I was given the chance to break a social norm at multiple local grocery stores - Norm Break introduction. This privilege is not acceptable or common throughout the world while performing rare unusual behavior. My interest was to skip through aisles while whistling in a variety of grocery stores. I was interested in seeing reactions and confusion on this act. Many people were shocked to witness what was happening and were curious why this action was performed. Skipping through the aisles was scary and made me nervous. After I performed my social breach 23 times, I accomplished a successful act and had strange but interesting feedbacks.
Wal-Mart was the first store I broke my social norm. The first time I broke my norm, I realized that I did not whistle and a person came up to me and requested me to explain why I would even think to do skip through aisles. I was highly nervous on my first trial attempt to skip through the aisle and was concerned if I would possibly make a mistake doing this. I came to a conclusion to skip through the drinks aisle because it was the most clustered and would have received the most reactions from people. I skipped through the aisle rather slowly because I didn’t know how to pace myself to where I could interpret their reactions quick enough.
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There were approximately 8 people in the aisle and had to make sure I wouldn’t laugh or make an unnecessary mistake. Also in the aisle, were two little kids that saw me skip through the aisle while laughing really hard and eventually asked their parents if they could skip around through the store. I also got hysterical feedback from an elder couple as they approached me and first questioned why I was skipping through the aisle. I told them I was given a promotion from my manager at Blockbuster, so I was excited but also happy.
Another person in the aisle was extremely rude and called me an inappropriate name and seemed to find my act unacceptable and childish. When breaking this norm, I felt that there could have been mixed reactions from other people who were serious about getting there supplies and moving on. Most members are independent and prefer to be disturbance free. I forgot to whistle on my first attempt, so I did not receive the full reaction that I could have brought to attention. The multiple attempts after the trial was perfected for a better prank and received different reactions most of the time.
While walking around in Food Pyramid, I decided to try my experiment in the pharmacy department. I walked around the aisle that I wanted to break my social norm. I waited as long as I could till more people would gather around. I decided to start my deviant act with roughly six people in the aisle. This time I decided to skip back to my starting point after I had skipped to the other side. On the way to other side, all six individuals looked at me with a humorous expression and most likely questioned themselves why anyone would do that. On the way back, one person decided to stop me and requested for a high five.
I noticed a friend of mine at a different Wal-Mart one day, so I wanted to learn his reaction after my attempt. He was unaware that I was going to perform my act on him and was located in the sporting goods department looking at basketball equipment. I had to make sure not to make any eye contact with him so I could prevent from ruining my attempt with laughter. I soon learned he was extremely shocked to see me skip while whistling loudly. He soon shouted my name and questioned what was the purpose of my disturbance. With no hesitation, I responded by telling him it was a secret and was for a good cause.
He could not believe the reasoning and was wondering if everything was normal with me. After trying different locations breaking my norm, I decided the two Wal-Marts had more people with different reactions. This gave me a better understanding on how individuals react with each other and to me. I broke my norm 23 times and every attempt included a minimum of five people in each try. While I was skipping through an aisle and approaching someone, the individual or group would try to avoid me. After each breach, I was nervous to see if anyone would react with any violent actions that would cause problems.
During each attempt, I maintained my composure and failed to mess up I came close to accidentally telling my friends and family that I was going to be experimenting on breaking a social norm when I went home for the weekend. If I had to tweak my attempt to break a social norm, I would have spiked my hair all the way up while wearing sunglasses that were oversized. This change most likely would have given me more amusing reactions to analyze and react. Holding hands possibly with someone while skipping would have attracted more attention and made scenes interesting.
If this was done, many would ponder about my attitude and continue to question why I was being awkward. I also would consider asking the appropriate people to tag along and skip with me throughout the aisle and observe how they would provide me with an answer. In society today people decide what is normal and abnormal, when I reflect back I realized that people will not appreciate unusual behavior and showed signs of anger. Breaking this social norm helped understand how the community reacted to unusual behavior and changed my view of how I would interpret the situation if another person attempted the same incident.