By: Richard Coad [MDB Chief Creative Officer]
In a period of time that could only be referred to as alarmingly short, narcissism seems to have come from nowhere to officiate over all human activity. In short, we love ourselves.
The term narcissism was coined over a century ago to describe a psychological ailment: taking pleasure from oneself. Today, narcissism is becoming a way of life. Our economy runs on it. The educational system has shifted from being knowledge-based to one of living-up-to-your-potential. Parents seem to value their child's self-esteem far more than their knowledge or virtue. Technology drives narcissism (the streets are full of people who no longer look up). The world comes to them through the glow of cell phones.
In 2011, Americans spent nearly $10 billion on plastic surgery, according to an industry association. In contrast, we spent $5 billion on NASA space operations. In other words, having perfect breasts seem more important than exploring the universe.
In 2009, the book "The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement," was published. In it, the authors found that among thirty-seven thousand college students, the rise of narcissistic traits from the 1980's to present was as steep as the rise in obesity. They also noted that the epidemic is mostly generational. According to a study by the National Institute of Health, 10 percent of young Americans exhibited symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, while only 3 percent of older Americans did.