Status Consciousness

April 14, 2013

I frequently overhear teens and millennials talking about status. They constantly change theirs. When they hear a funny quote or take a phone photo of their dirty chai latte. Their impulse is a new type of status consciousness.

For them status is not something to be attained and then maintained. It is mutable. Also it reflects their opinion of themselves and is generally not derived from others’ opinions of them.  Social media enables tagging everything, including our own sense of self.

For the generations before them (myself included) status was based on what we owned, where we worked, our graduate degree.  Something more permanent.  It was granted after effort and no matter how hard we tried, we could not confer it upon ourselves.  It was to be earned and guarded with your lives.  Even if that meant stepping on our co-workers or friends.

Seems like it works better now.  That’s ironic.

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