I read last week in the Durham (NC) Herald-Sun this AP story, which unfortunately I now find linked only at the ghastly FOX News:
Today’s college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors, according to a comprehensive new study by five psychologists who worry that the trend could be harmful to personal relationships and American society.
Of course, we can hardly see this without warning bells that it is a salvo in the ever-more-boring-by-the-day Culture Wars. But interpreted another way — freed from its pettily polemical underpinnings — it is yet more evidence that the Myspace values have taken over from the old-school ones that persons of so venerable an age as my own (27) may yet hold. Self-promotion is no longer vice, but virtue. Narcissism, manifested through incessant working on of one’s own profile and pictures, is not the domain of a few egotist introverts but is every barista’s and coed’s pastime.
Reflecting on this shift during a week in Key West reading some of Papa’s value-challenging works on the Lost Generation was interesting. (I will not say enlightening, as the mind-addling effects of the State of Florida tend to preclude enlightenment while in the Sunshine State.)