Growing up is hard. I mean, honestly, seriously, truthfully it’s fucking hard. You start out as a little ball of flesh, laughing, crying, and shitting on impulse; and slowly but surely this whole idea of motor function and abstract thought starts to materialize. By the time you’ve been on the planet for four years, you’re really beginning to think about what you like. At first, it’s what everyone else likes. But who dictates what everyone else likes, who was the first kid to like it? Where was that kid in the room with the two-way mirror who said, “pokémon is going to be a hit,” into a voice recorder? Adults.
When you’re a kid, everything you do is dictated by the adult world. I mean, seriously. Who designed the saturday morning cartoon line-up? Adults, but as we mature, we slowly move away from what other people expect of us, and decide what we like for ourselves. Best case scenario. By the time we make it to middle school, we’re already beginning to take part in a very primitive form of a clique. Not ruled by adults, but peers rather.
Why is it that we flock together in such a way? A variety of reasons. Primally, it’s a survival instinct; but to expound on that idea, it’s a confidence thing. The more people that surround you with a similar viewpoint, the more comfortable you feel truly expressing yourself.
Many people seem to think that cliques go away, that the older we get, the less determined we feel to be part of a crowd. A common misconception. Though alot of us have our own special things that we do, we’re just giving ourselves a role within a hierarchy. Hierarchy is the wrong word. It’s really more of a parallel structure. Everyone differs, but when you move the magnifying glass outwards it’s easier to see the similarities.
Yes, we aren’t in High School anymore. So, naturally that means that we no longer have to deal with a dividing line between groups of people with common interests, right? Wrong. Cliques in High School are about what you do, not necessarily who you are. If you’re in the chess club, you’re labeled a geek. If you’re on the football team, you’re a jock. If you don’t participate and smoke pot, you’re a freak. So on and so forth etcetera etcetera. Your actions alone gain you some notoriety (positive or negative) amongst your peers. Though it’s a little more superficial, it’s closer to the powerful force that a group can be.
The only thing that changes as we age, I think, is how those cliques form. They are more genuine. You start to associate yourself with people based on how they think, and how similar their perspective is to yours, and not so much on what clothes they wear or music they like; though sometimes that is still the case.
Cliques rule the world we just don’t see it because we’re all in cliques. Remember how I said adults decide what kids like? I exaggerated a bit. A certain group of adults, who have decided that they all see eye to eye on what kids like, worked together to market products specifically to children. That’s something that requires a shared perspective to execute successfully. That’s the work of a powerful clique.
Oh, and the bigger trip? Cliques influence other cliques. The thoughts and beliefs of those people passes down the food chain naturally, and new groups of people who just discovered their opinions start to adapt which opinions they like and don’t like, and that creates entirely new entities. Entirely new groups of like minded people.
What’s worth saying is that this is not a negative thing. I don’t want it to be a negative thing. You can still have your individuality and be a part of the group. In fact, that’s what makes you such a valuable addition. The fact that you’re still noticeable in the crowd.