National Blog Posting Month – January 2014 – Pressure
Prompt – Can peer pressure be positive? Why or why not?
Peer pressure is an important thing in gregarious organisms. There’s safety in conformity. If everyone goes about doing the same thing, then no one stands out as weaker – as a prey item. In civilization, conformity to rules keeps us organized and safe. Peer pressure is what makes everyone stop at red lights and drive on the right side of the road (in the United States anyway).
Such pressure, when wielded by those with only the best interests of the pressured in mind, can also be positive.
‘No, you’ve really got to see the Shawshank Redemption. You’ll never be the same again.’
‘Seriously, you haven’t read Homer’s Odyssey? You really should. Everyone else has.’
‘Sorry, we can’t have friends who smoke. It’ll kill you and it’ll kill them.’
These are good things, and if a little pressure from friends will cause you to make positive changes, then peer pressure is good.
But peer pressure can be terrible, too. I don’t need to go into examples there.
The challenge is to know if the peer pressure is toward a positive end or a negative one, whether you’re the pressured, or the pressuring.
Playing Words With Friends might be a great way to interact with friends and eat up that time you’re stuck in an airport, while improving your vocabulary. But it can also be a bottomless pit. So did your friends help you or hurt you by sending you all those Facebook requests?
What do you think?