Having a teenage relative reside at my place was an eye opening experience. It provided me with the inspiration to produce and direct this documentary. His perception was that the world revolved around him, and that everything I provided was expected. At first, I thought, perhaps, I was overreacting… until I discovered that my experience was far from unique. People around me shared similar experiences dealing with today’s self-absorbed youth. The researcher in me compelled me to explore further. How can I understand the younger generations: X, Y, and Z (or as well call, “Gen ME” for short)? How did we get to where we are today?
We often analyze how our world is changing, but rarely do we document how people themselves are changing. The question is, do the children of Baby Boomers really behave differently from the children of previous generations?
My curiosity leads me to interview with various experts, employers, educators, Baby Boomer parents and, several representatives of Generation ME. I wanted to understand the impact of the media and new technologies on Gen ME. Determine if our education system is adequately preparing our youth for the competitive workplace of 21st century. Discover how we can inspire empathy, innovation, leadership, and responsibility?
There are so many areas to explore, so many questions and answers to make some sense of it all. What are the future consequences? Are there any available solutions?
Some of the topics explored in this documentary answer the following questions:
– How did this sense of entitlement among generations X, Y, Z (Gen ME) become such a core topic within families, corporations, and society in general?
– Why is this entitled attitude worsening with every new generations entering society?
– Where did it originate?
– How can we understand Gen ME behavior vs. previous generations and what is the clash between them?
– Why was the promise of a good job after finishing university not delivered to Gen ME at adulthood?
– Why there is a huge disconnect between Gen ME expectations and reality?
– How much influence does social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr,..), and the Hollywood scene have on Gen Me, in terms of their behavior and body modifications (tattoos, piercing, plastic surgery)?
– What is the impact on the corporate hiring market and what are the current and future challenges and implications in response to these new trends in the workplace?
As my first feature film production, I must say that it was an amazing experience, yet very intense and novel. First in choosing such a complex and controversial topic to explore. And secondly, how to best present it to the viewers; to ensure the production had the highest quality standards of images, filming techniques, sound capture, post editing and with the appropriate musical score.
One of the main objectives in the creative process was to educate how the different generations are defined and behave. Most importantly, it was to address a significant societal issue that is now considered by well-established psychologists as an “epidemic of narcissism”; which is rapidly propagating to the entire Western world. As the interviewer, I was amazed by the openness and candid comments shared by all the different generations, which made it one of my most fascinating human and life learning experiences.
Throughout the interviews with experts and Gen ME representatives, the film focuses on exploring how the different generations grew up within their families, the education system, religion (its declining impact) and the environment (workplace, influence of Hollywood, the use of technology, body modification). Through their personal stories, we gain a better understanding of why we observe this current generational disconnect and hopefully enable the viewers to create a bridge and cohesiveness between them.
It was clear from people’s emotional reactions through our discussions, that the topic of self-focus and entitlement among youth remains controversial. I trust that this feature documentary will assist any viewer to better understand the five recent generations in history (the silent generation, the baby boomers, generations X, Y, and Z) and understand how we arrived here. The viewing of this film will surely trigger some open dialogue between generations, and hopefully improve communication and generate positive outcomes between them.
My goal is to inspire viewers from all generations to reflect on the current situation and discuss this global issue of narcissism with their family members. It is my hope that this documentary will help bridge the current gap between generations, and build a greater understanding of our younger generations for the sake of their future.
You can now enjoy this 99 min. feature documentary and purchase it as Blu-ray, DVD, or simple download.