Social Food Chain

Note to future self..

Today I was watching this video (couldn’t find the link) and its basic premise is that humans are always aware of where they fall on the social ladder. This influences a lot our behavior particularly how make friends and pursue romantic relationships.

The argument here is that attractive people are aware that they’re attractive so they will only date people that they consider correspond to their level of attractiveness. You could also argue that for some people the process is not so conscious but instead the “market” makes the decision for them. For example, attractive people date other attractive people not because they consciously seek to date someone of their same “level” but given the plethora of options that they have they can choose the best options based on that. The outcome is essentially the same but how people get there varies.

In any case, I find this idea of a “social food chain” fascinating because it opens a bunch of questions including:

  1. Can people change the way they think about themselves and can this help them “move up” the food chain
  2. What factors matter the most in establishing your “value”?
  3. How do these factor differ depending on the person’s gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic background?
  4. Etc..

It’s important to note that your “value” is not only your physical appearance (although that does seem to be a big part of it). It can also include your intelligence, wealth, social capital, etc.

The Takeaway

I think that for me the key takeaway here is that just being aware that this is going on in my head can help me push myself to keep improving who I am so that I can correspondingly improve my relationships. This might not be the best way to articulate this but I will keep thinking about better ways to articulate this idea and report back any findings.

Now back to work.