“Everybody Does It”

This phrase is something that is thrown at you when you have conflicting opinions. The opinions that are completely opposite of the popular ones. It has become a part of everyday conversation and debate. While it might be told lightheartedly, what it really shows about the person is something many people fail to realize.

What is the meaning you might ask? Well, it directly gives the impression that because a majority of the people perform the talked about action , it is okay. Since it is popular it immediately means it is correct and the one opposing it is in the wrong. The majority wins. That is why it is in the majority.

If I were to mention the number of times this phrase was used at me, then I’m pretty sure I’d be 40 years old by the time I finish. And I’m not exaggerating here. This really is the case with me. I guess that’s what happens when you have opinions that aren’t always met with a smile.

As a kid, I’ve always had strong opinions about everything. My parents have always told me that I should never be afraid to speak my mind and that is something very strongly instilled in me today. Whatever it is, I surely have an opinion and I won’t be afraid to tell you that. But what happens is that I’m always countered. Why? Well, that’s because my opinions generally don’t agree with the popular ones. I’m the one who opposes almost everything popular today.

It wasn’t until recently when I realized how strongly can this phrase affect you. A friend of mine and I were debating about what teenagers nowadays like to do and how I always oppose it all. She then told me, “Everybody does it. So why do you have a problem?” I was taken aback.

This wasn’t the first time obviously, but somehow what she said stung me for once. I guess because it was about something that I have been strongly opposing since forever. I know you must be wondering what it is. So now let me tell you.

Since I don’t have many friends, I try to keep myself in the social circle by learning about what’s happening around me and all about the people around me too. I see almost everyday what teenagers around me indulge in for ‘fun’ and it bothers me way too much.
I know kids at the age of 14 or 15 who have either smoked all kinds of stuff, who have slept around with various people or consumed all the varieties of alcohol. Worse is that there are 14 year old kids who have done ALL of this and not just one. Until and unless you’re my friend, I really don’t care what anyone does but when this starts becoming so prevalent among the people around you, it’s hard to ignore it. Very hard.

I don’t think it’s okay to be doing any of this at such a young age. I mean, you’re just 14! A 14 year old isn’t mature enough to understand all of this or even know about all of this. And on asking why one would drink or smoke the answer is mostly because someone dumped them. Really? At the age of 13 you are crying because someone dumped you? My biggest concern when I was 13 was what dress I’d wear for my birthday!

If only one or two kids did this, then this post wouldn’t ever be written. But all of this is now some sort of trend for everyone to follow. Gone are the days when studies and friends were the things that bothered one at night. Now what bothers most of the teenagers here is what brand of alcohol is the best to serve for the next party. I can’t really take this anymore.

That figure in red, is me. As I’m not like the rest, I have been thrown out of the popular crowd. And I’m extremely happy being on the other side.

Some teens do understand that what is going on isn’t right. But they still do all of this. Why? Because they don’t want to be that figure in red. They don’t want to be like me. Everyone does all of this without any hesitation. And in the end they feel it is correct. It’s correct because it is the popular action right now. Everybody does it, so why not them? Right?

Not right. Who ever told that what is the popular belief needs to be the appropriate one? What ever happened to thinking on your own and using your sense of judgement to understand what is right or wrong? Just because everybody does it, does it mean it is right? If the answer is yes, then bullying has become incredibly popular now. So does that justify any act of bullying? Is bullying ‘okay’ now? Think about it.

I understand that sometimes we make decisions in haste, but this doesn’t qualify like that. Agreed that this is the age where we can make mistakes and learn from them. But why make mistakes as such that could ruin your entire life? This won’t even qualify as a mistake if you thought about doing it. You are not going to laugh about this 10 years from now. You certainly won’t!

I also know that peer pressure plays an important role in this. But you need to use your brains and understand that it isn’t right. Just because your best friend smokes before writing her math exam doesn’t mean you need to also just so that you still can remain her best friend.
If your group of 50 friends do this, it immediately doesn’t mean that you also need to do it! No one ever needs such friends who cloud your sense of judgement and turn you into a bad person. I know this because I have also been through peer pressure. If I hadn’t said no and distanced myself from them then today I would be doing all the things that I mentioned here. And you have no idea how good I feel because I stopped myself from getting into all this mess. If I can, then anyone can.

I personally don’t hate anyone who does it all, though it might seem like that. I can’t hate someone whom I don’t even know. But all of this has just begun to really upset me. I try hard to forget about all of this, but I can’t. My opinions have isolated me from this generation. But guess what? I’m extremely happy not being a part of what everybody does. I still have a chance to be me.

We are ourselves. You are you, and I am me. Following someone else’s footsteps or performing the popular action won’t make your place in this world easier. Doing something just because ‘everybody’ does it makes us look like we can’t function on our own. Don’t follow the crowd. Instead, stand out from the crowd. It isn’t too late for anyone to change.

Saying “Everybody does it” is not a valid reason for all the wrong actions that are happening. It never will be. Use your brain and do what you feel is right rather than doing what the people around you say is right.

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