Who are the real “Snowflake Generation”? Boomers might not like the answer suggested by a new study.

Older folks like to deride “young people these days” as over-sensitive, narcissistic cry-babies, but are they really yelling at their own, wrinkled reflections? The new study suggests: yes.

A study has found that older generations are more sensitive than younger ones, putting to rest the idea that millennials are “snowflakes”.

The study, the largest ever one conducted on narcissism, looked at the different levels of hypersensitivity in humans according to their age.

It found that those who fall in the baby boomer category are, overall, more sensitive than certain younger generations, including millennials.

Now I will, as I always do, caution that, when a headline claims that “study says…”, you should always assume that it doesn’t, until proven otherwise.

That said, as a Gen Xer, I can never pass up an opportunity to rattle the cages of both Boomers and Millennials.

It’s fun rattling generational cages, especially when you’re the coolest generation. The BFD.

Firstly, to quote from the study itself:

“We found that more maladaptive forms of narcissism (e.g., hypersensitivity, willfulness) declined across life and individual autonomy increased across life. More later-born birth cohorts were lower in hypersensitivity and higher in autonomy compared with earlier-born birth cohorts; these differences were most apparent among those born after the 1930s.

Longitudinal changes and historic differences in narcissism from adolescence to older adulthood

That last sentence is the kicker.

What it says is that people in general tend to be more hypersensitive earlier in life. “Hypersensitive” is the term the researchers use to describe the situation “where people are full of themselves, as well as willfulness, which is the tendency to impose opinions on others”. It also describes “being unreceptive to others’ feedback and lashing out at any criticism toward one’s self”. Cue a chorus of “Well, duh” from anyone who’s ever raised a teenager.

More importantly, though, it also found that the Boomer generation are overall more snow-flaky than later generations.

It also finds that those born before the 1930s are markedly less “wet” than their descendants: the Greatest Generation really were.

The millennial generation, which includes people who are currently between 23 and 38 years old, is less sensitive than the baby boomer generation, which includes people between the ages of 55 and 73[…]

For example, in the US, Chopik explained that “baby boomers may be more narcissistic than other generations because they grew up in a time when the government provided privileges like social security”.

Newstalk ZB
George Carlin was not a Boomer (he was a War Baby). The BFD.

The idea that the Boomers are narcissistic ought not to surprise anyone who’s ever had to put up with decades of Boomers banging on about goddamn Woodstock. I’ve literally seen Boomers high-five each other because they both went to the same anti-Vietnam march.

Their own parents knew it, too. Dr Benjamin Spock’s 1946 “Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care” was the baby manual for the Boomers’ parents. Despite its lack of scientific rigour (Spock’s advice almost certainly contributed to years of high rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, for instance) Spock’s book was hugely influential on the Boomers’ formative years.

Notably, it “emphasized accommodating children’s feelings and catering to their preferences”. When those pandered-to children became young adults, the narcissistic whirlwind of the 60s and 70s “Me Generation” ensued. Even Spock himself later said, “We have reared a generation of brats” (even though he never recanted his child-rearing views).

We’re still living with the deleterious results of the Boomers’ narcissism, too. The Black Lives Matter and Antifa movements, for instance, are the direct continuation of the violent radical left of the 1960s. In fact, some of the very same Boomer radicals are still at it (convicted 60s terrorist Susan Rosenberg, for instance).

Meanwhile, let’s see how “unreceptive to others’ feedback and lashing out at any criticism toward one’s self” the comments are. OK, Boomers – go for it.

Whatever you do, don’t call Boomers “hypersensitive”. The BFD.

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The Boomers Are Not Okay
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Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In last decade or...