Narcissism In Modernity

Research has determined that today's youth have inflated egos.

Testing the hypothesis that modern youth are legitimately narcissistic against the popular assumption that crotchety old people who judge cocky kids are-you know-just crotchety and old, a study by San Diego State University polled 16,475 college students with the Narcissistic Personality Inventory and compared it to published and unpublished data on "self-reported undergraduate narcissism," from the late 1970s to present. And the result? Kids really are more egotistical than they used to be.

No wonder, when today, even your average reclusive computer nerd can happily quantify their interpersonal relationships and tout their hundreds or thousands of friends thanks to social utility networks like Facebook and Myspace. Who doesn't feel good about themselves clicking through 408 people who've sworn by the laws of the internet that they like you? We've definitely had that advantage over the 1970s.

Of course, there are downsides. 1) Social connections don't necessarily correspond to social skills, and 2) yet another study reminds us, high self esteem doesn't mean good self esteem.