A recent analysis conducted by the American Freshman Survey revealed that egotism and a sense of entitlement among college students is at an all time high, even though their actual abilities as assessed on objective aptitude screenings are on the decline. Over the last five-decades, roughly 9 million students have taken part in the survey, and over that time span psychologist Jean Twenge and her team see a disturbing rise in the number of young people who describe themselves as "above average" in both personal and academic areas despite data proving otherwise.
This "entitlement generation" is the topic Glenn Beck tackled on his Wednesday evening broadcast. Exploring the detrimental, indeed anti-social (ironically) impact social networking is having on young, budding egoists today, Beck noted that the level of self-focus is dangerous.
He also observed how, in a land founded on the principle of everyone being created equal, the younger generations are no longer interested in how they can help others in need and be good stewards of the society in which they live.
With an insatiable appetite for reality television and a host of celebrities -- from A-list to D-list -- altering their appearance with an exhaustive series of cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery, society has developed a skewed worldview and perception on what is important in life.
While college students today believe they truly deserve nothing but the very best, and scoff at the hard-work and self-sacrifice of earlier generations, worship, it seems at the alter of self: wealth, appearance, celebrity and attention.
Deeply troubled by this growing trend, Beck set out, with the help of Dr. Keith Cambell and Kay Willis Wyma, author of "Cleaning House," to uncover how one can purge their home of the entitlement mindset.
Beck's guests tried to break down why current generations are so self-obsessed. A few of the prime cultural factors moving the entitlement generation, according to Dr. Campbell, are the "self-esteem movement," the obsession with celebrity, the credit bubble, and emerging media.
Beck added that in a world of participation trophies, "everything in our society is fake."
In terms of solutions to narcissism, Wyma's ideas are common sense and full of practical applications. For instance, the power of making children do their chores, and even delegating a handful more of them than you would normally, is one simple and seemingly obvious way to break the cycle.
Dr. Campbell added that fostering compassion is key to buffering narcissism as that is an emotion they seem to inherently lack.