The “Me-ism” and “We-ism” Societies

Leslie Lyon

When creating a special report on Staff Compensation awhile back, we mentioned that businesses were reporting a world-wide “shift in drivers” when attempting to staff-up their spas.  A growing number stated they were no longer in the driver’s seat when it came to staff controls; but rather employees were more frequently occupying that seat.  Today, staff recruitment; compensation; and retention demands are prime examples of this, and have forced businesses to continually implement new strategies to stay ahead of the game and avoid the revolving door syndrome.

This predicament continues to escalate for many reasons.  When trying to understand it, many variables need to be considered, including the impact that the current technological revolution is having on people. 

Big data flow is getting bigger, and with it comes increases in self-confidence; competition; and therefore expected standards of practice.  With these rises, come off-setting declines.  People’s stability factors have dropped, as have levels of loyalty and even respect for once-respected authority figures; opinions, and even brands.  The internet has made it both easier and more difficult all at the same time, to gain and retain your desired status. 

The web has almost taken on the role of “magic mirror”.  The onlooker can create their own reflection of reality, based on unreality.  They can custom build their self-belief system by choosing their own set of criteria, and fill their world up with conformists and supporters.  More and more of us are learning self-importance and self-righteousness through the ever-growing online environment.  Read about “The Cult of Me” at this link here.

My 16 year old son had this to say:

—–You can show only what you want them to see online;

—–Screen what you want and don’t want to hear; X out the rest; and not deal with it;

—–People talk big online, but they’re not big offline;

—–People photo shop their image to be popular online, but they aren’t popular offline;

—–It’s easy to think you’re more important than you are online:  2,000 friends; 200 likes; 5,000 followers and 500 connections, but you have no one to hang-out with offline.

What I took from this conversation, is that we all toggle between online and offline personas, and one clearly and profoundly affects the other. 

Although there still exists the decades old devotion to me, myself and I, as we also grow stronger feelings of self-importance and self-entitlement through online exposure, we become more and more certain that we already know everything there is to know and therefore less open to good judgment, and more difficult to teach.  This false spot of security is difficult for anyone to be in, and any business to deal with.

But just as black balances white; yin steadies yang; “We-ism” has come along to counterbalance “Me-ism”.  Giving is already the new taking for many individuals and has become a very welcomed new status symbol.  This phenomenon is online-driven too, and is rapidly driving a strong offline culture.  It is a culture of sharing; caring; contributing and generosity.  As Trendspotting’s article “Generation G” states, it is a leading societal and business mindset. states, “Sometimes big events and ongoing trends clash in a beautiful way, only to converge soon after.” I think “me-ism and we-ism” is a clash of epic proportions.  Which one do you choose to employ?

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