Everybody wants to be part of the group. You buy the fashionable clothes, listen to the popular music, and eat the trendy foods. There is some degree of debate as to why this is. Some people say it is drummed into us by society. Other people say it is wired into the brain. Still others say, “Um… Well what does everybody else think? I agree with them!” Me? I think we succumb to peer pressure because all of our body parts do individually.
Let’s start with basic body functions. Have you ever had to pee just a little bit, then someone turns on a faucet and suddenly it is a frickin’ emergency? Why? What possible reason could the body have to decide that it has to eliminate its waste surplus right this minute, just because it hears water running? There isn’t a reason. Your bladder just thought someone else was taking a leak and it wanted to fit in. Maybe it thought there was a party going on. Maybe it thought it was just the “in” thing to do. The only clear thing is that it heard a familiar sound and didn’t want to be left out. When you spend most of your existance soaked with urine, you never pass up an opportunity to gain some social points. Just ask Amy Winehouse.
Peer pressure rears its ugly head when you watch some… ahem… adult entertainment, too. (Not that any of our readers do that. You are all fine, upstanding individuals.) The obligatory and utterly pointless exposition finishes, the action heats up, and suddenly Mr. Winkie is standing at attention. He figures, “What’s that sound? Is that sex? HOLD ON, I’LL GET READY!” The little fella just wants to fit in… though in his case it is in more ways than one. Between urination and fornication, it seems pretty clear that the entire gentleman’s region is desperate for approval. The only part of that area that seems unconcerned with trend is the butt, but then I suppose an ass doesn’t have to worry about looking like an ass. The hips don’t care either, but they don’t need to. They are hip by definition.
It isn’t just the groinal zone that suffers from the pathological need to belong. You name the body part, it craves acceptance. People around you eating makes you hungrier. People around you drinking makes you thirstier. I don’t know exactly what mechanism is responsible, but I’m certain that yawning isn’t contagious, it is just a localized biological fad. Every square inch of your body is naturally predisposed to jumping on the bandwagon. What chance did your brain have? If everything around it is giving in to peer pressure, it is just going to go with the flow. Caving to peer pressure because it’s what everyone else is doing… that’s a whole new low.
So if you ever feel the urge to do something just because the in crowd is doing it, don’t feel bad. Peer pressure has been around so long it has literally worked its way into our very anatomy. It is as natural as breathing. Hell, for all we know we only started breathing because a really popular mutant fish started doing it one day and the rest of them didn’t want to be left out.