Status Updates Are The New Status Symbol
The way Millennials and Gen Z are building social currency is not through cars, houses, and watches but on the accumulation of experiences which are shared with others.
This undeniable shift is altering how the new consumer is spending their time and their money. It's clear to many that prospects for job offers, friendships, and relationships are directly impacted by one's online persona.
Gen X's BMW = Gen Y's Coachella
There are obvious downsides to this global cultural movement as there were downsides with the rampant consumerism in the 90s where kids defined themselves through the brands they adorned. People haven't changed just the world around them.
Status update is the new status symbol. What does that mean? It means in the 80s, 90s, early 2000s, people would build their brands by cars, watches, houses, and sneakers. It was the brands that were social currency. They would buy the stuff as a way to represent who they are to the world, but now experiences are the new social currency.
If you think about it, before Instagram, if you went on a an amazing trip, snuck down to the front row, traveled to a far amazing place, the only way that you could share that was actually showing people your photo album, right? But now you could share it at scale. Experiences are what people are pursuing, which is driving a whole new trend, which I talk about in my book, YouthNation, called DIFTI, which stands for Did it for the Instagram, which means that experiences are so important at building one's personal brand that they will actually pursue it, not even so much to enjoy it, but to prove to everybody that they were there.