What is peer pressure? According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, peer pressure is “Pressure from one’s peers to behave in a manner similar or acceptable to them.” But then comes the question; what is pressure? Is it telling them they must do something to fit in, or even bullying? I think it is pressure by example.
Lets say that one boy goes out with his friends on a Friday night. He’s a good kid, he’s never drank, never done drugs, and never given in to peer pressure. Him and his friends are just sitting around when one of them pulls our a bag of wee. Everyone except him decides to participate in the “toking up”. So everyone (including this boy) goes to a deserted area and then they light the joint. It gets passed around and around. His friends know about this boy’s beliefs and don’t even ask if he wants some. Once everyone has had quite a bit, they are all laughing and having the time of their lives. One, in a silly daze asks if he wants to join in, only to be smacked on the head by another to remind her that this boy doesn’t do drugs. This boy looks at the joint, then at his friends then at the joint again. He thinks to himself, “one puff won’t hurt”. So he inhales. He starts coughing, but no one really seems to notice, they are too busy staring at a street light, then laughing at a comment that one of them makes, then staring at the street light once again. The boy, after his one puff, doesn’t seem to feel the way his friends feel, and decides to take a couple more puffs, just to get a bit of the feeling, just so he can know. A couple of puffs turn into a dozen, and soon he is stoned out of his mind.
Is this above example peer pressure? I mean none of his friends forced him to try the joint. No one really cared whether he did or not, but being around them made him want to do it. It made this kid to forget his morals long enough for him to get wasted. I’m not really sure if this falls under the peer pressure category or not, because I am not sure if technically there wan any peer pressure. In a subtle way his friends did influence his decision to try drugs.
What do you think? Do you think you would have acted differently in this situation? Or do you think you have given in as well? I bet that more than half of you who read this article would have gotten stoned with his or her friends. Just a little something to think about.