Pop culture encourages Peer pressure
I swore that I would never drink, mommy
But surely, I did
It was the first time ever, mommy
I did it for my friends
These are the words of the poet Eugina Depasse in her poem “Peer Pressure”. Pop culture and peer pressure is everywhere around us. The British filmmaker, Godfrey Reggio says: “It is as omnipresent as the air we breathe.” It defines you, gives you an identity, gets blamed for your problems, but is also the deciding factor of your success.
Films like “Mean girls”, turn bullies in society into heroes and teenagers feel that they will be admired if they can break the rules and be bullies. One of the extreme examples is that of teenagers filming fights between others – sometimes rather violent – and put it on Youtube or Facebook. Some of these are real, but some of them are acted. Either way, it means instant fame for these teenagers.
Hand in hand with instant fame is also the culture of instant-gratification and instant-solutions that is portrayed in the pop culture. One of these is the filmstar lighting a cigarette or having a drink when there is a crisis or when they want to have a good time. The message is that it’s a solution for everything. In his book “The disconnected generation”, Josh MacDowell says that 40% of grade 8’s and 80% of grade 12’s use alcohol on a regular basis.