“If you follow the crowd, you might get lost in it”
Prior to the World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Kenya few weeks back, there was a war between Nigerians and Kenyans on twitter. A lot of provocative, insulting yet funny words were exchanged between citizens of both countries.
The Kenyans took to twitter to complain and rant about the way their national team was treated by the Nigerian Football Federation on arrival in Lagos for a World Cup qualifier.
If they were truly treated unfairly and unprofessionally by NFF, they deserve to be livid and their anger justifiable but a lot of Nigerians, not knowing the genesis of the tirade, took it upon themselves and “fought back”, just to be part of a trending topic on twitter.
This is exactly what Crowd Mentality is all about. Crowd Mentality is when an individual or a group of individuals adopt a behaviour just to look or sound cool.
Most Nigerian youths don’t have a mind of their own, they are controlled by people around them or those they believe are superior to them and see these superiors as role models.
So many people form foreign accents, have twitter accounts, fake love for a particular genre of music, blog, drink heavily or smoke uncontrollably because they believe it makes them look cool and acceptable.
Inferiority complex has been associated with crowd mentality and it is believed people who have inferiority complex issues tend to do things, just be accepted by people.
These people have lost their own identity and imagination,letting it get diluted with the influence of people around them.
A lot of girls and guys are easily influenced by people around them so they lie whenever they are in the presence of such people. They lie about sex, relationship, money, etc as the case may be.
The issue of crowd mentality can be seen in career building. So many people lack direction and as a result follow the path chosen by their friends. Recently, I had a discussion with a guy and I realised he’s only studying for a Masters degree just because his friends are doing the same.
This young man isn’t alone in the world of people with this kind of screwed mentality. A lot of people have travelled out of the country to study but when you interact with them, you will realise that most didn’t travel because they really want to further their education but they did so because they want to be accepted by the “elite”, boast to people who still see travelling abroad as luxury, have sexual escapades with foreigners or just leave the country for “good”.
You don’t need a microscope to see the effect of crowd mentality on social media. I always say this “if only our lives were as awesome as we portray it on social media, the world would be a better place”. Most people are ready to do anything to be accepted by the crowd. They post nude pictures, fight to be the first to convey or report some information, share recharge vouchers, copy and paste quotes, use pictures of “correct” people or photo shop their pictures and use them as their profile picture.
Social media is all about mirage, majority of people are far from what they depict on these social networks. I believe people who struggle so hard to be “celebrities” on these social networking sites don’t really have an interestingly fun life in reality so they seek solace in social media.
My Dad once said “Unintelligent people move with the crowd, the intelligent ones move with the minority and the most intelligent ones are always thinking”
Letting go of toxic people in your life is a big step in loving yourself. People in your life may be acting a bit crazy now, but don’t let it get under your skin. Just because others are off in the deep end doesn’t mean you have to join them there. Stay in safe waters and do your thing.
I recommend finding yourself something to interest yourself away from other people, some hobby that you can learn and do on your own, that requires some reasoning and imagination so that you can practice thinking independently and not relying on your friends to think for you.
Better yet if it’s a hobby that few to none of your friends already do (although of course, make sure it’s something you enjoy doing yourself). It might also help to teach yourself to be more critical of what other people do, look at other people and their actions and just think about how you could have done it better, or in a way that would better suit you. You could even just try deliberately doing something different and unique, like wearing a different style of clothes from what your friends wear, or listening to different music, or eating different food, some sort of trigger to teach yourself that you don’t have to do the same things as other people and how thinking for yourself can work for you in your life.
“To Belong” syndrome is a chronic progressive syndrome that is very easy to contract but very hard to treat/manage/cure.
Ditch the crowd and have a mind of your own.