We all want to look good. We all want to feel good. We all want to belong to what we feel are the ‘right’ cliques. We all have had people influence us into doing certain kinds of stuff just for the purpose of ‘fitting in’. I remember feeling the urge to have a boyfriend because every one of my friends had one. I was so desperate to feel what they were feeling. But then, I realized, I would regret any relationship I would be in at that moment because I didn’t love my partner, I just wanted to feel belonged. This is what peer pressure is.
Most people see it as when you are influenced by people (your peers) to act in a certain way you wouldn’t really act in a normal circumstance because you want to feel accepted or valued. Peer pressure can be in a positive way or in a negative way. In a good way in the sense that you can pressure someone to stop acting in a bad way. But, I am going to be focusing on the negative aspect of peer pressure. Peer pressure is a very real experience that all children and in fact adults go through. As a child grows and becomes more aware of the world around him, he or she begins to desire to be accepted and to belong among counterparts and would sometimes take great pains to impress them.
To me, I see peer pressure as a dilemma. Teenagers struggle with moral dilemmas because they aren’t always wise and experienced enough to make good choices. Most teens have a sense of right and wrong and have difficulty ignoring their conscience when it tells them they’ve done something immoral. Teenagers make tough decisions every day, and peer pressure often makes it more difficult to choose the right path. Imitation plays a large role in the lives of teenagers. In order to pick up skills and techniques that they use in their own life, children and most teenagers are always searching for behaviors and attitudes around them that they can copy. In other words, they can get influenced by people that are important in their lives such as friends, parents, and even YouTubers, celebrities, singers, dancers, etc.
We are all influenced by what we see both in reality and on social media, we are also influenced by what we watch on TV or hear on the radio. Peer pressure comes in when we realize that others especially your peers have more than us. We are all pressurized to follow trends, we are also pressurized to make decisions to meet up to a particular standard of living. A common example is being peer pressured by your peers into smoking because they all smoke and you would be seen as the ‘uncool kid’ if you don’t. Many kids these days do not know how to say ‘ NO’. They also do not know how to make decisions themselves or stand by a decision already made.
Nowadays, many teens are being conscious of their daily lives, the cloth they wear, the type of hairstyle they have on their heads, the partner they keep because of their so-called peers telling them what or what not to do. Furthermore, I think that the older generation is the guardians of peer pressure. Their entire lives are governed by ‘what will people think’, and it seems the younger generation has inherited it as well. The only difference is that these days, peer pressure is hidden by constant chants of an uncaring attitude. A façade to show that they don’t care. Every day we make choices based on the pressure we feel that would end up someday destroying our mental health all because we want to fit in. You see so many people suffering from depression. I am not saying that peer pressure is the cause of depression. All I’m saying is that peer pressure is one of the causes. Not being able to live up to the standards created by friends can cause one to be depressed. I know we are scared of being left out, I know we also scared of being different, I know we are all scared of not being able to fit in. But we have to know that we are all unique, we are all born with different purposes to fulfill and we shouldn’t be pressurized into doing things we wouldn’t want to do. It’s ok to make mistakes, however, it’s not ok to not learn from those mistakes. Mistakes are made to learn from them. We all know the popular saying of ‘all fingers are not equal’ they all have their unique purposes. So remember that it doesn’t matter what people say, or think or do or it doesn’t even matter what we see on social media or on the TV, we should feel contented and not pressurized.