Independence, peer pressure

America’s spirit of independence is, on balance, a good thing. The nation was born in skepticism about big government, thanks to Britain’s first kings named George.

Peer pressure can be, on balance, either good or bad, depending on the health of the peer group (or society). Yesteryear’s sources of peer pressure had plenty of faults, but fewer spoons stirring the pot meant less velocity of change. Today’s peer pressure sources are myriad, swirling in a caldron of fast-moving social media and mass media.

Old homogeneous sources of peer pressure (religion, homogeneous public schools, newspapers, two or three news networks with limited visibility) have become mass enterprises. Facebook now has a market value of $1 trillion.

Authoritarian forces, both imported and home grown, are rampant on social media, leading to “group think” tribalism and some bizarre government decisions. Independent people like you can resist destructive peer pressure.

From “TikTok videos pushing QAnon, COVID vaccine conspiracies surging despite crackdown, report says,” by Jessica Guynn, USA Today, April 2, 2021

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