Embrace Your Inner Clique

February 25, 2013
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I have observed through my years of high school that it is made up of many groups and cliques. There are the hockey boys, the hockey girls, the “ballers”, the preppy girls, and so forth. We always hear that cliques are bad, exclusive, and need to be stopped because student’s feelings are getting hurt. I argue that cliques allow us to communicate effectively amongst students and it is human’s natural instinct to form these friend groups. They also “allow us to define ourselves in the world around us” according to Krystal D’Costa, who runs Scientific American’s blog Anthropology in Practice.

The current sophomore class is one of the worst when it comes to clique’s. It contains many groups of friends, including one specific group that seems to broadcast or communicate it’s existence more than other’s. To protect their identity, I will name them the Elites. The Elites first came into existence in the eighth grade. Their initiation was to partake in a dance routine to be performed in front of their grade on the class retreat. The Elites were inseparable until one day when one of their members moved to a different state. The Elites were crushed and all of the members dispersed into different friend groups. But more than a year later, the unthinkable happened. Their long lost member of the Elites had declared that she would be moving back home, for good. The return of their friend brought The Elites back together, stronger than ever. The reconnection of the Elites was like the rising of the Phoenix from the ashes of friend group’s past. Today, the Elites remain very close and seem to communicate that status all over social media. Most students find this broadcast of their friendship very annoying and unnecessary, as do I. But does this broadcast of their friendship over social media have anything to do with the existence of the Elites? Isn’t it the behavior of the Elites, rather than the Elites themselves? I think that it is unfair that students accuse cliques of being bad, when they should really be accusing certain clique’s behavior of being bad or ignorant. The Elites tend to communicate over social media that they are having a great time. On the weekends, dozens of tweets, instagrams, and Facebook photos are posted from just one night. Student’s shouldn’t feel left out or excluded just because they weren’t invited to hang out with those group of friends. Students have their own friend groups and are drawn together because of their similar interests. There is a reason that they aren’t part of the Elites. Don’t get me wrong, the dozens of social media posts are extremely unnecessary, but all of the students that accuse cliques of being mean are just being hypocritical, considering they likely belong to a clique as well. One might wonder why cliques feel the need to post their social outings all over social media. Clair Suddath, who works for Bloomberg BusinessWeek says, “Since children don’t have a wide group of contacts (everyone they know goes to their school), group dynamics can become especially pronounced”. After all, it is human’s natural instinct. Just because a student’s certain friend group doesn’t broadcast their relationship or their social outings like the Elites do, they still have their designated group of friends. Each clique or friend group shares similar interests and frowns upon other groups of friends. It isn’t the people or personalities that certain cliques frown upon, it is their behavior that is annoying to other students and friend groups. This miscommunication is what leads the generic distaste towards cliques in the first place. It isn’t the cliques; it’s their behavior. But after all, isn’t certain student’s behavior and taste what brings them together in the first place?

So, what is to be done about clique’s behavior hurting student’s feelings? There is no easy solution, but the problem is not the clique itself, it is their behavior that causes the miscommunication and hurt feelings between other cliques and friend groups. Humans form cliques and groups to gain a sense of security in whatever they do. It is their natural instinct, and no solution can really solve that. One solution is for the Elites to tone down their need for broadcasting their social outings, but after all, they are the Elites.

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