Although some things remain the same and a nice house, a fast ride and a hot side piece are still easy ways for men to earn VIP status, we’re on the cusp of a new age when the best status symbols for men aren’t only about what they can afford. That’s not to say climbing the social ladder is not going to cost you a lot (it is), but in today’s world, the richest man is one who lives a fuller life than the next—and proves it. Here are some new ways men are starting to define success now and in the near future.
The right social (media) circle
Laugh at someone celebrating earning a retweet from Kanye? Don’t, because the type of celebrity cachet that can be gained from a high-profile character posting a selfie with you is what stands between individuals, brands and companies sinking or swimming in this finicky, overly-connected world. Status has always required the participation of your peers. However, this peer group is expanding at a breakneck pace. While being privy to exclusive social circles or secretive members-only clubs worked in the past, nothing compares to flaunting bragging rights all over the entire internet.
Being the boss
Got a fancy degree? So does everybody else these days—and, as everybody knows from experience—degrees don’t prove that anyone’s particularly smart. Entrepreneurs are catching onto that trend, instead proving their wits and business sense by starting their own functioning companies. Although million-dollar cash cows will certainly help you climb the social ladder higher than a side project will, even small businesses that pull in a few extra hundred dollars a month are enough to prove your moxy in the society of the near-future. Plus, “CEO” looks great on a business card.
Man’s best friend
Thanks to real estate values across many of the world’s city centres growing exponentially, as well as soaring food and medical costs, having the resources to support a pet, let alone children, is the new mark of making it as a man. The larger the dog (or exotic animal, should your prefer), the more maintenance, space and upkeep it requires, making it easy to differentiate an apartment-dweller from the master of a mansion.
The ability to get away
Having the ability to travel has long been a status symbol for men, but never more so than it is now. After referring to point number one, you’re certain to see the effect an awesome, shareable experience such as a trip abroad can have on your reputation.
Watches aren’t as much of a status symbol anymore, or at least they say nothing much beyond a man’s spending power. Fitness wearables, while inexpensive in comparison, are a symbol that shows off your access to leisure time and a healthy lifestyle much more effectively than sporting a sweat-soaked shirt from your workout. As these gadgets progress, they are becoming more sophisticated and stylish, which means we’ll likely soon start seeing exclusive designs popping up. Some also share your running routes and workouts automatically on social media—consider it the modern man’s humblebrag.