Narcissism is on the Rise. Everyone Needs to STOP Thinking About Themselves.

Many self-focused internet trends have swept up the attention of young adults and children. One of the most obviously harmful is the victim mentality, which is seen all over social media. Almost anyone can claim that they are a member of an ‘oppressed’ group, which means that according to this prominent trend, everyone is oppressed and can expect special treatment everywhere they go.

Narcissism is defined by traits such as having an inflated sense of self-importance, a sense of specialness and uniqueness that they feel the need to constantly share with others, desiring constant attention, and not taking well to any form of criticism. Additionally, narcissists have a strong sense of entitlement and ‘may be convinced they deserve special treatment and have the right to all the available privileges.’ These kinds of self-seeking behaviors are seen commonly on social media, among young people who are likely influenced by viral social media content and the concept of social media itself as an avenue to promote oneself. This is also seen among the LGBT community, as these people constantly seek more attention, validation, and demand acceptance of all of the new sexualities, behaviors, and categories they try to create.

People have also become completely absorbed with their own comfort, seeking money and spending their resources on themselves and luxuries. There is a rampant ‘treat yourself’ mentality, especially among millennials and Gen Z, who believe that they should use their disposable income on frivolous things like restaurants, beverages, and unnecessary shopping. The concept that ‘treating yourself’ when you are feeling down is extremely common on social media, but obviously buying random junk is not financially feasible for most people, especially younger adults who have entry-level income. ‘Treating’ yourself also does not solve any of the issues that it is supposed to, because it adds to the complications of everyday life such as clutter, overconsumption, and money struggles.

People believe that they should be able to spend their money on themselves rampantly in the name of ‘self-care.’ But often these ‘self-care’ purchases include things that people do not need or food or beverages or with high amounts of sugar and no nutritional value. These purchases cannot be considered ‘care’ if they are not bettering people or their lives in any way besides providing a small hit of serotonin. This trend is especially concerning considering that the majority of millennials and Gen Z individuals have bafflingly low savings of less than $1000.

People are also encouraged not to get married or have children. The Atlantic has published a revealing article entitled ‘What you lose when you gain a spouse.’ Some writers claim that you shouldn’t get married because ‘weddings are expensive,’ claiming that the average cost of a wedding is $33,000. This amount of money is completely unnecessary, and when people formulate a reasonable budget and do not waste money, there is no need for weddings to cost so much. Also, if Gen Z and millennials stop ‘treating themselves’ and save some money, they would be able to afford even a small and minimalist wedding.

Additionally, people are discouraged from having kids for superficial reasons as well. Similarly to weddings, when you look up the average cost of having a child, you see ridiculous numbers such as it costs $374,634 to raise a child from birth-18. This is a preposterous figure that would mean that a parent would be spending $20,813 annually on a child. Reasons that are commonly suggested to avoid having a child and embrace the trendy ‘DINK’ lifestyle include no desire to have kids (because what you want is the most important thing in today’s culture), cheaper vacations, desire to travel, and lifestyle. People also say the environment is a factor, and according to Psychology Today, Children (more people) take resources and create pollution and waste.

The guiding principle in society today is that people should do whatever they want and what best serves their interests. We are seeing people more obsessed with themselves than ever, which can be prominently seen through social media but also manifests in the rejection of marriage, children, and religion in the interest of serving oneself instead. Serving oneself has only led to millennials and Gen Z having only a few hundred dollars in savings on average, and having no spouse or children to give their lives meaning. By almost all metrics of success, whether it be a family or money, young adults have nothing to their name. We are encouraged on social media to buy everything, go on vacations, and only live for ourselves, and this has led to financial and relational consequences. This is why people need to stop thinking about themselves and start thinking about what is right, good, and leads to flourishing.

Erin Weeks is a Staff Writer at Turley Talks.

Copyright, 2024.

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