Dangers of social conformity

Social conformity is a type of social influence where people change their behavior, belief, or action – to fit in with a group.

The latest example:

facebook-avatar

Suddenly everyone you know on Facebook started creating avatar versions of themselves.

It’s probably harmless, but if you look at it from a big picture – it’s a social compliance (social conformity) experiment at scale.

Who made sticker avatars of themselves and who did not?

And it’s not your fault

It’s not your fault if you created an avatar too. Go on and do it. It’s probably fun.

But understand why our minds tell us to do it.

This has to do with the way we were biologically made. It’s safer to be part of a group. Our ancestors from the stone age form groups or ‘tribes’ which has led to keeping them safe.

Fast forward today, we all want to fit in.

When we don’t know how to act, we look at what other people are doing for clues, imitate and adapt.

What’s the harm?

The danger with social compliance – is we might end up living someone else’s lives and dreams.

The culture at your workplace is toxic. Everyone at work seems to just shrug it off and just get to work. Pressured by the need to make a living, you too, grit your teeth, put your head down and work anyway – complying to the work standards at your workplace.

Your colleagues encourage you to smoke. You say no thanks. But they insist and tell you all bankers and people who work in the high-pressure financial world, smokes.

Because you want to fit in and be part of the group, you finally give in and pick up a cigarette. Six months later and you’re addicted to smoking.

That’s social conformity.

It’s not your fault that you’re wired this way.

But what we can do is to be aware. By being aware we can be manipulated to conform to the rules of certain social groups, we can learn to say no.


Take part in a growth marketing course, where you don’t have to conform to the marketing strategies everyone seems to be doing. The way you do marketing, should be different from the others.

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