The Veruca Salt Mine: Spoiled or Just Pausing the Inevitable?

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Many are spoiled as kids. Whether it’s once when our mom let us get an extra Tiger Beat because we obviously needed that ONE picture of Nick Carter wearing a green sweater, or it’s a little more often. Then there are those kids who were basically participants on My Super Sweet 16. That’s an extreme because I’m sure 99.9% of you reading this were not gifted two BMWs at once in your lifetime. Here’s the thing though, we don’t look at it as weird when a kid is spoiled, but what about when it’s a grown adult?

Being spoiled as an adult has as many definitions as Mariah Carey has wardrobe changes in a night. With that, I had to limit it down and try and focus in on one aspect of it. At least that’s what happened when this week’s interviewee pointed out that she didn’t see herself as spoiled, but rather privileged. It really made me rethink the whole week. Since privileged was a better way to describe the vision in my head when I thought about people I knew, and their relationships with their own parents. Having your rent provided, food and toilet paper stocked, not having any real pressure to ever leave the nest. In my eyes these people were spoiled, but in the end – they were just living a more privileged life. Why though?

Aziz Ansari, and this week’s interviewee, both note how 20-somethings today are taking longer to “grow up” and they are using that decade more as an exploration of self. The Parks and Recreation star noted in Modern Romance how it was normal as hell to be married by 19, and have your first kid before you could legally buy a beer back in the day. Today? Women are freezing their eggs, men are – well they’re doing whatever they do, and we’re basically just taking longer than our parents did to settle down. While we do that, is that causing a generation to live in a delusional state? Our grandparents fought in wars, our parents worked young and raised families, and we’re…we’re stressing over what to binge, when our Postmates will arrive and whether or not someone liked the picture of that sunset we took. That’s not to say we don’t have troubles and woes, but putting them on a scale – we’re failing in comparison to the generations that came before us. Perhaps it’s because our parents are sheltering us longer from reality, or perhaps it’s because we hold ourselves in a higher regard.

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Jean Twenge went on to say in Generation Me, “Every generation of young people is substantially more narcissistic than their elders, not because of cultural changes but because of age-related trends.” Putting a pause on eventually growing up is one thing, but is it because we think we deserve this time more? I mean, we live in a world with YOUtube, MYspace, FACEbook, Itunes, Iphones, Ipods. We live for the attention. So much so, we can’t go a day without Snapping or tweeting our every move. No one cares you’re at the gym, or that Carol from accounting brought cookies. We’re taking a longer path to adulthood in exchange for self-exploration, but is this trip booked primarily on how much traction and validation we get from sharing our every move?

Realistically, we are taking longer to grow up and this is because we’re realizing that we don’t have to rush into domesticity like our parents and grandparents once did because we have a world of more options. Because of that, our parents are, in a lot of cases, still housing those choosing this path and while some may see them as spoiled – they could just be considered privileged in many ways. While one is working to make rent, another is spending what they don’t have to pay in rent on new clothes and/or a vacation. It doesn’t mean they’re spoiled because they’re likely working for that stuff – they just have the privilege of having parents who aren’t aren’t forcing them to press “fast forward” and hit responsibility realm a lot sooner. Whether or not that’s because we’ve grown to feel entitled to it thanks to social media, now that’s an argument you can have with Twenge.

The Highs and Lows of Being Spoil…Privileged

  1. M.Farouk Radwan said on Know Myself, “…a spoiled child finds himself ill equipped to face life problems when he becomes an adult as a result of being overly dependent on his caregiver,” so those friends of yours who seem helpless – they may have just been sheltered and spoiled growing up and were never taught survival skills.
  2. Everyday Life states there are four ways to deal with spoiled adults; set boundaries, walk away, don’t feed it and be patient.
  3. According to Livestrong, children who are spoiled tend to have trouble in relationships later in life because they fail to develop the idea that relationships require a “give and take.”
  4. Interestingly enough, while 80% of you said you were spoiled today, 100% said they would not spoil their own kids.
  5. When it came to the highs and lows of being spoiled, 80% of you agreed the high was the lack of worry when it came to money, and 80% also agreed on the low being the grip on reality and the lack of it.

Tomorrow we talk to someone who is more privileged than spoiled, dive into how that could never be my reality, discuss that reality grip when it comes to pop culture and of course…you know the story…

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