Peer pressure is the pressure to conform to group standards and behave in a certain way, typically as a result of exposure to other people, particularly those who may influence or inspire social norms. The pressure and influence can be from society (the culture) or from peers (other individuals), but it can also come from authority figures. It should be emphasized that peer pressure can result in acting against one’s own personal morals or values, and is often the cause of negative outcomes.
The concept of peer pressure has been around since Aristotle’s time; however, what we now know as peer pressure is a product of the industrial revolution and the rise of mass media. The society promotes, and pressure young people into adopting social norms that appear to mirror those of their friends, but these pressures lead to social isolation and mental illness.
The truth is, peer pressure is more of a subconscious thought rather than an observable occurrence. The blockades teens put up in their decision-making process without even thinking is actually the end result of peer pressure. Because of peer pressure, a teen is constantly in fear of what might happen if he/she doesn’t go along with the crowd. This fear of the unknown is what peer pressure actually is, and it has a significant effect on the lives of every teenager.
In most societies today, there are many expectations placed on young adults concerning their role in society. These expectations include university attendance, marriageability, and career success. Noted that Peer pressure can be a positive or negative experience, depending on the situation. Sometimes, when people put peer pressure on you to do something that you would otherwise not want to do, it can feel good and motivating. In a positive peer environment, peers can provide a sense of belonging and help with personal growth.
Some people have high self-esteem and resist peer pressure. For example, some children choose to assert their independence by rejecting popular fashion trends or choosing unpopular activities such as skateboarding. Some students prefer to “stand-alone”, which is one of the best solutions to any negative peer pressure. Standing alone is a hard decision to make, but an easy attitude to preserve. By proving that you are your own person, others will respect you for who you are, not for you trying to be like them.
Peer pressure is the truth that plagues a teenager’s society. It prevents many students from establishing some possible meaningful relationships because of snide remarks made to impress the popular majority or cold shoulders handed to those who choose to live a little differently than others. This is all just because many teens are afraid of what others might think by doing certain things or becoming associated with certain people who might not be “socially acceptable”.
This is the teen population’s fault. With a little less fear and a lot more open-mindedness, peer pressure can be eliminated slowly, but surely.