I'll just say no

When I was a teen, I succumbed to peer pressure far more often than I should have. I did things that weren't good for me just because "all the cool kids are doing it." Trying to fit in, trying to be like everyone else was the name of the game, just as it surely — unfortunately — is for today's youth.

When I became a mother, there was still a lot of peer pressure, but of a different sort. There was the pressure to outfit my kids in the latest fashions, keep them enrolled in and entertained by the latest and greatest activities. We rarely had the funds to pay for those fashions and fun things, so the need to do as all the cool moms were doing became less important. I couldn't afford to be like them, so I had no choice but to be myself.

As the girls reached the teen years and all the cool moms were (supposedly in some cases, literally in others) letting their kids run around without curfews, attend co-ed slumber parties or throw parties with alcohol purchased by the adults, I no longer had any desire to be like the cool moms for they didn't seem all that cool to me. I was a mean mom, or so I was told ... often. I had strict rules and high expectations for my daughters. The girls, of course, broke those rules ... often. And they fought against my expectations. It didn't change anything, though, because I purposefully made the choice to not be cool, to be myself, to do what I thought was right. For me, for mine. Regardless of pressure, be it from my peers or my kids.

Now that I'm a grandma, I'm faced with a different kind of peer pressure. Well, to be honest, it really has absolutely nothing to do with being a grandma and everything to do with being a grandma online. Yep, as someone who lives a large chunk of her life on the Internet, I'm confronted regularly by those who want me to do as they do, to follow their lead. And once again I'm doing the uncool thing: I'm just saying no.

To what am I saying no? Well, here's the list of things the cool folks, the popular folks do online that I'm resisting. Don't take offense and don't take it personally if you do these things; just take it as forewarning that I don't do these things, that I won't do these things if you ask.

Here goes. I hereby say no to:

• Passing along forwards. Whether they're cute or funny or elicit a warm fuzzy and especially if they're hate-filled or try to convince me I must send it to 10 friends in order to prosper or find true love. Forwards all get the same treatment from me: the delete button.

• Changing my Facebook profile photo to a color befitting a cause or holiday. Mostly just because I'm lazy.

• Posting or joining or following — or whatever the correct term is — a blog meme.

• Adhering to the rules of an award that requires me to list 16 personal things about myself then pressure eight of my favorite bloggers to do the same by honoring them with the same award. Awards are thoughtful ... unless they require work.

• Changing my Facebook status in support of a cause. (I'm starting to see a minor theme to my list, related to my laziness. Maybe?)

• Entering giveaways that require me to visit and comment on the sponsor's page then — optional, but for extra entries — "like" a Facebook page, follow the blogger on Twitter, and tweet and retweet until the sun rises and sets 16 times.

There are other, less frequent actions friends (and some foes) try to pressure me to take, but those above are at the top of my just-say-no list. Like I said before, don't take offense if you do any of them. I don't have a problem with you doing it, I just have a problem with me doing it. So I won't.

The great thing about peer pressure as a grandma is that it's really no pressure at all.

Excepting, of course, the pressure I felt to let you all know in advance of my just-say-no plan. Just in case you asked. Just so when I ignore your request, you won't feel slighted ... or upset ... or like you want to kick me out of the blogosphere.

(Which means, I suppose, that I still have a few minor peer-pressure issues to work out. Even as a grandma.)

Photo: stock.xchng

Today's question:

What kind of peer pressure do you resist now that you wouldn't have resisted at a younger age?