Humans: The Natural Followers

Do you really believe that, or are you just following the crowd?


Bigger Pie Forum

Herd mentality is an all-encompassing reality of society.

Sophia Geisler, Columnist

A story I’ve heard countless times from my parents was the time they went to a comedy club. Upon arrival, they noticed the line was incredibly long. Instead of joining in, however, my dad scoffed at the ridiculousness and went through another path, where he found that the club didn’t even require a line; they were letting anyone in. 

This story caused me to think about something: what made those people decide to stand and wait in a line? Was it because someone else started it? Well, after researching, I found the reason was because of the herd mentality. Herd mentality is an idea adapted from herd animals, such as sheep, and most cattle. It states that people’s beliefs or behaviors can be heavily influenced by their peers. Nowadays, with social media, it is much easier to manipulate people, especially younger audiences, to blindly follow a certain influencer, idea, trend, etc. However, this isn’t only social media induced, as it can play into everyday life as well. 

A perfect example of this is politics. If you see social media “activists” posting about information, from either the far left or the far right, and you ask them where their source is, it’s more than likely that they’re basing their opinions on nothing more than their parent’s views or what the TikTok feed told them was “correct.” Another great example of this is how fast trends can spread, such as the video game “Among Us” or brands like Brandy Melville. Herd mentality, however, isn’t always just following trends, as it can also be hating on things with no reason besides what people are telling you.

The reason humans do this is solely because of the need to fit in. In an article done by Effectivology, it explains the reasoning behind herd mentality (also known as the bandwagon effect). The reason people instantly follow trends is because they want the approval of the people who believe the popular opinion. This, however, isn’t just humans, but species from the animal kingdom as well, says Inpathy. Wolves tend to fall into social hierarchies to avoid being left behind. Animals tend to fall into line and bow down to any higher power, which results in following things whether you personally believe it or not. Herd mentality is a lot more commonly seen in social settings, such as classrooms or social media groups. This is to avoid judgment, something all species hate, from your peers. 

Of course, being in a pack can definitely have its benefits, but in such a socially intertwined world, it’s important to teach people that it’s okay to form their own opinions, especially younger social media participants. As a human society, we need to crush the idea of having a default opinion or interest, and teach that it’s okay to think differently, and that you shouldn’t be scared to follow a different path.