What does it mean to elevate one’s status? Status can be defined in many ways, but the universal definition is: the position of an individual to another or others, especially in regards to social or professional standing.
When you look retrospectively to the people of generation X; status means: acquiring a two-story house, white picket fences, three kids, a golden retriever, and income of six-digits or more with retirement benefits. When you ask someone of this generation how they will gain this glorious lifestyle, they respond, “by working hard and with a hardy work ethic.”
Of course, the question of work ethics come into picture, and suddenly defining how generation Y will achieve the picket fence is not so clear. With show like Nick Cannon’s Wild-N-Out, and the celbreality of the stars on MTV’s The Hills; hard work and work ethic are two terms that have seemed to escape the generation Y’s MO of business.
When I interviewed a professor about the trends that he has seen in today’s youth he stated that he felt that we know that we will never be able to obtain the status that our parents and grandparents have because of the economy that we were born into and also the trend that he has seen where students “front” who they are and what they are about to gain status among their peers and their professors.
At first glance, this might seem harsh; but most students are not aware that there are classes being taught across America on how to communicate with us and cater to our needs because are the generation that never went without and we are also the generation that never experienced losers, just people who win and people who learn. The goal of generation Y should not be to have the latest hot new phone, but to have one of an achieved status; a status that plainly gives us the merit that we feel is necessary to achieve the white picket fence.
In addition, the professor that I interviewed also stated that the economics of a situation ultimately sets the scene. Has our government influenced the way that we see us and believe that we need to present us based on the ever-changing economic rules? The situation that is most relevant to this concept is that of the current economic crisis.
It is true that our generation did not necessarily place the economy into this position and it is also true that we are not the generation that is required to solve the crisis; but, we are the generation that will have to deal with the repercussions, after all, we are the future.
Status is everything in society. For generations, there are have been different kinds of consumers; those that buy out of necessity and those that buy because of the label. In a world where we practically have everything at our fingertips and self-identity is so precious; why have we let our status of our generation be that of the “we deserve” not “we earned?”