There’s a coolness to the "I don’t give a f*ck" attitude.
You know -- like how Lou Reed simply didn’t give a f*ck about what people thought of him. His lyrics were considered vulgar by most. He set his own fashion rules, and he almost never gave satisfactory answers in interviews. He simply did not give a f*ck in the rawest sense of the phrase.
And frankly, I’ve always found this to be a very cool trait.
Nobody wants to be the person who cares too much. In failed relationships, the person who complains the most looks like the loser. In school, the person who stresses too much about grades looks too nerdy. In social situations, the person who cares about what people think seems insecure.
To not give a sh*t, however? For some strange reason, that’s attractive.
But this IDGAF attitude is not always authentic. Especially not in 2015.
Today, I believe that more people adopt this mentality out of preference more than anything else. On Instagram, we see #IDGAF next to generic quotes that correlate loosely to aspects of their lives. We see people on Twitter boasting about their emotional apathy.
And as much as I would like to buy into this attitude, it’s a very transparent facade. Because it's not a real attitude; it's actually a dishonest choice.
People who truly “don’t give a f*ck” wouldn’t take the time or effort to advertise it, especially on social media. It's a cover, one that comes from a general fear of appearing too emotional. And we all know that being emotional makes you appear vulnerable -- our generation's biggest fear. So by pushing this image of being apathetic, we convince ourselves that we are immune to emotional pain.
This might fool some people. But it’s a pretty hollow lifestyle to lead.
There’s nothing wrong with caring. In fact, it’s important that you do care about a lot of things.
Unfortunately, society isn’t very receptive to the people who wear their hearts on their sleeves.
Look at Drake, for instance. While Drake might be the most influential pop icon in the world right now, the Internet still loves to pass around the occasional “Drake is soft” meme because he's someone who doesn’t hold back from expressing his feelings.
But for every hater he produces, I’m sure he attracts more people who appreciate his authenticity. And for this reason, Drake’s audience feels a special connection to him -- an ability to relate.
People today are more concerned with not getting hurt than they are with building any type of substantial connection with another person.
By walking around like you don’t care what people think about you, you may be protecting yourself, but you're also limiting how others perceive you. Because when you're transparent with your emotions and show people that you care, you allow yourself to be open enough to make connections with people and permit them to see the true you. And these types of connections and relationships are worthwhile and long-lasting.
In today’s world, though, people are more concerned with appearing a certain way and seeking instant gratification. So they don’t allow these connections to form. They want Twitter followers instead of genuine friends (not that Twitter is the best place to search for friends).
People who embrace the IDGAF mentality are usually the ones who actually give the most f*cks. It’s not a bad thing to care about the things that matter most, like our relationships, jobs, friends and family. What’s concerning is that people feel obligated to try and cover up their interests and feelings.
Perhaps it's because people who claim to not GAF know that caring leads to expectations, and expectations can lead to disappointment. And if there’s one thing that this generation can’t handle, it’s disappointment.
As we mature, I hope we learn to drop the front and take things as they are. If a situation is disappointing, being indifferent about it won't make it any better. If anything, it will only lead to that emotional distress getting pent up over time. You may be fooling other people, but you're not fooling yourself.
Lou Reed once said, “How can anybody learn anything from an artwork when the piece of art only reflects the vanity of the artist and not reality?”
People are no different. If we live our lives trying to uphold the appearance created by our own vanity, nobody will ever be able to truly learn anything about us.
At the end of the day, if it’s not authentic, our generation's IDGAF mentality will lead to isolation rather than protection.