“The Big C”- Community or Conformity?

The school I attend is very “community” based. Many of the rules that most of the students find unnecessary are apparently for the “community” or “the big C”. No ipods, no cell phones at lunch, etc. All because we are supposed to socialize. Now I have no problem with people socializing, my problem is some people are not always in the mood to “socialize”. Or sometimes people are not with their friends at the moment. Today at lunch my friends all went to the social studies room to catch up on their projects. So I sat alone, I am a quick eater so for about 15 minutes I sat and did nothing. Meanwhile the kids who are the ideal members of the community all giggled and screamed and made stupid jokes. Interestingly enough, the kids who are more active members of the “community” are more likely to talk in class, cheat on their “boyfriends” or “girlfriends”, and have trouble working in groups because they just want to gossip the whole time.

A few weeks ago we had those anti drug people come. The presentation was ridicules for the same reasons they always are, they give you no reasons not to do drugs they just tell you to “say no”, they over dramatize the social pressure, and they try to be “cool”. However, there was one part that was rather interesting, they asked for students to come up and act out a situation with them. About seven girls came up, in the scene one girl was trying to get her friend to drink and said to all the kids “see it’s good, try it!” all of the “cool” kids nervously giggled and tried it, but my friend said “no you guys are stupid, I’m going to leave and if you get caught that’s not my problem.” Afterwards they asked “now would you really drink?” and of course they all said no but I am pretty sure that a few unnamed people in that group would.

Now if you think about it, we are supposed to do what the “community” does. I know the teachers don’t intend to include stuff like drinking, but when kids are used to “following the community” they will probably not take the time to pause and think about what they are doing, they will just follow. Maybe regret it later, but they can’t go back in time. Another example is a few days ago kids were using the music room without permission. When the teachers asked them why they said “everyone else was there so I thought it was ok”. They are simply used to following the community, that’s the way their minds have been trained.

Of course I’m not saying outgoing people are all mindless conformists, but I am thinking perhaps because they want acceptance from their peers so much they are more likely to follow them in whatever they do, both good and bad. Perhaps we should be taught to follow what we think is the right thing to do instead of following the “community” because they could very well be doing something we are not supposed to do or something that isn’t a very good idea.

Please tell me if what I’m saying makes sense or not. I do not want to risk getting in trouble for bringing this issue up if all I’m doing is making an idiot of myself. Thanks.
Posted on March 19th, 2008 at 08:27pm

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