Selfie-obsession turning teens into narcissists
A SUNSHINE Coast commentator on teen behaviour has linked social media with a rise in narcissistic behaviour.
Doctor Lynette Maguire said today's teens were the most self-absorbed on record and the increase in narcissism correlated with the increased use of the internet and social networking.
Dr Maguire said a certain amount of self-absorption was normal for teenagers but the behaviour was on the rise.
She cited an obsession with selfies and images on social media as a sign of the narcissism taking over a generation.
"Social media is enabling it. It's all about how do you look, not who you are," she said.
"They're very me-driven rather than we-driven."
Should we be doing more to raise less narcissistic children?
This poll ended on 18 February 2016.
Of course. The thought of Gen Y 'looking after' us is terrifying.
No. One generation is never like another. Who says Gen Y are any worse for being different?
I'm belong to Gen Y and I don't think I'm narcissistic.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Dr Maguire said it was normal for everybody to have some narcissistic tendencies but Generation Y had gone further.
She said the increase in "maladaptive behaviours" in young people could have worrying consequences for society in terms of nastiness and violence.
Cyber bullying, teen suicide, and domestic violence were possible ramifications, she said.
"They think they are better than everybody else... and it's okay to be cruel, " she said.
"Because they have that mean streak in them, they are more likely to be involved in domestic abuse than non-narcissists."
Dr Maguire, who plans to publish a book on the subject, said parents needed to take control and stop encouraging children to believe they were special.
"We are raising a sense of entitlement in these children. Entitlement is one of the signs of narcism," she said.
"Narcissists aren't born. The only things that have changed in teenage development are parenting and technology."
Dr Maguire said narcism that had been creeping in for generations before the technology-led explosion.
She described the traditionalists, who experienced the Great Depression and world wars, as the least self-centred and most community-focused generation.
But that changed with the baby boomers, the most wealthy generation, who gave rise to generation X, the parents of generation Y, the "me" generation.
Permissive parenting, where parents allowed children to blame others for their actions instead of themselves, was a mistake.
She said online comments showed some parents were starting to chip others for encouraging a sense of entitlement in their children but there was a long way to go to turn back the narcism.
"It'll get worse before it gets better. I actually think we need a generational change," she said.
Dr Maguire will speak about the links between social media and narcism at a Zonta Club of Caloundra International Women's Day breakfast on March 4.
ARE YOU A NARCISSIST? THE TELL-TALE SIGNS
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance.
- Lives in a dream world of exceptional success, power, beauty, genius, or "perfect" love.
- Thinks of him or herself as "special" or privileged.
- Demands excessive praise or admiration.
- Feels entitled to automatic deference, compliance, or favourable treatment.
- Is exploitative and takes advantage.
- Lacks empathy.
- Often envious or thinks others envy him or her.
- Frequently haughty or arrogant.
(American Psychiatric Association)
FAMOUS PEOPLE WITH NARCISSISTIC TRAITS
Lee Harvey Oswald