You know how it goes at the international airport check-in counter.
- Greet customer: “Hello sir”
- Determine destination: “Where are you travelling to today?”
- Check passport, print boarding pass etc
It’s all pretty functional.
From time to time, there might be some off-script personality sneaking through, but it’s rare. Unless you are travelling to Vegas.
When I checked-in for my first ever trip to Las Vegas, the routine started as usual. But when we got to point 2 – and I explained where I was heading, the woman stopped and looked up.
Her eyes glistened and she smiled. She nodded and just said, “Veeeegaas”.
It was at this point that I knew that there was something special in store. The thing is, Vegas is a place whose story precedes it. It is a place where stories are born and where we can become wrapped in a story beyond our imaginings in the blink of a showgirl’s eye.
Now, it used to be said that what goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But that was “back in the day” – which in Gen Y speak means about 2009. It was a time when being in a city in the middle of a desert afforded a certain isolation. It was a time before my nanna was on Facebook. And now, as we all know, what goes on in Vegas, lives forever on Facebook. Or Google. Or the computers in the NSA’s secret PRISM data centre.
And this means that the stories that are the lifeblood that is “Veeeegaas” … are no longer contained. Furthermore, those stories are amplified, hyper-real simulacra flashed across a variety of digital networks in multi-format content from pictures on Instagram to collections on Pinterest and videos on Vine and YouTube to collections on Storify.
But just as Vegas transformed itself from family destination to adult playground, it seems that Facebook too is experiencing this kind of shift. With teens and young adults starting feeling Facebook fatigue and dropping away from the social network, it’s leaving a hard core adult population to connect, share and engage. And with a revitalised MySpace and a plethora of low demand/high impact alternatives like Instagram and SnapChat it may well be that Facebook enters a new era of adult-focused engagement.
But which ever way that dice rolls, one thing is for certain. Before posting a new photo to Facebook, ask yourself the hard question. Should I?