Monday, June 26, 2006

Immature Adults

I was reading Generation Me by Jean Twenge recently where she talks about how this generation is taking longer than ever to take charge of their lives as responsible adults. The twenties are now for "finding oneself" and a career that one feels truly passionate about. The decade of self-discovery is often bankrolled by parents. The mantra is do what makes you happy and of course "You can be anything you want to be". Is it unacceptable to not live up to your dreams. I have already seen that Gen Me tagline on some stuff J has brought back home from her daycare.Until reading this book, I did not realize the full import of the message and how it brainwashed children into actually believing there are no limits in the real world, that talent and ambition have no need to be commensurate.

I particularly liked Twenge's analysis on the effect irrational exuberance was having on a generation that has had high doses of self-esteem (ungrounded by any special accomplishment) pumped into their system from early childhood. This article from Discovery News that says levels of immaturity in adults is rising, is almost a corollary to Twenge's theory about Generation Me. Maturity as it turns out is postponed with good reason :

modern cultures now favor cognitive flexibility, “immature” people tend to thrive and succeed, and have set the tone not only for contemporary life, but also for the future, when it is possible our genes may even change as a result of the psychological shift.

No comments: