Why do you jump on bandwagons?
.....Or do you? In some cases we all do unless we're just totally antisocial, and even then we are emulating somebody elses behavior or maybe even rejecting the behavior of the norm. None of us have been born and are living in a vacuum. We all are influenced by others and in turn have influence upon others. It's called society and that's where we live.
Before I go any further I should establish the definition of the idiom "jumping on a bandwagon" in case there are any readers who are not familiar with the saying. What it means is to follow a trend, a fad, or an ideology that many others are following. It is following the crowd and doing what we perceive to be popular or is what "everyone else is doing". And in today's society there are so many bandwagons to jump onto.
The "bandwagon" may be a politcal movement, a popular culture fad, a favorite sports team or athlete, a dietary fad, or any other mass social movement that amasses a following. Sometimes following the crowd makes sense. Cheering the local sports team during playoffs or supporting your country when threatened by enemies are understandable inclinations. Joining up with others who share your just cause makes sense because there is strength in numbers and the more the merrier (to use a couple of cliches).
However there are some movements that I really question what kind of critical thinking has been involved. Recently, Pat Robertson was almost universally condemned for his statement about Haiti having been cursed because of choices the people of the nation had made over the years. Immediately angry voices began assailing Robertson for his saying that God had brought the earthquake as a judgement upon Haiti. Did I miss something here? Is that what he said? Or did Robertson's timing in stating something he could have said a month ago just create another convenient reason to criticize him and Christians in general? What I found sad is that many people who should be defending the cause of Christianity, jumped on this bandwagon to join in on the condemnation of Pat Robertson.
Another example of movement joining where I really question judgement is some of the fads that take hold. Often younger people will join in on a faddish movement so as not to be left out of whatever group by whom they want to be accepted. Dress styles and musical tastes are typical ways that people use to identify what they represent. One fad that I question is tattooing. Where is the practicality involved in tattooing? I know that some people whom I love very dearly have tattoos so if you are reading this please don't take offense--you probably already know that I don't like the tattoos but I love you. I just want to know what purpose there is to paying money to mark your skin with a tattoo. Who do you want to impress? Who are they following?
Is it really so important to have to conform to a particular standard to be accepted by a particular group? And here I am refering to traditonal conformity as well as untraditional non-conformity. I include anything from cowboy boots to business suits. What bandwagons to you feel obligated to jump on? How do you dare to be different? Do you feel weird when you stand out in a crowd or do you embrace your uniqueness?