By Denny Petrillo
Reprinted from the September 2013 issue of “Gospel Advocate” Magazine.
Surveys sometimes reveal what we already suspected. They provide backing to our suspicion. This seems to be the case in one recent survey. The American Freshman Survey, which has been collecting information on more than 9 million young adults for nearly 50 years, determined that today’s young adults have an unreal, inflated view of themselves.
The Greatest Generation?
I grew up hearing and believing that the World War II generation was the “greatest generation.” The men and women who put it all on the line for their country, who worked tirelessly and often without thanks, were considered the greatest generation. This was a generation focused on others, a generation about selflessness and sacrifice. Yet in this recent survey, our college students consider themselves to be the greatest generation. They consider themselves to be gifted. They see themselves as highly motivated and driven to succeed, but their test scores are below average; their work ethic, pathetic; and their abilities, suspect.
Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team, talks about the “toxic psychological impact of media and technology on children, adolescents and young adults, particularly as it regards turning them into faux celebrities – the equivalent of lead actors in their own fictionalized life stories.” He notes that social media outlets like Facebook can delude young people into thinking they have hundreds or even thousands of friends. And if someone says something they do not like, they can delete the comment or “unfriend” them.