There are few sentences that irritate me more than hearing “I don’t give a damn!” In the statistical measurements of my brain that is easily the most overused sentenced of the last 27 years. Now there’s plenty of things I don’t care for myself, but I don’t have this absurd obligation to announce it to everyone willingly. Neither do I expect others to share in my unwillingness to give a damn.
Individualism comes at a price we don’t always acknowledge. The importance we place on being ourselves challenges our ability to relate to one another, particularly to those we’re not similar to. It’s easier to accept the differences of your friends who’ve known for years because 1. You’ve built a tolerance/acceptance for them 2. The foundation of the friendship was built on something you all had in common more than likely. The common place in any relationship people have with each other is the glue that keeps things together. Between 2 of my best friends and myself differences we have are widespread, but the fact we all grew up together in the same neighborhood and schools since the 4th grade is the glue that keep our friendship together. 1 of them is a dancer, and while I have an appreciation for the fine arts dancing isn’t a big interest of mines. The other is someone I constantly argue with about ANYTHING…AN-Y-THING! But the 3 of us have come to accept and embrace our differences when it’s just easier to ridicule with each other (we do ridicule each other but not for this reason).
Social media often is a divisive subject to talk about. Many people are continuing to learn all of its powers and benefits. Others will never understand the purpose of it or points out all of the problems its lead to in our society. I often find myself being 1 who would defend social media more times than not and focus on the people using it. For some people it’s the greatest platform they’ve come across to speak their mind. And for all the attention they’ll receive, they’ll also get others who couldn’t care less about what they say. And that’s ok, what’s not ok to me is how people are willing to go out their way to tell people this. What role does social media play into this situation? Sure it’s merely a platform who people to talk about anything so it can’t be solely responsible for people thinking a certain way. But it does have the power to popularize a mindset people have which is my biggest concern.
The title and opening sentence of this post I said “I don’t give a damn” annoys me to no end. An equally annoying synonym for it is “I don’t give a f**k” or its hilarious alternative “No f**ks given”. I included those last 2 mainly because that’s what you’ll tend to see numerous times on social media. It’s an epidemic, why you ask? Well 1.) I can’t seem to go a day without seeing some type of post that’s saying this 2.) Because so many people will “like” or “thumbs up” these posts. Social media didn’t create this mindset, but it damn sure popularized it. There’s been countless fads that either media or we as people have overhyped to nauseating levels. This 1 is different to me because of its message.
Earlier I said individualism comes at a price, another cost of it is empathy. The importance of knowing how someone else feels is crucial for the development of a person. It allows us to not look at life only through our experiences and beliefs and understand what other people are going through and why they do or believe what they do. With all this in mind, this explains why I utterly hate how much we’ve allowed this mindset to become a cool thing to say. Sure we all won’t care about the same things as our neighbors nor are we expected to. But every time we unnecessarily say “I don’t give a damn” about something, it justifies for someone else why having empathy doesn’t matter anymore. If you genuinely don’t care about something, you repeatedly telling all of your followers or friends how much you don’t care is defeating the purpose. Silence still has power in an age where we’ve only stress the importance of speaking up and using the platforms available to us.