OK, everybody list left……nope, list right….nooooooo….
When you're in a life boat thrashed about by waves, everyone might want to do exactly the same thing to avoid capsizing. But that's IF you're trying to survive a threatening wave that could capsize your boat unless you put your weight into counterbalancing the threatening force.
Outside of this unique situation, though, I've found little benefit to doing what everyone else is doing just because someone decides it's the thing to do. And there's no advantage to criticizing those who don't behave exactly as you do.
Live long enough and you begin to see patterns of behavior that just don't make a lot of sense.
In the 60s we had the hippie generation…the 20-somethings were a ground swell that had great promise – they were going to change the world…..not long after that craze started to peter out and yippies and yuppies peeled off. These 30-somethings were the upper crust who decided that climbing the corporate ladder offered something more. Of course, they matured into the boomers, who in their mid-50s have discovered that life is moving on, it's time to think about retiring at the same time business is trying to slough them off as being irrelevant..
Throughout this maturing of the American population, we've had all sorts of trends. First, it was not OK for men to wear their hair shoulder-length and below and facial hair was verboten…until enough bucked the tide and we began to think this look was really quite cool after all. When mini-skirts first came out, gals who dared wearing them were considered "loose" – until the tipping point was reached and then the mini-er the better was the thing. Minimal makeup was the norm in the 50s, then anyone who was anyone wore make up so thick that they didn't dare smile for cracking the effect…now we're back to the natural look, more or less.
We've seen trend after trend come and go for more than a century. Some brave souls adapt a behavior different than the norm…they are categorized and classified and demonized…until enough join the trend and finally it's OK….and, eventually, it;s finally accepted by the majority..
We have come to believe that people are little more than pieces in a marketing mix that defines them and determines what they want and need…what they should / should not do and how they should behave. OK maybe there's some validity to this. We do tend to assume a certain camouflage to fit in. But that doesn't really define who we are.
The point? Be yourself. Don't worry so much about what everyone else is doing. Trends come and go and the more who follow those trends, the greater the chance of overcompensation.