The subjects of this book are people born in the 1970's through the 1990's and who are of the thinking that "self comes first". As stated in the author's website: Generation Me has never known a world that put duty before self, and believes that the needs of the individual should come first. This thinking is distinctly different than "being selfish". Phrasing often associated with Generation Me is: "Be Yourself", "Believe In Yourself", "Love Yourself Before You Can Love Others".
We live in a time where children are encouraged to have high self esteem only to be disappointed by what they find upon reaching adulthood. With the highest self esteem of any generation, they find that their expectations clash with reality. This generation has a feeling of entitlement, believing they deserve everything immediately. This generation has "shockingly high expectations for salary, job flexibility and duties" (source Generation Me)
GenMe has been raised thinking they are special, received extensive praise and almost expect it. They are not motivated by feelings of duty, working hard is not virtuous in itself, but worth it if they are singled out and recognized. Marketers and salespeople already know about and use the self-focus of Generation Me. As customers, they are interested in products that satisfy their personal wants and that help them express themselves as individuals. (taken from Generation Me)
Generation Me takes a hard look at parenting practices, the self esteem movement, and practices in education. Twenge also points out the connection between the self esteem movement and development of the negative personality trait of narcissism (the belief that one is better and more important than anyone else). Narcissistic traits are damaging to personal relationships, and employment success. To learn more about members of Generation Me, their thinking, and what has reinforced their life outlook, read the book. It is thorough, enlightening, and backed by research and data.