Violation of a Social Norm by Austin Peterson

When searching for an idea of things that could be done to break a social norm my thoughts went to something that is the “least risky”. I had heard stories of things people had done and although many were funny. I didn’t have the desire to ruffle as many feathers as they did. So when seeking a normal situation I came across the wilk and the terrace where everyone eats lunch and decided this would be a great spot to do it. Seeing that most people sit in groups of friends I thought it would be breaking a social norm to go sit at a table with a few people on it and talk to myself out loud so they could hear.

After sitting down at the table after each bite of food I would give a recap of the bite. Things like “wow, the cucumber really showed in that bite” and many other sayings revolved around my food and how it tasted. The looks I received were not very kind as many looked and pretty much scowled at me. I was clearly breaking a social norm of keeping to myself in a group I didnt know anyone in and it was not going over well. I did this for my meal and the people left at about the same time I was finishing my meal. They didn’t say anything to me directly but the awkwardness they felt was obvious in their expressions and how they would talk to each other after I got there compared with before I got there.

It felt very weird to break a social norm. I would say the weird feelings were more in general as to what was happening rather than the specific act that I was doing. I didn’t really enjoy my time breaking the norm but it did help me realize that it is not that big of a deal to do something different. I did something I would never do by choice and if I saw someone doing I would think was very weird and no one even said a word to me. They did harmless rude things like glances and such but nothing that actually mattered. Overall it was a good experience, planning it made me nervous and anxious to see how it would play out but now that its done I realized it was no big deal. While I don’t plan on being a regular social norm breaker I now realize if I need to do it occasionally its no bigs.

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