Status Seeking and the Media We Consume

Status Seeking and the Media We Consume January 19, 2021

Someone forwarded me a short but thought-provoking post that speaks to our view of the media, including the relationship between the media and our efforts to gain or preserve status.

I have a simple hypothesis.  No matter what the media tells you their job is, the feature of media that actually draws viewer interest is how media stories either raise or lower particular individuals in status….

But now you can see why people get so teed off at the media.  The status ranking of individuals implied by a particular media source is never the same as yours, and often not even close. You hold more of a grudge from the status slights than you get a positive and memorable charge from the status agreements.

In essence, (some) media is insulting your own personal status rankings all the time.  You might even say the media is insulting you.

Indeed that is why other people enjoy those media sources, because they take pleasure in your status, and the status of your allies, being lowered. It’s like they get to throw a media pie in your face.

It seems that the writer’s theory holds for social media as much as other types of media (e.g., television, radio, etc.).

This excerpt also raises other questions. For example, how do you think the sitcoms and movies we watch affect our views about social position, ways to rise in social rank, and shape motivations and fears about losing social status?

How do shows or even the news inform how we perceive our own social status? Do they influence the people or groups that we regard as threats?

Finally, do we tend to consume types of media that reinforce the perceptions we have about our own status? In part, this could come about by the ways that media impresses on our mind group categories. In other words, how does the media we consume divide the world? Into what types of people?

What do you think?


Photo Credit: Flickr/Creative Commons

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