Gen Y is becoming Gen I. And the I here is not just about ( I ME MYSELF) me, myself or moi. I’m sure a toddler learns the letter I much before the As and Bs.
I is for all things ‘I’. Ipad, IPhone, IPod, IWatch. Recently I asked some of my students to write sentences in a creative writing class. The concept being taught was homophones. And the word ‘present’. Where the word present had to be used in context of a gift, I was surprised to read almost all of them write “I want an Ipad/Iphone/Iwatch as a birthday present. Wishful thinking, aspirations and immense peer pressure but I certainly is an important alphabet.
My Space, My friends, My time, My life, the list here is endless. India which was known to be a highly integrated and collectivist society always wanting to do things in groups and communities, and also emphasizing family and work group goals above individual needs or desires. The trend, however, is changing. Indians especially young Indians are becoming independent, quiet, realistic, very rational, extremely matter of fact people. In other words self centred.
Me time, Me first, Me above others, ‘me me’ narcissism is the new trend. A generation of people who feel entitled to celebrity. A generation of people who post their pictures on social networking sites, who post their lives on Twitter, who live as though they are famous.Talking about me, how can we not talk about the selfie. This is the generation of selfies. Maybe one of the many reasons why the selfie is so trendy is because it provides the luxury of depicting ourselves in the way that we desire. Technology gives us the control to shape to shape and manipulate who we are and perhaps mask our flaws and imagined shortcomings in a way that we could not off-line. It’s an opportunity for us to showcase ourselves to the world with little or no repercussions. So, when the “likes” and affirming responses to our carefully selected selfies come in large numbers in a given week, the satisfaction of that kind of global validation is immeasurable. The seductive ego boost is hard to pass up. It’s almost like a drug. But so is the I, Me, Myself obsession.