“If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you follow?”
Every teen has heard this line at least once but no one knows the truth behind it. No one stops to question why a teenager did something that they’d consider reckless.

Even the most responsible teens may have what seem to be lapses in judgment because the part of the brain responsible for judgment is still developing. Science tells us that the human brain isn’t fully developed until somewhere in the mid-20s. In fact, a teenager’s brain is only about 80 per cent developed. The areas that aren’t fully developed affect judgment. This is why 16-year-olds aren’t considered adults. And even 18-year-olds have some limited rights. You as a 14-year-old may be thinking that you know what's best for yourself, while you might be correct, there is a chance that you aren't because you are still young. 

Peer pressure is abundantly present in our society with people constantly doing things to feel accepted and valued. Peer influence is when you choose to do something you wouldn’t otherwise do because you want to fit in. Peer influence is a better way to describe how teenagers’ behaviour is shaped by wanting to feel they belong to a group of friends or peers.  But here’s the thing about peer pressure: it's not always a bad thing. Peer pressure and influence can be positive. For example, it could influence you to be more confident and try new things. But it could also decrease one's confidence. Teens are constantly judged online on all social media platforms ranging from Instagram to TikTok: an app with a teenage demographic. We are told that our music taste is amazing or we are told that it's bland and we have to change. Sometimes we are told that our interests are cool but at other times we are told that they're weird. As if it's not okay to just be yourself anymore, teens now feel the need to conform to every rule of society. 

Peer pressure is all around us and it can lead to decisions that can impact the rest of someone's life. Peer pressure can be good, but we have to find a way to direct this influence to positively impact someone's life not negatively. We as a society need to let people enjoy what they like doing without telling them that their interests are invalid or 'uncool'.