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Obsessed with socialization

Local time
Today, 03:39
May 6, 2014
Hi everyone, this is my first post on the forum.

Basically, the thing I can't wrap my mind around lately is how obsessed people seem to be with socializing, or maintaining a "high" social status. I'm in my first year at university, only 18, so it might be that people around me are inherently immature, they haven't "grown up" yet. But that's not enough of an explanation for me.

It seems that all anyone cares about is what other people think about them. So many people that are in or close to my social network make decisions completely based on what other people think. I would need more than two hands to count the number of people that have chronic self-esteem issues, and from my standpoint it's evident that this is caused by intense social stigma and pressure to conform to others' expectations. Walking around on campus, I can just feel the social tension. When you walk by someone, they know you're looking at them, and they're nervous about it. They're paranoid. What people think of them is the most central building block of their self confidence.

There's a lack of people doing things because they are interested in something, or think its right. God forbid anyone take up something a new genre of music, reading intellectually stimulating material, etc. if it's not something that everyone else is doing. Also, try to say anything controversial, or anything that might challenge their disturbingly shallow worldview, and people think you're making a personal attack. Criticize society, and you're labeled as an "asshole."

I understand this objectively. It makes sense that people would walk around with a sort-of collective conscious, conforming to the group instead of pursuing their individuality. Socialization is an evolutionary trait that has been important for our development of a species and our societies in general. It's just hard for me to grasp the extremity of it, especially since I've been raised in a family where ideas were challenged on their merit.

I'm just wondering if anyone here has observed these same patterns around them, or if they observed them at some point in their life. Is is just because of the environment I'm in now? Is my social situation unlucky? Is it the young adult's newfound discovery of the looking-glass self? Or is this the pain of living in a S/J world?


Prolific Member
Local time
Today, 01:39
Jan 24, 2012
Sounds familiar...
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