Peer pressure or influence, emerges in many forms and can have a tremendous impact on a person’s behavior. To simply define it, it is wanting to feel part of something that can put pressure on oneself to act in certain ways. One could be experiencing peer pressure if one is acting in certain ways because he/she wants to be accepted by the people he/she hangs out with. Or in other words, you might be doing something you wouldn’t normally do, or aren’t doing something you want to do.
Peer pressure can thus invade minds and force us to do things we normally would not. Peer pressure steals our freedom of thought which is actually fundamental to everyone. Under peer pressure, one stops thinking about what is right or what is wrong or unable to distinguish between the two. They instead are actually influenced by their peers. This may lead to anxiety and depression. Peer pressure is especially more threatening to young people and can ruin their entire future in some cases. Opponents of the phenomenon might say that it pushes itself to pursue a goal or aim for success or do something good like quit smoking. But the inverse can also be true. Peer pressure can make someone do something bad or negative like trying a cigarette/drug/etc in the first place.
In conclusion, we can never assume peer pressure is beneficial and it depends entirely on how it is used, which most often tends to work in a negative direction.
Kakoli Biswas, Associate Professor, Textile & Knitwear Design, Unitedworld Institute of Design (UID)
Disclaimer: The opinions / views expressed in this article are solely of the author in his / her individual capacity. They do not purport to reflect the opinions and/or views of the College and/or University or its members.