Peer Pressure: Is it any good?

Thanks to my internet connection going bonkers, I was forced to visit this net café in the opposite lane of my house. The good thing (bad for many) here in this café is that there are no cabins, i.e. the person standing behind you can easily glance at what the customer is browsing. Since all systems were occupied, I preferred waiting for my turn.

On my left was a dude wearing a crumpled Ed Hardy tee in black and matching Converse shoes. I’m not gay but this unusual attire on a Sunday afternoon inside an internet café caught my interest. I paid attention to his browsing session and here’s what I saw: this bloke casually browses through his Newsfeed on Facebook, steals a photo from his friend’s post featuring a guy and a girl holding hands and the HEART symbol drawn between them , not to mention a highly dramatized quote written at the end. He later uploads this stolen photo as his own, but only after tagging almost 60 friends from his friend list. A photo tag ensures that friends of friend also get to see the post. Smart guy, huh. But SIXTY GAWDDAMN friends?!! Oh, and he also used the lovey dovey symbols while typing the text for this photo.

I couldn’t believe my eyes! This 22-something youngster just wasted 45 minutes over uploading a photo which hardly holds any significant importance. Instead he could have gained some valuable information about his future studies/work, have had an interactive meaningful conversation with someone from his network or simply be done and save loads of time. I later realized that he was aiming to get maximum ‘likes’ and comments on ‘his’ uploaded photo and that his Newsfeed was full of such similar posts. Peer Pressure. I let out a weak ‘meh’, got done with my work and returned home.

Peer pressure can lead to some risky consequences. It makes a person do/follow something without him/her being aware of it. In other words, it means ‘living someone else’s life while breathing from your own lungs’, which is completely unnecessary.

During my Intermediate, the head of my college with an imposing personality (students would actually run a mile upon seeing him) would come down into our classroom and start shouting on the top of his voice on how other colleges always produce meritorious students and how we ALL need to STRICTLY follow this particular tiring schedule which meant logging in at college at 7 in the morning and logging out for home at 8 in the evening! For those who are lazy at Maths (just like me), it means THIRTEEN continuous college hours for SIX days in a week. Good Lord!

I always hated him and my college for many reasons, this being a primary one! Rather than prioritizing the schedule based on the students and their learning graph and making sure it is fine with every student (The STAR batch comprising the selected few toppers), they were simply aping the ones best in the business. Copy-Paste. They may not have understood that the colleges with excellent results did not simply copy their peers. Instead they sat down to create an indigenous learning timetable, suitable for every student! This is what makes you different; this is what makes you a winner!

A problem with youngsters of today’s generation, especially folks from my community is that a majority of them feel it’s perfectly fine to do EXACTLY as others in almost every aspect of work/study/lifestyle. They prefer the tried-and-tested method, being affected by the peer-pressure bug. But the fact is that the tried-and-tested method doesn’t always work for everyone.

Salman Khan wears tattered jeans with shades hanging from the back of his collar because he can carry it along and it suits him every bit. It doesn’t mean you blindly ape him and enter a tech event in tattered jeans only because it’s ‘cool’. Try once and you’ll be hit back with ‘LOL stares’ from fellow attendees.

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently. – Friedrich Nietzsche

Be Yourself!