The Pros and Cons of Peer Pressure
- Mar 29, 2015
Your transition from childhood to being an adult includes one of the most crucial phases of our life: ‘adolescence’. You are referred to as an adolescent when you are aged between ten and nineteen years. And, as you reach the age of thirteen, you are also addressed as a ‘teenager’. Sounds cool, doesn’t it? I bet it does, especially when people finally stop calling you a ‘kid’!
Gradually, your social circle expands as you start networking more and remain surrounded by a group of friends. Teens are more comfortable interacting with people who are similar to them in terms of behavior and thought processes. And most of the time, these youngsters are away from their parents, busy attending lectures at schools or colleges. So naturally, they are quite close to their friends or ‘peer’ groups.
What is Peer Pressure?
Now, let us understand what peer pressure actually implies. When you are dealing with people belonging to your own age-group, you start relating to their interests. As you do so, you also begin to adopt similar thought patterns, beliefs and ideas subconsciously. Indirectly, the choices of your peers influence you to such an extent that you start giving them higher priority instead of following your own desires! As a result, every action of yours reflects the ideas of your peers and before you realize it, you become a victim of peer pressure.
While there are several benefits associated with peer pressure, the concept has its own drawbacks as well. Since there is little you can do to avoid it, however, let us discuss about the pros and cons of peer pressure:
Pros of Peer Pressure
At times, peers inspire you to be at your best behavior by encouraging you to follow a healthier lifestyle. Read on to know how peer pressure helps us to emerge into smarter human beings:
- Developing good habits: When you start following your mates, you also observe the positive traits in their personality. This motivates you to cultivate good habits and make them a part of your daily routine. In the end, this can prove to be truly beneficial for you. For instance, when you watch your friend going for a walk every morning, you also feel inspired to do so! And you know how helpful physical activity is for our body.
- Revealing the unknown: Leading a sheltered life under the watchful eyes of your parents might not expose you properly to the world. But, when you come in contact with your peers, you discover their likes and dislikes. In addition, you also become familiar with their reactions in certain situations. Therefore, a wide variety of behavioral patterns are revealed to you. This often aids you in making the right decision.
- Abandoning bad habits: A good peer group can help in getting rid of your bad habits. For example, if you are a habitual latecomer, you would immediately start rectifying yourself if you saw your friends attending school on time. The simple reason why you would do it is to gain acceptance into your peer group. I have met many students who were once latecomers but have now become punctual for this very reason.
Cons of Peer Pressure
On the other hand, peer pressure is also responsible for creating a negative impact on young adults. Continue reading to learn about some of its disadvantages:
- Hampering progress: It has often been observed that peers are the main culprits behind a student’s low academic performance during exams. A bad company can ruin your chances of success in numerous ways. You would find a lot of teens taking to drugs and smoking against their will, just to be accepted by their respective peer groups! It happens because at this age, most adolescents are unable to distinguish between what is right and wrong.
- Increasing chances of depression: Show me a person who does not fear social rejection! It is this fear that compels you to follow your peers blindly without giving it a second thought. In fact, the moment you express your own opinion in front of your peers that may even slightly differ from their ideas, they start offering you a cold shoulder. On the other hand, if you succumb to this pressure, you might end up making the wrong choices in life. Both these circumstances can make you prone to depression.
- Losing your identity: Peer pressure can be dangerous due to another factor: the loss of identity. Every individual is different from the other. For instance, you have attended a party and since you are averse to drinking, you’ve chosen a soft drink for yourself. Suddenly, you meet your friends who tease you about being a non-alcoholic and coax you into tasting some beer. So, in a way, you are forced to drink and behave in a manner that is contrary to your own value system.
Knowing the positive influences as well as the pitfalls of peer pressure would enable you to choose your friends smartly and pave the way for your success! So I would advise high-school students to be aware of the pros and cons of peer pressure to ensure that they grow up into successful human beings!
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