Peer Pressure and Negative Influences
by David Conley
People of all ages and ethnic groups experience peer pressure. Not all peer pressure has a negative impact on people lives; sometimes the impact is positive. Peer pressures begins when we are little kids being introduced to negative and positive influences for the very first time. That’s why it is important to have good role models and responsible while growing up.
More than likely we all remember our parents choosing out playmates, what we watched on the television, and which schools had the best reputation. As we developed into adolescence, our parents lost their emotional strongholds and we were exposed to the world’s positive and negative influences. Hopefully, by the time teenagers reach the mature age of adulthood, they have learned from their mistakes and experiences, even though they may not be immune to peer pressure.
Between the ages six and ten, an individual doesn’t realize that peer pressure exists. For example, a child in preschool wants to play with that new red fire truck or go outside and play on the swings, but everybody want to go play on the computer because in their mind it’s the “older” thing to do. If a child persists and decides to play on the swings, he risk the possibility of getting made fun of.
In this type of situation the child’s self-esteem is lowered and he may feel inferior among his friends. So, the child gives in to peer pressure. A child’s mind is like play-do; it can be molded into whatever you want. That’s why it is important to surround yourself with positive influences and friends that encourage you to be true to yourself.
The adolescent age group is the age group that is most associated with peer pressure. It’s all about trying to fit in with the cool crowed. This generation is not only influenced by peers, but also by MTV and VH1 productions and teenage celebrities. Everybody is trying to imitate their favorite music artist’s fashion sense and hair styles. Teenagers are vulnerable to being influenced either positively or negatively, by the behaviors of music artists, actors and celebrities.
MTV, through shows such as the real world and Laguna Beach, has particularly distorted how teenage relationships should develop, which is an example of negative peer pressure. Teens try to imitate the dramatic behaviors of the TV characters in order to fit into the social crowed at school. There are however, examples of positive influences, like when friends pressure you to complete your homework and do well on tests. Teenagers join clubs at school such as the Journalism club, math club, football team, or other social groups that promote positive influences.
Peer pressure never leaves us; adults are also subjected to peer pressure in their surrounding environment. The corporate and social environments are polluted with negative influences and peer pressures. In the business world, adults are pressured into unethical business practices every day. In a world where money has a high value than the average individuals respect and dignity, adults find themselves outnumbered and pressured into decision that they might not of executed if they had not been pressure to do so.
The social aspect of peer pressure is measuring up to “the Jones” next door. Pressure on adults to be part of the “Haves” and not the “Have Not’s” puts extreme pressure on the average adult. Pressure is like a leech that sticks with you the rest of your life. There will always be positive and negative pressure which will influences individuals. You must learn how to resist the negative and embrace the positive peer pressures in your world.