But I'm not going to just trash the kids here. It's really society's fault. Just look at the ample evidence of how our collective standards have slipped. We've sent TV networks a strong message that watching the Kardashians sit around complaining about each other is compelling -- because some people would rather watch this nonsense than shut it off and go create some excitement of their own. Kids see how Kim Kardashian and others have gotten rich and famous by exposing their lives on TV, and they try to emulate that trajectory. They come away with the message that money and fame come first, then opportunities just fall from the sky. What's sad is that they are, in essence, correct.
The rich and famous used to have actual talent as a foundation. The ones who happened to be the most physically appealing may have received a boost from their looks, but their appearance certainly wasn't the entire foundation of their success. That's why those people will remain timeless legends -- for their contributions -- whereas many of the "stars" of today will be forgotten by the time the next starlet sex tape conveniently leaks out online.
The spike in narcissism among college freshmen is a natural result of increased entitlement to shortcuts. Want to be an entrepreneur? "Where's my venture capital?" you ask. Want to be fit and slim? "Where's my magic pill?" Want employment right out of college? "Where's my $250,000 annual salary?"
Looking like you're great has replaced true greatness. Being an empty suit is all right if the suit is Armani. And what's most concerning is that there are increasingly fewer people who can tell the difference between the real deal and a cheap knockoff -- perhaps because they can't recognize what they themselves don't know.