4 Tiny Things That Will Be Major Status Symbols In 15 Years

Scarcities that will be considered luxuries in the future.

Woman with money in heart shaped glasses Ekrulila | Canva

Editor's Note: This is a part of YourTango's Opinion section where individual authors can provide varying perspectives for wide-ranging political, social, and personal commentary on issues.

Ah, the status symbol. These have existed since time immemorial. In the age of the caveman, the big status symbol was probably an animal skull. Today, status symbols include a high net worth, home ownership, and being able to pay for healthcare.


Tomorrow’s status symbols are not going to be that easy to obtain with money  —  though money will always have a certain “key to clout.” Money is there to open up doors, but money doesn't create class. Class is going to be just as much a lifestyle as it is an economic title. The reason why is simple: we’re going to go through a big crunch — and that’s where the details will be. I predict these things are going to be the biggest status symbols you’ll see in 15 years  —  here’s why.

RELATED: Has Marriage Turned Into A Status Symbol For ... Men?

Here are 4 things that will be major status symbols in 15 years:

1. Literacy

A status symbol is a status symbol because it’s hard to find, hard to maintain, or hard to obtain. Reading literacy in America is plummeting, fast. Forty percent of students in America can’t read at a basic level. 




Here’s the thing: reading makes you smarter. It also makes it easier for you to understand concepts that can help you  —  including financial literacy, laws, legal paperwork, and more.  Unsurprisingly, students often realize how bad things are when they hit college or the workforce. Not being able to understand what you just read is detrimental to your future.

Reading at a highly proficient level is going to be a status symbol, simply because readers are going to have higher income brackets than those who can’t read. The worse our school systems get, the more reading itself will become a status symbol because it will be out of reach for a large portion of the population. 

RELATED: 14 Riveting Reasons To Love A Woman Who Reads


2. A successful dating life

This is already a major status symbol, especially among men. Dating is not easy; it’s honestly a meat grinder. I ought to know. I might be married, but I’m not monogamous. I’ve been in an ethically non-monogamous (ENM) relationship for years, and we’re more along the lines of swingers. I can honestly say that dating has become deeply unpleasant. It’s bad out there. 

The truth is that most men are starting to feel a very visceral, almost primal desire for a relationship  —  and they’re not handling that need well. The amount of resentment, desperation, and rage I hear from men is unlike anything I’ve seen in past decades.

It’s harder and harder for people to find a connection. Part of that is because people are more afraid to put themselves out there. The other part is because our social skills and emotional intelligence went to crap. There are large swaths of the population who desperately want to have a connection, but can’t even vocalize what they want or figure out what needs to be done to get the warm fuzzies they yearn for. It’s going to get worse and relationships will be the exception rather than the default.

3. A 9-to-5 job that pays a living wage

I think, to a point, this has already become a status symbol, but it’s going to get even rarer. The robber barons who run major corporations and even small businesses tend to want to avoid paying enough to afford a studio apartment for a single person.  As someone who’s had to brave the job market recently, I realize how bad it is. There is nothing normal about having applied to hundreds of jobs just to get ghosted by every single one  —  and yet, this has become the new normal.




Most working-class people I know are currently turning to freelancing, starting their small businesses, or staying in jobs that don’t pay enough while they patch things up with credit cards. Needless to say, being able to have the legal protections that come with official employment will make a 9-to-5 with a living wage a golden ticket for a lot of people who currently might not see it as such.

RELATED: Woman Explains Exactly Why It’s Harder To Get A Job Now Than In Her Parents' Day—Despite Claims That Young People 'Don't Want To Work'

4. Manners

Did you notice the rise in “Karen” behavior in stores? I’ve seen a major spike in entitled behavior. When it’s not in person, it’s online behavior that would be unheard of in the 90s. 


It’s getting to a breaking point in many communities in America. Stores like Walmart are shutting down because they don’t want to deal with bad customers. Retail stores are also getting fed up, to the point that “the customer is always right” stopped happening. Retail workers are getting fed up with pandering to disrespectful people.

The funny thing is that companies are also getting wise to the fact that paying people below a living wage while they’re getting berated, insulted, and even attacked won’t fly. Rage-quitting is at an all-time high. Eventually, stores are going to be forced to either close or protect their workers. 

I’m willing to bet a lot of stores and venues will end up with a membership-only entry, like Costco. When this happens, bad in-store behavior will end up with membership privileges getting revoked across all franchises. If that happens, then people who currently enable it will start to sing another tune. 


Rather than act entitled, noisy, and otherwise disruptive, manners will become en vogue —  to the point that people will start to shun others who act out of line.

RELATED: The Simple Sign Someone Has Good Manners That Has Nothing To Do With Etiquette

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, New Theory Magazine, and others.