By Brandon Tran
“Did you hear the new Travis Scott album? Bruh, you can’t tell me it isn’t straight heat,” says a die-hard TScott fan.
“Yeah man, it was super fire,” Bandwagon Bob says half-heartedly without even hearing the album.
Being a high school student, I encounter lies like this from Bandwagon Bobs almost everyday: teenagers claiming they like something when they really don’t. I’ve been exposed to a variety of global trends spanning from fidget spinners to Fortnite. With millions of people playing the same game, wearing the same outfit, or listening to the same artist, it can be strenuous to resist conformity. Nobody wants to be the odd one out and would probably conform to whatever is “hip” to make friends. However, this is certainly not the route to take. Being a bandwagon on the best sports team or apathetically wearing the trendy shoes, in fact, poisons us and our society even more than we perceive.
By conforming to society, we lose our identity. Our interests, hobbies, and beliefs are stripped away for the sake of “feeling normal” and “fitting in”. We get so caught up in trying to do what the world thinks is cool, that we have no idea what we think is cool. “Conformity leads to apathy”. Because we get so misguided in doing what others say is interesting, we lose our own interests and passions. This apathy leads to a loss of self-identity that builds a submissive and malleable personality, where we are mere sheep with no voice or true opinion. This brings an empty life. If we constantly conform to others and pretend to be passionate about things we really aren’t, our lives would be purposeless. We would have no clue what we are actually ardent about or what we truly desire. The “Huffington Post” along with “Family Share” believe that the most essential ingredients to living a purposeful and joyful life is by “doing what you love”. But how can you do what you love, if you don’t even know what you love? Being a conformist is so much more detrimental than we comprehend, as it can demolish our character and lives.
With conformists plagued in our society, the world will not advance. With these mindless submitters, who will bring change? Who will be different and think outside of the box? Conformity “throws critical thinking and creativity out the window”. Without individualism and diversity implemented into our society, who will be the next Bill Gates, Elon Musk, or even Tyler the Creator? Who will invent the next vaccine that saves millions of lives? Who will break the barriers that chain us down? Who will change the world?
If you feel the necessity to be liked by others and think that conforming to their interests is the key to unlocking friendship, you’re wrong. People actually hate phonies. I, for one, despise conformists. It vexes me when people claim to support the Golden State Warriors (who happen to currently be the best NBA team) and can’t even name a single player on their bench. Being yourself enables people to like you, for you. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true. If you fake your identity and your so called friends realise, they won’t remain your friend because they wouldn’t know who you truly are. People become true friends when they understand each other’s uniqueness and respect the other for their idiosyncratic nature.
Conformity can seem like the easy way out of many situations. It makes us feel a false sense of security in our lives and brings us fake friends. But this disease is lethal. It can shatter our personality and impede our society from advancing as a whole.
Bandwagoning doesn’t gain you any friends either, so please, just be you.
- “13 Pros and Cons of Conformity in Society.” HRFnd, 30 July 2015, www.healthresearchfunding.org/13-pros-and-cons-of-conformity-in-society/.
- Casano, Tom. “15 Simple Ways to Live a Happy Life.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 8 July 2015, www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-casano/15-simple-ways-to-live-a-_b_7699516.html.
- Lumbert, Smantha P. “Why We Comply.” Conformity and Group Mentality, Rochester Institute of Technology, 12 Nov. 2005, www.personalityresearch.org/papers/lumbert.removed.
- Robertson, Kelsey. “8 Essential Ways to Live a Purposeful Life.” FamilyShare – Discover How to Improve Your Family Life and More, 7 June 2013, www.familyshare.com/26354/8-essential-ways-to-live-a-purposeful-life.
- Sridhar, Sanjay. “Why It’s Wrong To Be A Bandwagon Fan.” The Odyssey Online, 30 Aug. 2017, www.theodysseyonline.com/why-its-wrong-to-be-bandwagon-fan.
- Editorial on Conformity: http://www.nytimes.com/1997/05/18/arts/where-conformity-rules-misfits-thrive.html