January 28, 2023

So what’s the new Social Norm?

By Ryan Robledo

Every day we follow social norms whether we realize it or not. Some people are obsessed with the most recent social norms and can’t live without it – while others couldn’t describe to anyone what a social norm is. That’s the scale; people lie somewhere on the spectrum of this social norm scale.

The Social Norm Theory is defined in this article and states “the environment and interpersonal influences (such as peers) in order to change behavior.” The theory implies that a lot of actions that are done throughout people’s lives can really be shaped by people wanting to follow the social norm of their society through peer pressure.

As peer pressure plays a huge factor in the Social Norm Theory, we can see the kind of stuff the life of an average college student has to go through when they’re experiencing their four years of college. H. Wesley Perkins from Hobart and William Smith College discusses the challenges of peer pressure and what it can do to someone. According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, peer pressure can be defined as “a feeling that one must do the same things as other people of one’s age and social group in order to be liked or respected by them.” Perkins explains that peer pressure can possibly lead people into behaving similarly as their peers, “When thinking about high risk and harmful behavior such as substance abuse, violence, and bullying, and sexual risk-taking, most people tend to erroneously perceive the problem as the norm among peers.” These behaviors, whilst seemingly harmless and all in the name of ‘teen spirit’, can lead to the development of dangerous habits. excessive drug-taking can be life-threatening and even may cause harm to those around you if you do take drugs regularly. Usually, the only way out of this path is to seek out support from centers similar to either Overland Park or one that is close to your home. This can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved and is easier if avoided.

#bingedrinking #peerpressure

Throughout my life, I personally understand how peer pressure can affect one’s life. Whether you know it or not, peer pressure really can take effect on someone, why else would we all pay thousands in college tuition when we aren’t even sure if we will get a job out of college? Peer pressure affects everyone despite if they are aware or not. When I finally reached high school, I immediately felt like I had to join the football team because that’s what all the guys were doing. I wanted to feel included and I didn’t want to miss out on hanging with my friends and making new ones. So after freshman year, I decided to join. Joining was definitely one of the worst decisions I could have made because all it did was leave me with constant knee pain that I still struggle with today. Peer pressure caused me to join my high school’s football team, even if I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to.

I’m always so shocked to think about things in my past that could have been defined by peer pressure and the Social Norm Theory – something I didn’t even know was a thing at the time. I constantly thought that my father or I myself were the only ones who influenced my own behaviors. Now that I’m aware of the influences of my environment and interpersonal components, I can be more aware of my behavior, the behaviors of others and why people act the way they do.

Is there something in your past that you weren’t aware was heavily influenced by the Social Norm Theory? Let me know on Twitter: @RyanRobledo31 or Instagram: @ryan_robledo

#SocialNormTheory #Sowhat’sthenewsocialnorm? #PeerPressure

One thought on “So what’s the new Social Norm?

  1. This post has me thinking about the athleisure wear black leggings that seem to be a uniform on our college campus. It seems like a social norm that is ubiquitous among young women. Can fashion trends be part of social norms?

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