This is a collaboration blog by Erika Del Sordo and Meredith Kimmel, ACC. This blog can also be found at www.TodaysTalkwithErika.com.
Erika and I often talk about how similar we are. One of the reasons why we get along so well is because neither of us is afraid to be ourselves and we don’t buy into conformity.
Now, I’m not saying that conformity is necessarily a bad thing. We need to have a certain amount of conformity to have a functioning and thriving society. Rules are great. Rules are necessary.
However, there is a negativity to conformity that we’d like to discuss in this blog post.
The Negatives of Conformity
The other day, Erika and I were talking about social media and how neither of us would be that upset if it all went away tomorrow. Sure, there are a lot of benefits to social media, but there are a lot more negatives.
Social media draws in our attention, and we lose time. We may feel pressure to follow the latest trend. We may doubt our self-worth because everyone else seems to be having so much fun and we wonder why we aren’t having as much fun.
Conformity becomes an issue when:
- A person stops thinking for themselves.
- A person becomes dependent and loses their autonomy.
- A person follows a leader who may cause them harm.
- A person loses their identity.
- A person believes they cannot make a decision on their own.
The Necessity of Conformity
As I said before, we do need to have a certain amount of conformity to have a functioning and thriving society. Rules are necessary. We wouldn’t have a society without conformity.
However, the issue comes in when the negatives of conformity overshadow the positives of conformity. This is what seems to be happening these days with the media and social media.
I remember several years ago, there was a tragic event that played out in the media. One of my co-workers came into my office and said, “A certain celebrity came out condemning this event, so I’m going to condemn it too. What do you think?” I said, “Do some research, form your own opinion, don’t follow what the celebrity said.” Well, my advice wasn’t received too well.
This is where I begin to worry. Are we creating a society of people who don’t think for themselves and are losing their identity? Are the media and social media dictating how we act and think?
What Do We Do?
How do we avoid the negativity of conformity?
I say that we need to be fully confident in who we are. We need to think for ourselves. Another thing to do is not be influenced by the media and social media.
Erika, please share your thoughts on conformity.
Will do, Meredith! I absolutely, positively agree with you though.
You Do Not Have to Fit In to Be Noticed
We have seen over the past two decades how social media and yes, the news media, have brainwashed the general public. Everyone has an opinion. And those who don’t have a vocal opinion, well, they just follow along with the ones who do. We’ve turned into a society who can’t think for themselves!
Remember those stupid internet hazing games and pranks? The ones that took the lives of countless adolescents because they wanted so badly to fit in that they tried something that had fatal consequences?
Wouldn’t the common sense in you scream, “THIS ISN’T SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!”
That’s the sad, unfortunate part. People want to fit in so badly, that they jeopardize their most precious possession in the world… Their LIFE!
Here’s a news flash: You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.
Think about this… The very reason you’re following what everyone else is doing is to get noticed, right? Well, no one will ever ‘notice’ you because you’re one in eight billion doing the same thing! You must do your own thing, make your own path if you want to be remembered.
Please do not misconstrue these words to mean starting a new social media trend. NOT at all where I’m going with this. What I AM saying is that you do not have to take up the latest social media trend to get noticed and be successful and feel good about yourself.
Stand Out and Be Yourself
BE YOURSELF. Conformity is not cool. UNLESS it has to do with public compliance and obeying the law. Then, by all means, please conform to abide by the law. Outside of that, no one likes a copycat.
Think for yourself. Listen to yourself.
I invite you to try something different. Be the one who makes positive waves in society.
When others are twerking on social media to get more ‘likes,’ be the person who shares your professional progress, or who compliments a fellow friend for his or her accomplishments. You don’t have to agree with the latest views of a particular news anchor. You don’t have to agree with the views of your favorite celebrity.
Show the world that you can be successful (and awesome) without conforming to what the rest of the world is thinking and doing.
It’ll make you stand out.