Ever been walking down a street and met a group of people yelling and running? Ever been tempted to join them? Let’s say you joined this group of people and even went ahead to throw a stone or two. When the cops swoop in, you run for your life and hide in someone’s shop. The owner is nice to you and you start chatting. They ask you what happened and you have no answer. You joined the protest on impulse probably caused by adrenaline and went along with it without questioning why it was being held in the first place.

Many a times, you log on to Facebook or Twitter and find most people talking about a particular topic. Insults and jokes are flying back and forth. It all seems exciting so you join in. You go wild on the issue giving your two cents on it based on what you see others saying. When it’s all said and done you do not know where it originated from and why it started.

Many Kenyans are easily swayed by mob mentality. It’s a case of “monkey see, monkey do”. It’s very exciting to be part of the group. Adrenaline is pumping and you are at the centre of it all. But you never really know why you did it and you come out looking foolish. Mob mentality seems to be catching on. It’s driven by the need to fit in and belong. Every day we do something because others are doing it. It seems great to us from the outside. Then you get in and you can’t remember why you are there.

We blindly follow others without considering the damage it causes. In protests, mob mentality can lead to death. But does it have adverse effects on social media? We gang up on people to call them ugly, to pick on them for actions at a party. You find people have labelled someone a slut, so you pick it up and do the same. At the end of the day, the other person is hurt and no one knows what they will do with themselves. Some attacks on someone can lead to them losing their job if their boss sees what everyone is saying about them. But one thing no one considers is the effect it has on them as individuals for letting the mob lead their actions.

It’s all fun and games following what others do. Joining the crowd and conversion on Facebook and twitter just for the sake of it. But you lose your identity. You cease to be an individual and become part of the crowd. Your opinions no longer matter. The mob thinks for you.

So the next time you want to follow the crowds for fun, pause and think about it. Do you really want to be herded around like an animal every day on social media?