Status differences

Create status differences to drive behavior. Without differentiation, there can be no envy.

Examples

  • Youvebeenleftbehind.com is a site that allows Christians who believe in a relatively imminent rapture event (true believers are suddenly taken up to Heaven, everyone else remains behind in Tribulation) to make contact with those who are “left behind.” As status differentiators go, this is pretty big. It’s hard not to see this as a form of inverted envy, or scorn. Indeed, the site plays on this“Imagine how taken aback [your friends and family] will be by the millions of missing Christians and devastation at the rapture. They will know it was true and that they have blown it. There will be a small window of time where they might be reached for the Kingdom of God. We have made it possible for you to send them a letter of love and a plea to receive Christ one last time.”
  • In a nice counterpoint, a group of atheists has got in on the act as well. Eternal Earth-Bound Pets are “a group of dedicated animal lovers, and atheists. Each Eternal Earth-Bound Pet representative is a confirmed atheist, and as such will still be here on Earth after you’ve received your reward.  Our network of animal activists are committed to step in when you step up to Jesus.”

Principles

Envy and scorn work because there are two groups: those that have, and those that have not. Members of the group who do not have the thing are envious of the group who does have it, who in turn scorn those who do not.

How to use this pattern

  • Show how your group is different – and better – than other groups.
  • Create opportunities for users to pity or scorn the other groups.
  • Offer a service that is exclusive to the group
  • Bonus points for creating a differentiation where people pay to pour scorn on you (for instance atheists offering a service to believers).

 Blog posts about this pattern