Who do you think influences you more – your family or your friends?

So, I’d like to discuss the idea that nowadays friends and peers influence teenagers more than their families do. Is that true? And if so, why is that? I mean, surely the people who birthed you, looked after you and everything in that nature should be the people you look up to the most. I asked lots of different the same question and here are a few of their answers and interpretation as to who influences them.

Who influences you the most, your friends or family, and why?

  •  I’d say friends because I tend to avoid my family. That’s because they annoy a lot and it’s a lot easier to leave my friends when they get on my nerves.  – Male, 16
  • I would like to say both but honestly, it’s my family. I think it’s the fact that you’re always around your family as you grow up so you learn things from siblings and learn to obey your parents. – Female, 16
  • Friends influence me more in the sense that we are in the same age group and so we can relate to each other. We keep each other updated with the latest hot topics, gossip and trends. – Female, 25
  • Well, I’d say friends, probably because your friends understand how you feel on a mutual level, whereas family may only see things from their point of view, a majority of the time. In this way, you could also relate to a friend’s choices which would make me feel like I am more influenced by friends as to making choices, than family. – Female, 16
  • I say friends because you choose to spend more time with your friends than family. – Male, 16
  • Personally, it would be family but not necessarily my parents because they’re boring and don’t fully understand my generation. I would say, however, that I am influenced by my older siblings especially my older brother is who I really look up to and I would say is the  biggest influence in my life. – Male, 16
  • I think both the groups of people are equally influential in a young person’s life because regardless of how much time someone spends at home with their family, their peers and friends outside of the home are people they can relate to the most. So friends are likely to influence them a lot, as well. – Female, 16
  • I am going to say family influence me the most because family members are always around to push you to do what they want you to do, or what they think is best for you.- Male, 17
  • I would say that friends influence me more, although it may not seem like it, we really do spend a lot of time with our friends. A large majority of our colloquial terms have been adopted from our friends & peers and sometimes even personality traits. By this I mean, the way we act, our use of register, and how we address people, whether this may be formal and informally. Moreover, we care considerably more about the opinions of our friends than we care our parents. If our mum or dad suggested we saw a movie we wouldn’t necessarily be persuaded into going to watch that movie, until perhaps a friend mentions it. In a way, we are sort of driven by the social desirability presented to us by our friends. – Female, 17
  • Friends influence young people more at this stage of their lives than their family. They tend to value the opinion of other young people (not only just friends) above that of their family members. – Female, over 25
  • I would say both family and friends influence me in different ways. Family because they initially set up whom I am as a person. There are certain immoral things that I could never do because my mum and dad have brought me up that way. Your culture also plays a part; certain decisions I make will be influenced by where I am from and my culture and heritage. On the other hand, friends influence me on the day-to-day things, as I tend to see them regularly. Sometimes the influence I get from my friends clashes with that of my family. – Female, 16
  • I would say both groups influence young people. There is a wide diversity of types of young people, some who are more influenced by friends and some influenced by family, depending on the individual. Some listen to their family more as they are close to them and can gain guidance from them. Others prefer to speak to their friends about personal issues they may not feel comfortable discussing with parents, e.g. relationships or social lives. They may however confide in their siblings, depending on how close they are to them. – Male, over 25

After receiving all these different views I was confused as to what I thought the answer of this question is. I think young people are like sponges, especially at adolescence; they absorb information, behaviour and ideology from the things and people they see and hear around them. If you are always at home with your family, you’ll be more influenced by your family, of course. But also, you’ll be influenced largely by the media and internet. If you’re at home all of the time, as well as spending time with your family, you’re also watching TV, browsing the internet or reading books, thereby becoming aware of lots of new things. The new things you learn may influence the way you think, reason and perceive things and people in life. Likewise, if you’re never at home, love hanging out with your friends, and are the life of the party, you’ll obviously be influenced by your friends more. Therefore, my verdict is that it depends on the individual. You may initially have been mainly influenced by your family, as a child, but as you grew up and grew in independence, so did the places you searched for influence.

This is my interpretation. Comment bellow with yours.

 

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