1.) I was being sarcastic...as in like my opinion really matters. That was the purpose of the smiley. 2.) Most of the danger comes from unclearn areas. It's like sex...you have a 99.99% chance of not getting a girl pregnant, but it happens. If you go to a dirty shop, in addition to a receding gum line you run the risk of infection, allergic reactions, nerve damage, keloids, excessive swelling. The likelihood is low, but **** happens. It's a legitimate arguing point against not getting a piercing (and it is routinely made). 3.) Obviously the poster isn't getting piercings to mark his arrival to manhood or his fidelity to a religion...he is getting it because he thinks it looks cool. Images of cool come and fade...the guy getting plugs in his ears will look awesome for 10 years until he turn 30 and the fad completely dies out. As a fashion statement there really is no concrete point. As far as trends go, I'd be wary to scar my body permanently. If you can make a responsible judgement to get one, then go for it. I have no problems with people getting piercings, getting their tongue cut in half, or having a sex change operation. I'm wary of the teenager willing to brand (there you go) his skin because his favorite rock band does the same. Obviously this whole argument is a bit excessive for a piercing...but beyond the need for a person to separate and identify themselves...there is no need. Differentiate yourself in a productive way...cure AID's, don't put a disk in your lip.