When everyone gets the same thing, the smallest differences become status symbols.
For example, on Twitter everyone gets the same platform, the same profile template, and so on. As a result, single word usernames and having a “blue check” are status symbols—they convey belonging to an exclusive group that is not accessible to others. People naturally try to raise their status.
- Value signaling and signaling as a service
- The internet has American values encoded, is status inadvertently one of them?
- Identity is a powerful motivator for behaviors
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I’ve been thinking about what it means to lead a rich digital life. With so much of our time spent with computers and the internet, we ought to think about the quality of our digital lives. What makes for a good digital life? How do you achieve it? What should we do to improve it?