Conform This:

A few weeks ago I wrote about something about my daughter- and I don’t remember what it was- I think it was about her internship (Yes- vacation was very chill for me) I Know that my friend KC said that I have to watch out that my daughter does not conform too much.  I teased KC and said- “Oh- so you want me to write about conformity?”

What is conformity? “compliance with standards, rules or laws”

In general parlance, it means adapting yourself to the rules of society.  Is there anything wrong with this?  Well, it depends on what rules you are conforming too.  I’m pretty fond of people obeying stop lights.  I live on a street with multiple lights and way more cars. I would not be able to exist without traffic lights and the assumption that people will obey red, green and yellow.

Should people all have to dress the same?  Should we be required to wear a uniform?  Nope- I don’t think so- I think freedom of expression begins with dress code.  Yet, schools are increasingly assigning uniforms.  Many schools have dress codes.  I got into an argument with someone about dress codes for girls at school- I’m against them (I have a daughter) she was for them (son) Should we conform to a standard of dress?

But outside of required uniforms for things- don’t we all end up dressing like our peer group anyway?  Even at the Met Gala, even though one outfit is more outlandish than the next, don’t they all adhere to a theme?  Isn’t the goal to be more avant garde than anyone else there?  Isn’t that a sort of conformity? When I go out to dinner in NYC, I can pretty much guarantee you that over 90% of the women will be in black.  Have we conformed to the way people dress in our city, or do we just all love black?  For the record, I think I look way hotter in black…

At the workplace, is there room for non conformity?  Doesn’t a job have to get done no matter what? I admit, it’s good to think outside of the box and come up with new and better ways of doing things (build a better mousetrap so to speak)- but the end goal is still the same: complete the task at hand.  Will non conformity help at say, an accounting firm?

What about time.  If a job is supposed to start at 9, shouldn’t we conform to the standards that one should be there at 9? What happens if you don’t show up till 10:30 (and no one knows you are going to be late) Do others suffer?  I know that happens at my gym.  There are many times the person who is supposed to open the gym is late.  this snowballs, because for some, that is the only time they can get to the gym.  By being late you are inconveniencing someone else. Shouldn’t we conform to the standards of time, so that we are not wasting someone else’s time?

There are myriad ways that people conform.  This happens with kids a lot.  If everyone in your child’s peer group has a cell phone, you are most likely going to get your child a cell phone, even if you don’t believe in them. (there are actually studies that say it will adversely affect your child if they are the only one who doesn’t have something) So should we conform to the everyone else has/does it? I know there’s the whole jump off the bridge idiom, but how many times have we succumb to peer pressure?

As bloggers, do we conform to our content? Do we write about certain topics because we think people will be more likely to read them? Do we shy away from others because we know that certain topics will annoy people?

So, as it’s write my blog Thursday- what do you all think about conformity? Pro or con?  Situational? Do you have a better definition of conformity?