Look at me! Look at me!
So I was fortunate enough to be asked to do a panel at the new SXSW V2V in Las Vegas recently… my friends (some new, some old) were actually only one of 15 panels out of 400 that were selected. It was a great event and we did the normal Vegas conference things: Met interesting people and attended fantastic sessions during the day, then went out later and checked out the scene at the pool, had some great dinners, walked the strip, did some shopping, and had some fun partying.
So one of the nights we went to a club called Hyde at the Bellagio. We were there early and it was a Tuesday night, but it was still kind of a scene. They have a great view of the fountains and the place was fairly crowded and the DJ was blasting out songs.
At one point, there’s a buzz in the crowd, as several staff members make their way to a large VIP table area in the center of the club. There were beefy security staff clearing their way through the masses, and scantily clad women filling out the table area.
Then, the women proceed to stand up on the couches with bright LED lights, and hold up signs to spell out the guest of honor’s name: Reggie.
I turned to my friend and asked, can you name any famous Reggies? My first thought was Reggie Jackson, but at age 67, I doubted the former Yankees slugger was out clubbing.
Then we thought of Reggie Bush, the 28 year old running back now on the Detroit Lions that had dated Kim Kardashian for 2 years, but there was no sign of him. That would be pretty cool to see him!
Nope, not him either.
But when the crowd parted, the VIP group filled the space, and the women with the REGGIE signs had departed, we were just left with — as far as I could tell from our vantage point –
Some guy named Reggie.
Now maybe I’m doing an injustice and there was a REALLY famous Reggie there. But we kind of realized, Reggie was just a guy out with some friends, maybe he got lucky at the Blackjack table, who pooled together some money (the cost seems to be $1,500 and up for bottle service), and wanted everyone in the club to know that he was there.
And that’s nothing… there’s a $250,000 option where you can actually control the fountains at the Bellagio!
It’s not just celebrities in the Kardashian clan like Brody Jenner.
Look at me. Look at me. Look at me.
The Me Generation?
The debate around the time we’re living in – especially with younger millenials – is that this is the me generation. With reality TV, social media, websites for every genre, and helicopter parents, the world is now filled with self-absorbed, heavily tattooed, famous for being famous, spoiled brats that will not only focus on themselves, but take photos and videos to show the world and prove it.
A Time Magazine cover touting “The me me me generation” noted that “The incidence of narcissistic personality disorder is nearly three times as high for people in their 20s as for the generation that’s now 65 or older, according to the National Institutes of Health.”
However, The Atlantic was quick to respond that Every Generation Has Been the Me Me Me Generation.
The showed examples from:
- Life Magazine in 1968
- New York Magazine touting “The Me Decade” in 1976
- Newsweek in 1985 (The Video Generation)
- A 1990 Time story called Twentysomething
- A 2007 article called All About Me talking about the generation in China.
The Reach of New Media
So that made me think, maybe Reggie is no different than you or I, he just has more of an opportunity to be seen.
When I was in my early 20s I wrote a column for my college newspaper. I was on a campus of 3,000 and I’d say I had a following of a few hundred fraternity and sorority members, and maybe some other students that read it, but there certainly wasn’t a single person outside of Smithfield, Rhode Island that had any idea who I was – or would be able to even read it unless they came on campus and grabbed a copy.
Now, my blog posts are available for the world to see within seconds, both on text and audio. I now have 5,000 worldwide students one of my online courses. I still want my voice heard like I did 20 years ago, but it’s just that the media to distribute that voice is infinitely easier.
Hey Reggie. Look at me.
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