Posts Tagged ‘Keith Ablow’

Louis Esterhuizen. Toenemende narsisme en die kultus van middelmatigheid

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

 

Via Donald Dunbar se blog beland ek by Fox News waar ‘n besonder interessante artikel deur die bekende psigiater, Keith Ablow (foto) gelees kan word; ‘n artikel wat myns insiens nogal heelwat van die besorgde vrae en bekommernisse oor veral die “jonger” generasie wat van tyd tot tyd hier op die webblad geopper word,  aanspreek.

Dr. Ablow neem sy aanloop vanuit die bevindinge van nóg ‘n sielkundige, Jean Twenge. Twenge is naamlik die amptelike analis by die American Freshman Survey – ‘n organisasie wat al die afgelope 47 jaar navorsing doen onder eerstejaarstudente. Gevolglik beskik hulle oor ‘n databasis waarin 9 miljoen jong volwassenes se inligting vervat is. Pas het die AFS hul nuutste verslag bekendgestel en dit vorm inderdaad fassinerende leesstof.

Volgens dié verslag blyk dit dat al hoe meer studente hulself as (oordrewe) begaafd en gedoem tot sukses beskou, terwyl hul vaardigheidstoetse en persoonlikheidsprofiele die teendeel suggereer. “The tendency toward narcissism in students is up 30 percent in the last thirty-odd years,” skryf Ablow en stel dit dan onomwonde dat dié tendens hoegenaamd nie verrassend is nie. “I have been writing a great deal over the past few years about the toxic psychological impact of media and technology on children, adolescents and young adults, particularly as it regards turning them into faux celebrities—the equivalent of lead actors in their own fictionalized life stories.”

Dit is dan veral die volgende paragrawe wat ‘n mens laat regop sit: “On Facebook, young people can fool themselves into thinking they have hundreds or thousands of ‘friends’. They can delete unflattering comments. They can block anyone who disagrees with them or pokes holes in their inflated self-esteem. They can choose to show the world only flattering, sexy or funny photographs of themselves (dozens of albums full, by the way), ‘speak’ in pithy short posts and publicly connect to movie stars and professional athletes and musicians they ‘like’ […] We must beware of the toxic psychological impact of media and technology on children, adolescents and young adults, particularly as it regards turning them into faux celebrities—the equivalent of lead actors in their own fictionalized life stories. Using Twitter, young people can pretend they are worth “following,” as though they have real-life fans, when all that is really happening is the mutual fanning of false love and false fame […] Using computer games, our sons and daughters can pretend they are Olympians, Formula 1 drivers, rock stars or sharpshooters.  And while they can turn off their Wii and Xbox machines and remember they are really in dens and playrooms on side streets and in triple deckers around America, that is after their hearts have raced and heads have swelled with false pride for “being” something they are not.”

Aan die einde van sy artikel bereik hy die volgende onthutsende slotsom: “False pride can never be sustained. The bubble of narcissism is always at risk of bursting.  That’s why young people are higher on drugs than ever, drunker than ever, smoking more, tattooed more, pierced more and having more and more and more sex, earlier and earlier and earlier, raising babies before they can do it well, because it makes them feel special, for a while.  They’re doing anything to distract themselves from the fact that they feel empty inside and unworthy. Distractions, however, are temporary, and the truth is eternal. Watch for an epidemic of depression and suicidality, not to mention homicidality, as the real self-loathing and hatred of others that lies beneath all this narcissism rises to the surface.”

Nou ja, toe. Gaan lees gerus die volledige artikel indien dié onderwerp jou interesseer.

En ja, uiteraard is dié vorm van narsisme nie die ekslusiewe voorreg van jong mense nie; inderdaad is die kultus van middelmatigheid ons erfdeel.

Hieronder volg ‘n toepaslike vers.

*

This Be The Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
     They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
     And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
     By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
     And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
     It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
     And don’t have any kids yourself.

 

(c) Philip Larkin (Uit: High Windows, 1967: Farrar, Straus & Giroux)