valid word to define our generation as a whole.

We are the generation of the selfie; the age group that loves posting almost anything to our Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter accounts. We use these social media outlets to show off the many photos that were taken on our trip to Italy or to let all of our followers know that we got our dream job. As we post these updates, we hope that everyone will see it and appreciate it. There have been times when I checked my Facebook and couldn’t help but feel envious of all my friends’ adventures and accomplishments.

It is said that your 20s are when you should be experiencing everything possible and living your life to the fullest. This is a time when you should see the world before going off to graduate school or getting a job. It’s the time when you should figure out who you want to be and what you like most about yourself. So when I’m looking at my friends on Facebook and all of their achievements, I can’t help but wonder if I truly am living my life in the best way possible. I believe it is natural to feel jealous and inferior to others when viewing their lives through filtered social media platforms.

We should question why we feel the need to inform our friends on the Internet about what we’re doing every day, every hour and every minute. Is it because we truly are a narcissistic generation or is it because we just want to feel appreciated? In some ways, yes, we are a generation who will only feel attractive and important if we get a certain number of likes on our Instagram and Facebook accounts. Despite this, we are a self-loving generation. 

Our generation is more connected to each other than any generation before. While there is a small sense of inadequacy after looking at my friends’ online posts, it is pushed aside by the inspiration to go on my own adventures and to achieve my own goals.

Instead of feeling incompetent or resentful, we should appreciate one another’s accomplishments. From photos of graduation or the birth of a child, we can learn to be happy for others’ successes. These moments are the ones in our lives that we must treasure. Humans naturally want to share their happiness with others, even if it is done somewhat excessively.

So, to everyone who is called a narcissist, keep promoting self-love in addition to the love of others. It’s incredible to be so connected in this generation and it’s even better to be proud of yourself and what you choose to do.