Free «The “Me” Culture and Modern Society» Essay
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Modern society is characterized by a set of features that have not been observed several decades ago. These features allow one of stating that American culture, in particular, is undergoing major changes taking a new kind of social dimension. Researchers point out the emergence of the so-called "me" culture, the features of which can be observed in different areas of human life (social, economic, and religious). In each of them, the "me" culture manifests itself in the search for individual responses and the development of an individual approach to life. In fact, it is largely determined by the fact that the “self” becomes the center of human life. In turn, this process has not only positive, but also negative consequences for human society. The current paper analyzes the various aspects of human life in order to identify the particular impact of the "me" culture on them.
As far as is known, religion is one of the essential aspects for the lives of millions of people. Modern Americans also try to find answers to pressing questions with the help of religion. However, the answers they receive no longer satisfy them. Unlike their predecessors, today's youth is critical of the religious tenets, often regarding them as nothing more than a sophisticated self-deception and lies. Stories of many young people show that their belief in God implies a practical demonstration of God's goodness and justice ("More Young People ...," 2013). Faced with a difficult situation (illness or death of a loved one), young people stop believing in God. Thus, for today's young people, religion does not meet the most important requirements, namely it does not provide real help in life and does not give the necessary answers. All this leads to the fact that "eventually that gets just too hard to believe anymore" ("More Young People ...," 2013). Even those who want to believe in God face the problem of correlation between God's truths and realities of life. In this case, the "me" culture is represented by the individual search for religious answers to the important questions. However, because of the inability of religion to answer these questions, many of young people become atheists.
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In the professional field, the "me" culture also has its own characteristics. According to Brooks (2011), a few decades ago, college graduates entered a new and independent life with a ready-life plan and presentation of their “self.” However, nowadays the situation has changed dramatically, and "most people do not form a self and then lead a life" (Brooks, 2011). Young people enter adulthood without having ready-made image of their “self.” In contrast, they are trying to find themselves in the process of solving various problems including professional. Culture encourages young people to find their own life and professional guidance, develop their individual capacities, and open their own way to a dream. However, the problem manifests itself in the fact that not having a ready-made image of oneself, young people cannot find work that brings them satisfaction. They are constantly changing one job to another, trying to answer the question of who they are. The problem is further complicated due to the fact that in search of the individual “I”, sang by the "me" culture, young people are unable to work as a team, while the team work suggests a kind of refusal of the “self” as the center of life.
Another consequence of the "me" culture is the fact that productive society turns into a consumer society (Mackey, 2012). Increasingly, one can observe that young people tend to borrow and register in the employment centers rather than to make money on their own. According to specialists, the American nation is becoming a "nation of moochers" (Mackey, 2012). In turn, it has serious negative effects on the economy of the United States, since it helps not reduce but increase the number of unemployed persons. Each of such persons thinks that he/she has the right to make such an independent decision based on the concept of the “self” as having a right not to work and to take money in debt.
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In addition, the effects of the "me" culture can be seen in the fact that the phrases that offered polite communication are replaced with more simple wordings, such as "You bet" or "No problem" (Weeks, 2012). Today’s youth does not find it necessary to use expressions that demonstrate the maximum respect for the other person. The words “Thank you” and “I am very grateful to you” become rare enough to use. Communication between people is less polite and ruder. In particular, this is due to the fact that modern society within the "me" culture, considering the “self” as the center of individual human life, goes to the "casual conversation, casual dress and casual behavior" (Weeks, 2012).
To conclude, the “me” culture has its certain both positive and negative characteristics that greatly affect the lives of modern people. What is more, it directs to the concept of “self” as a center of human life. It enables a person to think about his/her individual interests and opportunities and strive for self-development and self-improvement. However, on the other hand, the "me" culture leads to the secularization of society, as well as to the variety of issues in the professional field caused by the person’s inability to work in a team. In addition, society is becoming less polite, since casual conversation and behavior replace the usual forms of polite communication.