Bandwagon Effect — How it impacts your life?

Whom did you vote for? To whom did your family vote for?

and

Who is your favorite Cricket Player or Football player? Who is your Father’s favorite player?

For most people, the answers would match!

“The bandwagon effect is a phenomenon whereby the rate of uptake of beliefs, ideas, fads, and trends increases with respect to the proportion of others who have already done so.”

You tend to believe things that are believed by the people you admire.

This is a natural human behavior it is helpful and also it is an impediment in most cases.

In this blog, I am giving you the three ways the bandwagon effect can impact your life.

Political Following

I am that guy who knows nothing about politics, and I do not admire any politician, somehow I have an aversion towards politics, but I was influenced by my parent's political choices in India. When I moved to the US, it was a clean slate for me. I had no influence and my social media feed was also confused! It showed me both pro-Trump and pro-Biden ads!!

I spent a few months following one and totally ignoring the other and a few months later interchanged.

Man, I was blown away by my own mind, it was so much possible to follow one and hate another one with the information you take in without synthesizing it.

And I did the same with Indian Politicians. I followed the haters of Modi for few months and followed the believers of Modi for a few months.

You could totally get influenced by what many people say and do.

So now, I firmly do my research and synthesis before making any political choices, and I urge you to do the same because I believe if you are reading this you are one of the curious types and you are the type who can bring positive changes in this world and the bandwagon effect could have an influence on your choices too.

Product Choices

You may tend to like or hate a product or a company just because your close-knit group likes or hates it!

I would like to share my personal experience with this, I was a hardcore hater of the apple products. I trolled almost every apple product without ever using one! This was a bandwagon effect, I was born and raised in the PC and Android ecosystem. I never even thought why apple would be a good choice for me.

I use to end up debating PC v/s Mac a lot during my Start-up days with my friends and most often with my co-founder who used a Mac and sat next to me.

I managed to leave my bias and actually started listening with my curious mind and then I analyzed and I made a compelling case before I bought my first apple product — a MacBook Pro. Now I am sucked into the apple eco-system but that’s another story for another blog on how the eco-system sucks you in and never lets you out!

So I urge you to make the product choices and decisions based on your analysis and not because of the bandwagon effect.

Life goals and decisions

Most of your goals and dreams are influenced by our surroundings, you get hooked very early in your life with the idea of success and how success looks like. For me being an engineer was a success. It was a bandwagon effect that worked out to my advantage but for many people, it is a nightmare.

If you look at your life without any bias and write down your decisions you can tell who influenced that decision at that point in your life. Maybe all your friends joined the engineering bachelor's degree and you did the same too.

Never make any life decisions to just fit into your community or your group of friends. Always make decisions based on your analysis and see what's best for you and your situation. You may go wrong with the decisions but, it is very important that if things go wrong you must go wrong with your decisions and not with what others decide for you, only then you will be able to own it.

I urge you to always keep your curious mind ON and do your research before making the choices.

The bandwagon effect is neither good nor bad, it is just the human behavioral pattern, the more aware you are of this fact, it could help you to make the right choices and decisions.

Let me know in the comment if you recognize a bandwagon effect from your life!

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Abhilash Marichi

Abhilash Marichi

Data Engineer at Amazon. I write about Data, Product & Life.