The Power of Conformity

Why do people conform? Why do we do the status quo? What is wrong with changing things up a little bit and being our self? Why do we stand towards the front of the elevator?

This Candid Camera video from yesteryear is an interesting look at the power of conformity, and the video conveys this serious issue in a light and funny way. My initial thought was, “Why did everyone feel the need to turn with the group, even though their direction did not really matter?” After watching the video a few times, I began to wonder why we stood facing the front of the elevator to begin with, and why do we take off hats in public, and what is the meaning of life, aaahhhh… OK, so I didn’t quite go that far, but it did get me thinking…and reminiscing.

My freshmen year in college my geography professor, Dr. Chuck Ziehr, covered the topic of conformity in elevators and how much chaos can come out of someone being different and doing something different within those 8′ x 8′ walls. It was a lesson on culture and how the conformities of race, religion, gender, socioeconomic status, etc., effect our everyday lives. How one person being different can alter our daily routine, our perceptions of others, and maybe even our outlook on life.

Some conformity is good…there is actually a reason why we stand facing the front of the elevators (how else would we know when we were at our floor…it’s not like we are going to actually talk to a stranger on there…haha), and there our other societal conformities that make us better people and can also help us live easier lives. However, conformity just conformity’s sake is not wise or healthy.

Are you acting in a certain way because you think it is the right thing to do, or because someone else has told you it is the right thing to do? I challenge you to be different. I challenge you to question why you do the things that you do. Live your life not being afraid to ask questions, and not afraid to be yourself and you will be amazed at the things you can accomplish! Have you seen ways in which people conform, whether it be healthy or non-healthy?

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