Today’s generation, in order to fit into certain designed parameters is leaving behind their essence of individuality
Depicting Individualism - A red flower in a field of Yellow Flower
I have recently observed and felt that, we the children and Youth, in order to fit into a certain designed parameters often leave behind the essence of individuality. We often leave behind our unique characteristic which make us a different person and an “Individual”.
Recently I have observed that, Groupism is at its peak especially among school cultures: say you don’t like a particular thing or do not have an interest in a matter / subject – you are left out. You (and also many others) are considered different and to be with your “friends” and protect our individuality we bend our interests to suit that group.
Whenever you visit a stadium, a concert or a movie – you often are sitting with people with similar interests. Watching a cricket match 🏏with someone you didn’t know half and hour ago seems like a good old friend: as if you were bonded together in a very unenvying invisible way. Looking at trends in tickets, consumer goods, we often find that people are searching for a commitment to buy/use emotionally rather than judging its functionality.
What is Individualism?
Individualism holds that a person taking part in society attempts to learn and discover what his or her own interests are on a personal basis, without a presumed following of the interests of a societal structure (an individualist need not be an egoist . Wikipedia
This if you realise, is changing. People are now driven to learn new things, explore their interests based on what others do and what their friends, family or even the Internet🌐 says them to do. Some of it is genuine advice, but more often then not, it is because of Fear of Missing out, being late for the bus, being Left Out. If you interests don’t align with another individual or you have opposite views on something be in politics, science, Geography, Philosophy: a larger group often ignores and leaves the smaller “individual” behind because he thinks about something differently.
Friendships should not be made to be in a Group. An individual ( a human) should not follow a particular philosophy or common interests, but rather create a mixture, an alloy of characteristics and elements of many different things he/she discovered and learnt from in life. On a societal tier, an individual should participate in events with a personally structured political interests and moral values, rather than following a herd.
Friendship should be a bond between individuals and not have “peroxide linkage” (weak bonds) that can easily change with multiple factors and herd behaviour.
This has slowly started to become a problem amongst Youth as well as teens and middle school students. Everyone wants to be an ideal person. To indulge in a common activity you are expected to know about some particular things, have interest in it and to talk about it.
“Oh, you don’t like Football, sorry, but you won’t be playing with us as our team is full.” is a common narrative we see. To blend into the group properly, the fresh tinted papers often change their interests and do not peruse their niche which they always craved for. These problems often escalate quickly, when you are expected to have a smartphone, love pop songs, play drums or keyboard.
A youth who likes glass painting, might just not do it, as everyone else thinks it is a 90s thing to do; and that characteristic of enjoying ’90s hobbies is then vaporised.
There is this great episode of MindField by Vsause, where he demonstrates how people are ready to Conform, blend in, even if they have opposing views on a topic. Youtube Link
Conformity according to me is a major problem. People don’t even try to argue for a particular matter to be wrong even though it is factually and objectively the other way round. It is a human tendency that we feel claustrophobic and a little unusual if we are with people with whom we are not on the same table.
I am actually quite lucky enough to have friends who don’t distinguish me because of any interests that I have which are unusual at best. But it is also a lie if I say I have not bent my interests to fit into a hole. However, it is clearly evident in other schools and especially younger students.
This is fine for developing new interests or have fun, but is harmful and even toxic to the community as a whole if everyone is brainwashed with the same activities happening everywhere.
This is a matter we all need to self reflect upon and realise – are we a part of this haywire train?
Thanks to my friend Aryan for helping edit this post.