For Generation 'Look at Me,' Every Moment Is Public

But pitfalls lie amid flurry of documenting
By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2008 1:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – They’re known as millennials, the documentation generation, and the Look at Me’s. But what defines Americans born after 1982 is a mindset that every moment can be turned into a performance worthy of YouTube and MySpace and maybe parlayed into broader fame, Newsweek reports. Now sociologists are asking: Can healthy identities and relationships thrive in a generation obsessed with self-presentation and exhibitionism?

Shows like "The Real World" and "Laguna Beach" may have taught millennials to covet a shorthand of identity (cutter, anorexic, bipolar) that strips them of healthy nuance. And their excitement to record everything clouds their judgment about making a record of their actions, argue some sociologists. Miscarriages, topless photos, and illegal acts become fodder for a sense of celebrity, to be documented now and regretted later.