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Generation Me

May 29, 2010

I always thought I’d like seeing ‘me’ in the news. But I guess this counts as bad publicity!

Researchers reviewing surveys of empathy found that they have lost almost 40 per cent of the ability since the 1980s.

The study, presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, analysed a number of surveys involving almost 14,000 college students over the last 30 years…

Ms Konrath said that many people refer to the effect as the “Generation Me” which is one of the most self-centered, narcissistic, competitive, confident and individualistic in recent history…

The researchers felt that the change in society could be to do with violence in the media and modern technology such as the internet reducing face to face personal interaction.

Are the researchers right? Surely this is a difficult thing to call. But it looks like part of a wider picture – community and empathy are on the wane, replaced by the ever-expanding world of digital media and the narcissistic consumer self.  

Mea Culpa.

But here’s an even more troubling thought. Are our churches heading in the same direction? We are more likely today to sing songs about ‘me’, to interpret our encounter with God through personal experiences and collective highs, and to bring consumer expectations to church – filter coffee, comfy seats, plasma screens, etc.

What if the best antidote to consumer self-focus is in danger of being weakened by the virus itself?

And what part might I be playing in all this? God forgive me and help me to change!

Scratch that. God forgive us and help us to change.

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