Peer pressure is an amazing thing. It can inspire you to pick up or drop new likes, dislikes, hobbies, friends, values and so on. "The cool people" go to parties and drink lots of alcohol (or not). "The cool people" drive certain types of cars. "The cool people" prefer certain sports to watch or play, and certain teams to root for. "The cool people" stay abreast of politics or world events (or not). "The cool people" wear the right clothes. "The cool people" watch the right TV shows. "The cool people" even look cool.
"The cool people" have blogs and RSS feeds. That's why I'm here, writing my own blog. I've succumbed to peer pressure, because I want to be one of "the cool people".
And yet, even while I want to be one of "the cool people", I tend to use the term as a perjorative. I use it to refer to Them. The Cool People.The people who put a lot of effort into how they look, follow the latest trends, and will always look "better" than I do. The people who seem more successful, or smarter, or richer than I do. "I have better things to do than spend all my time shopping, or primping, or working out", I say. "They're more shallow than I am", I say. "I'm more interesting", I say. Maybe, but there's always that nagging little voice that tells me I'm just a little jealous.
We all either choose or fall into our own peer groups. Cliques. We cluster together with some common bonds, ideas, appetites and prejudices. And we want, more than anything else, for our own group to be "the cool people". We want to be somebody else's Them. The Cool People.