Although peer pressure affects everyone, and I mean everyone, there are times where you are more vulnerable of falling for peer pressure. As we become more independent from our parents we become more prone to falling for peer pressure. This is because as we start to make our own choices we consider the long term effects of our actions less and we usually don’t know what we want most of the times anyways.
Peer pressure can be used in many ways. Animal Farm is an allegory by George Orwell. It is about farm animals that weren’t satisfied of how their farm is run so they rebel. They make 7 commandments being “All animals are equal” the most important one. The book shows how total equality is hard to achieve and power corrupts. The novel uses peer pressure to control and manipulate what is happening on the farm. It is evident on how the action of the animals changes. It is evident on how Boxer’s way of thinking changes. It is also evident in the actions of the sheep and what it does to the other animals. Peer pressure plays a big role in this novel.
I think that peer “pressure” can push someone towards negatives or positives, and I choose not to apply the idea to every situation. I believe peer pressure impacts a person in society no matter the conditions, a society involves people living together. For instance, the expectations of my peers influences my behavior in a classroom. They might cause me to feel shame or humiliation if I do something they consider “wrong”. Or, my peers could encourage me.
More than ever in this society as children find the need to belong or fit in to the popular crowd in school for acceptance they often tend to mimic their friends behaviors. This is often a result of the individual child trying to find him or herself. The results however, are not always negative. In fact, there are some positive results that may occur as a result of copying their peers. Simply stated, “When teens surround themselves with people who make good decisions and who are involved with positive activities and choices, it makes the adolescent child want to be better” (Stock, 2010 pg.2). Positive peers influence adolescents and can drive the child toward improved confidence, and improved grades in school. Inversely, the same can be said for the adolescent child who decides that he or she wants to be like his or her friends who have a negative influence. Children who fall into this category are those that are of the bandwagon philosophy. Those negatively impacted by peers often show signs of lower grades in school, increased distance from family. In fact, “peer pressure can lead to experimentation with drugs and alcohol, and various high risks behaviors” (Fact Sheets, 2009 pg.1). The changes in the adolescent child can have lasting effects depending on which type of peer influences that child may be surrounded by. The negative impact of peer pressure can be strong; however there are also positive influences.
I haven’t got into peer pressure because I always try to do the right thing as a kid. But sometimes I do get in trouble for the wrong things. Also I try to learn from my experiences.
Peer pressure is relevant in every person’s lives, especially teens. Lyness tells us that, “It is natural for people to compare themselves to their peers because they want to fit in,” but at times it goes to extremes, this is what is defined as peer pressure. Since people want to fit in so baldy peer pressure makes them forget their free thinking so that they go along with the rest of the crowd, peer pressure also affects the decisions that they make. Peer pressure can be overcome, but it is possible. “It was times like this that when I thought my father, who hated guns and never been to any wars was the bravest man in the world,” Scout Finch says about her father in To Kill A Mockingbird.
Peer pressure is often a negative outcome such as street racing, drinking alcohol and using drug or sexual activities. Those can lead to terrible consequences, but peer pressure can also be positive influences, teens now can support and encourage their peers to make smarter decisions. Eight out of ten kids can make their own decisions at this time of age. Nowadays, it’s hard enough for
Now, peer pressure could be good, such as pressuring your friends to excel in schoolwork or in other activities. However, it can also be negative and put you in danger. For example, if you want to fit in and one of your “friends” puts you on the spot pressuring you to do something that you wouldn’t normally do, such as drugs, stealing, bullying, and many more. At the end if you do anything bad you are the one who is going to pay and take responsibility for it even if you were pressured to do it. Therefore, look for good friends that will pressure you in a positive way not a negative way.
In life, you base a lot of your decisions on what others will think about you. Just like in the essay from George Orwell “Shooting an Elephant” he makes a decision off of what people will think about him. In the essay Orwell is faced with a decision, to kill an elephant after a rampage through his town, or to let him live. After being peer pressured by the Burman people Orwell shot and killed the elephant. Even though he really did not want too. I can think of three times peer pressure got the best of me, once when I got caught stealing at Walmart, another when I got suspended from middle school, and lastly when I lost my best friend. All of these events were from peer pressure, keep reading to see what happened.
We need to educate teenagers on the danger of negative peer pressure. We need to expand the theme in schools, spanning from elementary to high school, that peers do not control what others do. That adolescents should not follow their peers into something that they do not believe is right. The awareness of negative peer pressure in school could significantly decrease the amount of negative peer pressure in the adolescent society.
There are two types of peer pressure. The most common type of peer pressure is direct, which is when a student intentionally tries to pressure another student into doing something. Then there is indirect peer pressure, which is also a form of self-induced pressure, which is when a student puts pressure on themselves based upon what another student is doing. In William Zinsser’s article College Pressures, he states that “Peer pressure and self-induced pressure are also intertwined, and they begin almost at the beginning of freshman year.” He also states, “When every student thinks every other student is working harder and doing better, the only solution is to study harder still” (241).
You might have wondered if others have had the experience of being peer pressured. They have. Whether it be as simple as your parents forcing you to eat your broccoli at dinner or it could be as serious as someone forcing you to drink alcohol under the legal age. Have you ever been peer pressured? How did it feel? Peer pressure doesn’t have to be negative though. There is also something called positive peer pressure. Positive peer pressure is when your friends or someone forces you to do something that will benefit you. Has your mom ever forced you to go study for your next test? That is positive peer pressure. She is forcing you to do something that will only benefit your well being. When it is negative peer pressure though, you don’t end up being proud of yourself in the end.
“Conformity is the act of matching attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors to what individuals perceive as normal of their society or social group. This influence occurs in small groups and society as a whole, and may result from subtle unconscious influences, or direct and overt social pressure. Conformity can occur in the presence of others or when an individual is alone” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conformity)