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Generation Me by Jean Twenge – Book Review

‘Generation Me : Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled – and More Miserable Than Ever Before’ is written by Jean M. Twenge. This book speaks of the lives of a particular generation of people, whom Twenge calls as Generation Me. She considers the people after 1970s as belonging to this GenMe group.

About the Author :

Dr. Jean Twenge is a contemporary author, speaker and a professor of psychology. Twenge writes this provocative book, exploring the status of today’s younger generation. She has written hundreds of scientific articles, journals, and books chapters.

About the book :

In this book of psychology, the author puts an assertion that the GenMe people are more confident, tolerant, and open-minded than their previous generations; but still are disengaged, distrustful, and narcissistic, living a miserable life. She states that this generation holds the highest self-esteem but also the most depression. According to her, they are deprived of their needs and their expectations are crushed by the realities of life. The book clearly speaks of the reality of this GenMe when compared to the Millenials, Baby Boomers, and GenX’ers.

The author presents her views about this generation of youngsters. She argues that they are highly expectant in their ambitions and dreams, nevertheless, ultimately succumbing to the reality. They stress of self-esteem by the society  leads to their narcissistic behavior and unproductive outcomes. This generation particularly shows more sense of anxiety and cynicism in their thoughts, which becomes the reason for their depressive states.

According to the author, the GenMe is unrealistic of their expectations in life and are more self-centered. They are more on ‘the self’ attitude, owing to their belief of ‘they can be whatever they wish to be’. The reason behind this attitude can be traced to the cultural and social forces influencing them in various ways. The outcome of such attitude is obsession towards materialism and body-piercing tattoos. It also leads to increased adolescence issues.

The author emphasizes the fact that this generation is starving for love and affection. The GenMe fails to realize that the lifestyle of Baby Boomers – though not exciting – is a stable and less-depressing one. They lack warm interpersonal relations, easy-to-reach neighbors, and a solid family life.

Overall, Twenge suggests on improving this generation and mentions how the generation has to be actually dealt with. Even though her thoughts are exaggerating the current generation as a destructive one, she does it in a less positive manner. She tries to bring a thoughtful influence on her GenMe readers to look forward to the lifestyle of their previous generations and learn from them.

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