I’ve never been one for hugely inflammatory or click-baity titles. I generally opt for Simpsons references and alliteration to attract readers, as it makes me feel smart and important. I can appreciate how the title “Nobody actually fucking cares” would seem to break this trend, as it alludes to Dan having regressed to the emotional state equivalent of putting Sum 41 lyrics in his MSN status; let me assure you though, this is an uplifting piece.
Of course people care. They care about their jobs; they care about their families; they apparently care about their eyebrows a lot these days for some reason. There are plenty of things in life worth caring about, and far be it from me to judge what those things may be for any given person.
What they probably do not care about, is you.
Oh sure, your Mum cares about you. Your siblings probably do too. Your Dad will start caring again when he gets back with that milk he went out for 15 years ago, totally.
Your bitchy co-workers don’t though. Your old high-school acquaintances probably have forgotten you exist. Those skanks from that other team who mugged you off last competition are probably too busy sobbing into a pint of Neapolitan to care about you.
I guess this piece is meant to hone in on what it means to really, truly care about something; to try and distinguish between taking an interest in something, and actually caring about it.
I am so damn interested in this one particular Instagram account right now. It belongs to this living embodiment of a human train-wreck and it churns out a seemingly endless stream of untruthful, fraudulent, A-grade bullshit entertainment. When it looks like this little engine cannot possibly climb any higher up Mt. Embarrassment it cries, “I think I can, I think I can!” and spews out more pure enjoyment.
I love checking in on this account. It’s been a staple of my social-media diet for a while now and I get excited when the orangey-purple circle of joy shows up atop my Insta feed.
But do I honestly care about this person and their messed-up life? No.
If they were to disappear from my feed tomorrow, my life wouldn’t change. All their issues and rants and dramas don’t affect me in any way, and I doubt they ever will. Of course I care about this person to a small degree; no one likes to see someone fall off the rails, and I sincerely hope they can turn things around. But beyond that, their issues may as well be all made up (which they generally are).
This piece, however, isn’t meant to be directed at me, the observer; it’s meant for that human train-wreck, the perpetrator.
My message to them is.. no one cares. I know it may feel like the whole world can be again you sometimes, that people are watching you, talking about you and whispering behind your back. To be honest, you’re probably right. People love to talk about shit that’s interesting to them, it makes for great light conversation.
What you’ll find, however, is that they’re far less likely to talk about the shit that’s actually important to them, that they care about. People love to discuss less what they actually care about, rather than what they just find interesting. A girl’s night out is rarely spent delving into those ladies deepest, darkest fears. They’ll swap stories about who’s sleeping with who over drinks then go home and stare at the ceiling whilst contemplating their uncertain futures.
Something that keeps cropping up on Facebook or Reddit from time to time is a “5×5” rule that inspirational 14 year old’s love to parrot. It reads;
“Will this matter or affect me in 5 years?
If not, don’t spend more than 5 minutes worrying about it.”
What so often tends to make this sort of advice so hard to swallow is a lack of perspective. It’s hard to tell an eighteen year old to consider if a situation will matter in five years time, when five years ago they had only just reached the Japanese age of consent. (Yeah, the age of consent in Japan is 13. Gross.)
I had no fucking idea what was going to matter to me today when I was 23, and you probably didn’t either. I barely have a concept of what will matter to me when I’m 32, only that I still be driving my 2002 Mitsubishi because it tickles me that my parents Lexus’ and Saab’s are dying before my piece-of-shit beater.
I’m all for nice, little, snappy mantras to try and help make sense of a senseless world, but sometimes it’s just plain simpler. Nobody really cares about what you do.
At 22 I started dating a good friend of mine’s ex-girlfriend, only a few months after they’d broken up. Everyone in our friendship circle had an opinion on the matter, it was the height of gossip, and I was fairly certain that act was going to follow me around forever. The fact the relationship only lasted eight months made things even worse.
The end result is; I don’t even see or talk to anyone even remotely connected to that story anymore. I have one remaining friend from that period in my life, and she couldn’t give a cinnamon toast fuck about anyone from that tale.
We too often become driven by what we believe other people think of us by deluding ourselves into thinking our actions are the main focus of their day-to-day existence. Nothing could be further from the truth. They probably don’t even know your full name.
The point to remember is that YOU are allowed to care. Your feelings are valid and you should never let anyone tell you otherwise.
If it matters to you right now, fuck it, let it matter. It’s just worth remembering, it probably doesn’t matter to anyone else.