Veblen termed it conspicuous consumption in 1899; our author calls it “signaling” in today’s pick – but the underlying point being driven by both these gentlemen is the same – how much of what you do and what you choose to be is driven by the need to “show off” and project an affinity to a certain social status?
Who are you when no one is watching? Do you spend higher on branded shoes which the world can see or also on branded socks which are hidden? Would you buy an indiscernible yet uber-expensive Hermes Birkin or a very apparent LV bag? Would you quietly go about reading books on your Kindle or maintain (and announce) a count on Goodreads? We signal more than we think we do, as you will find in this thought-provoking read by Julian Lehr for his personal blog.