I AM MY OWN UNIQUE PERSON.
As a millennial, I have grown up in a generation that embraces self-appreciation. We teenagers and young adults have even been (oh so appropriately) dubbed the “Me Me Me Generation” for our narcissist ways. So why should we celebrate worldwide Be Humble Day on Sunday?
We should not celebrate with humbleness. And more importantly, we really cannot.
According to a 2010 study by the Pew Research Center, millennials embrace multiple modes of self-expression, one of the most popular being social media. Seventy five percent of millennials have created a profile on a social networking site, and the majority of us don’t stop at just one. I have multiple, including Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr exclusively dedicated to myself. Is that narcissistic?
No; in fact, it’s normal. If you aren’t “narcissistic” enough to create online accounts, you are at a disadvantage because you lose opportunities to network and showcase the type of person you are. This is most applicable to professional social media networks, such as LinkedIn, where it can only help your career to “not-so-humbly” present your achievements. The same goes for Facebook, the largest social media outlet in the world. Users have access to millions of other people and organizations. Although Facebook profiles are typically not for self-advertisement, the act of creating and personalizing your own website can only help you.
It is important to recognize the myriad of advantages that come with presenting yourself as a unique individual. If you don’t consider yourself unique, then why will companies, teachers or peers see you that way? How else will you set yourself apart? In order to succeed, we must self-advertise an admittedly excessive amount.
We flock to social media not to be humble of our achievements or to downplay important events in our lives, but rather to celebrate ourselves. And that’s okay.
Our generation has the unique opportunity to express ourselves in an endless amount of ways—and there’s nothing wrong with taking that opportunity. Millennials are on track to becoming the most well-educated generation in American history. Common adjectives people use to describe our generation include confident, self-expressive and open to change. However, our dynamic youthfulness is being overshadowed by negative connotations, such as narcissism and self-aggrandizement. This trend of dubbing millennials as self-centered rather than unique is dangerous, for it causes young people to have a lower self-esteem.
We shame people for “showing off” their accomplishments rather than admiring them, and gossip about strangers more often than we defend them. Nowadays, people with high self-esteem tend to come off as snobbish rather than healthy. We should be able to acknowledge our own worth without worrying about seeming too self-centered. To fight this mentality, we must love ourselves before we may love others.
However, with a healthy self-esteem must come some tact. It is not socially acceptable to blatantly declare to the world you are better than others. We should aim to balance our pride with modesty as to not offend others. Nobody likes a jerk who’s only in love with themselves: spread the wealth.
My advice to you for this Be Humble Day is to embrace the special person you are. Don’t undermine the achievements and idiosyncrasies that make you so special: flaunt them instead. It’s your life. Nothing and nobody will ever be worth putting yourself down, and there are definitely worse things in life than being called vain.
So, my fellow millennials, take selfies. Tweet your thoughts. Live for yourself. And have no shame.
Remember, you’re one in seven billion, and you deserve to show it.
The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Jessica Tao at [email protected]