Do Not Conform To The Norm
Politics and Activism

Do Not Conform To The Norm

"In the long run, what matters is not what the group thinks, but what you think."


The groupthink phenomenon is a concept in which we experience every day, yet we don't seem to realize it. Groupthink is a psychological expression that refers to when individuals go with the crowd or are peer pressured in some way into doing something, out of fear of being left out of the group. We are constantly trying fit into society, and achieve certain standards that weren’t always made to be met. It’s human nature. Even if we don’t realize it, our lives subconsciously revolve around this phenomenon. Ideas of conformism are pounded into us from a young age. In our society, if an individual is not doing exactly the same as others, they immediately are considered an outcast. In Kindergarten, you are taught to line up in a straight line by the door. One could argue without this line, you have chaos. But this line carries on for the rest of our lives. If you step out of line or stray away from the group, you are punished. Our society thrives around this concept.

The fear of being an outcast is so strong, that sometimes people are willing to do something they would normally never even dream of doing. We do these things daily. For example, when jogging around a track with a team, the slowest member of the team is overcome with a sense of embarrassment and a rush of adrenaline, because they do not want to be the last person to cross the finish line. We also see this appear often in literature and films. In the classic American novel, "The Crucible" characters side with the antagonist in fear of repercussion. In crime movies, we see the “weak link” of the group going along with the bad guys just so they aren’t hurt.

I’ve observed many people throughout my short life who do crazy things, just to earn others approval. Most of the time, this trait shows in people when they feel vulnerable or afraid. One of the hardest things for people to do is admit that they’re wrong. Admitting that one is wrong shows weakness to themselves and others, so the easier route would be to agree with the group and pretend everything is fine. When talking and interacting with other people, we may agree or say something we don’t believe in just so we don’t feel left out, or persecuted. Groupthink can also appear in people who are self-conscious about themselves, and just want to blend into society without being the center of attention.

In today’s world, the news is constantly thrown in our face 24/7. This influences our everyday lives. If the news makes a big deal about a minor issue, it causes a sense of panic throughout society, and panic spreads like a wildfire. In my opinion, one of the largest flaws in society is this groupthink way of life. This problem needs to be openly addressed and fixed, and the worst part is people don’t even realize it’s an issue. The definition of a trend is the general course or prevailing tendency. The word “general” refers to a majority of people. The yearn to be in the majority is so prevalent in society today, that it becomes a pressing issue that needs to be resolved. Fitting in with a group can be nice. It can have its perks and benefits. However, it is not always best, and it is certainly not always necessary. People shouldn’t be afraid to live their individual lives and do what they please. In the long run, what matters is not what the group thinks, but what you think.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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