Why Do We Care What Other People Think?

Recently there have been a series of teen suicides committed due to internet harassment.  Most of these kids were verbally abused by other kids; the rejection was too much for them. When Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold opened fire on Columbine High School, it was because they were taunted by the jocks.

No matter how many reality stars are publicly humiliated, only to fade into oblivion, people keep auditioning for reality shows.  Many of these shows don’t even offer a cash prize. Take “The Bachelor” for example. The show features a bunch of hot women competing for an ordinary man. None of them really care about the man; they just want the approval of the audience and to trounce the competition.

But, why do we care what other people think? Why can’t we just be contented with knowing that we are doing our best and living a good life? Why must someone acknowledge our accomplishments?  If a blogger blogged on Google and no one read it would she really have blogged?

Now, people have always cared how they looked in the eyes of others. What kid didn’t want his parents' approval or to be thought of as "cool" by his classmates? But the reaction to it seems to have intensified over the years.

At the risk of sounding like a Luddite, I blame technology. Machines have made us spend less time at menial tasks leaving us with more free time on our hands. Computers have made office life easier. We are left with hours and hours of nothing to so we watch TV. There is more TV now and more stations with more time to fill so they invented reality TV.  We see the most intimate details of celebrity’s lives on these shows, and we begin to have opinions of them. We wish someone would care about us that much. So we blog and we vlog and we hope someone will see what we have done and tell us we are good. Everyone in cyberspace has become our high-school classmate. The mean girl’s table has expanded to include anyone with a computer. If someone was unpopular in school they can now be the teaser rather than the teased by hiding behind the cloak of animosity. The number of people we are trying to impress has grown significantly. The more people we are exposed to and the more ways we have to be judged by them, the more we will care what other people think.

So what can we do about it? Well I would suggest reading a book and discussing it with no one. Keeping a diary of your most private thoughts that you don’t put on the internet . I myself am going to spend a little more time with my dog. If I’m going to care what anyone thinks it might as well be someone who thinks I’m the best!

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