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Posts Tagged ‘status symbols’

FOR THE LOVE OF STATUS SYMBOLS

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 9, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What do you win with them?

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Have you ever heard the expression, “The guy who has the most toys, wins”? This was obviously invented by someone keenly aware of status symbols. It may sound clever, but I have to wonder what they “win”; the adoration of the vendors they bought everything from? It sounds rather shallow doesn’t it?

There are a lot of status symbols we use to impress others, both tangible and intangible. I’ve categorized them accordingly:

General appearance – an expensive “power suit” is used to denote your corporate status, whether worn by men or women. Your hair is also very important, not just how it is cut or styled, but who does it for you. Other things like glasses, jewelry, and watches are used more for effect as opposed to practicality. Breast augmentations fall under this category. Even our mannerisms, walk, and form of speech is used to send specific signals to others.

Trinkets – the latest technology always makes an impressive status symbol, be it a computer, a cell phone, a TV or camera, a game, etc. The only problem is technology changes at an astounding rate, thereby turning this into a nonstop game of one-upmanship. After all, what is “state-of-the-art” today, is a “has-been” tomorrow.

Automobiles – no other single product tells people your status better than the automobile you drive. Luxury car dealers have known this for years and have used it to their advantage in sales. Snob appeal is often more important than practicality.

Residences – there are two aspects to this: where you live, and what you live in; representing a symbiotic relationship. For example, if you have a magnificent house, yet live on the wrong side of the tracks, people will not care.

Recreation – this represents several things, boats, airplanes, swimming pools, RV’s, etc., but it also includes such things as travel (the more exotic, the better), venues (such as resorts and hotels), and attending events (such as galas, benefits, awards presentations, etc.).

Interpersonal relationship – representing who you know and how you know them, particularly celebrities. For men, it also includes marrying the perfect “trophy wife.” Even sexual conquests are considered status symbols.

Status symbols are a form of communications. It’s our attempt to try and tell others who we are and we’re all probably guilty of using such symbols at different points in our lives. It gets a bit disturbing though when we become obsessed with status symbols, such as “Keeping up with the Jones’.” In other words, it’s not what you have accomplished in your life, but who you think you are.

I tend to call the status seekers the “ST Generation” as they are consumed with having the faSTest, oldeST, neweST, beST, biggeST, smalleST, and moST expensive or powerful. In other words, they measure their social status by things like volume, grade, size, frequency, and age.

Like anybody, I like nice things, but I can’t say I’m easily impressed by status symbols anymore, as I tend to think they’re impractical and costly. Maybe it’s my Scotch blood showing. I tend to be more impressed by people whose actions speak louder than their symbols, such as finding a cure for a disease, an architect who designs a skyscraper, or the contractor who actually builds it. Looks may be important, but they can also be deceiving. As for me, I’ll take actions and accomplishments over status symbols any day of the week. Like I said, what do you “win” with status symbols?

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

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Posted in Life, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

WRISTWATCHES

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 2, 2013

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Are they still status symbols?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

My wristwatch recently broke and I had it taken in for repair. At first I kind of felt like a dog who had lost his collar, like an important part of me was missing. After awhile though, I got used to it and felt somewhat unshackled. I think the last time I was without a watch was back when I was in high school. Surprisingly, I discovered I didn’t miss the watch that much and may go on without wearing one. I have no problem knowing the time as I can find it just about everywhere, including my PC, in my automobiles, on television and radio, and general wall clocks. Cell phones and other personal electronic devices also maintain the time. So much so, young people imbued with the new technologies are less likely to wear a watch than their elders.

One of the reasons we wear wristwatches is as a status symbol, a sort of “coming of age” thing and is an expression of our personality. Gaudy and gold watches are worn by wannabe power brokers. Sleek watches are worn by people who want to appear hip and contemporary. The super-gadget watches are worn by the techno-geeks, and the basic sports watches are worn by the jocks and naturalists.

As watch wearing declines, watch makers are scrambling to make new models that will appeal to the younger generation and include such things as temperature readings, GPS, Internet access, multimedia or whatever. In a way, it will be reminiscent of Dick Tracy’s 2-Way Wrist Radio/TV.

I think the days of wristwatches as a status symbol are winding down (pun not intentional). Young people do not seem to look upon the prestige of watches like my generation did or my predecessors. Basically, the watch has been replaced by the smart phone with its many different features, everything from simple phones to sophisticated devices that can be used for just about anything, e.g., camera, recording device, radio/television, dictation machine, etc. As for me, I’m waiting for a model that comes with either an electric razor or a phaser.

I see many friends and business contacts constantly trying to do one-upmanship over their smart phones. This doesn’t impress me, but then again neither did an expensive watch. Nonetheless, the transfer of status from watches to cell phones is a phenomenon that should not go unnoticed, as it is marking the end of an era, the start of another, and a change in our culture.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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LAST TIME:  PERFORMING A JOB YOU HATE – Things to consider before tackling that ugly job you despise.

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Posted in Life, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »