Analysis: “I Don’t Care” by Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber

This song is adorable. Listened to it so many times I already know a lot of the words. While I like the beat I do not like the message it sends. I understand this may seem a little harsh for an upbeat melody but considering music has such a large impact on our lives I find it reasonable to dissect what contributes to our environment and mentality. While I appreciate the song I think it advocates unhealthy coping mechanism and a mentality that can lead to depression and anxiety.

The song is about someone at a party, feeling unhappy until they have their friend or lover show up and makes everything OK. Lines like, “And you’re making me feel like maybe I am somebody,” sounds catchy but project a really unhealthy ideology. It encourages the idea that we need to find someone who will make us feel worthy. It’s extremely unhealthy to rely on an outside force (someone else) for our worth. If we do that we set ourselves up for failure. We do not need to wait to have somebody to enjoy a party. We can do it all on our own. Like Robyn… “I keep dancing on my own.”

The whole idea of not being able to love someone else until you love yourself comes into play here. I do not see how someone can be in a healthy relationship if they are relying on their partner for their worth. I’ll tell you this right now, and you should repeat it to yourself several times a day until it sticks, you are somebody. Whether you are single, in a relationship, employed, unemployed, get 10 likes or 1,000 -you are somebody. If you do not like who that somebody is then work at fixing it and congratulate yourself for working on improving yourself.

We should work towards being able to make ourselves feel how the person Ed and Justin describe in the song makes them feel. This is when we will be truly happy and able to contribute our best. When we do not put the pressure of our happiness on someone else we are able to control our lives, feel less anxiety and find our happiness.

Apart from the general message there are some lines that I also found offered an interesting perspective:

“I Don’t Care”

The narrative of being indifferent and not caring is getting REAL boring. One line in the song described feeling anxious at a party. If a person truly does not care about something they are not going to feel anxious about it. When people say they don’t care about something they typically do care. A good way to test this is to see how much mental energy you are spending thinking about something. If you truly don’t care it will rarely come up in your mind. We should stop denying our feelings. If we care about something it is for a reason. Figure out what that reason is and work on it.

“I’m crippled with anxiety
But I’m told it’s where I’m supposed to be”

Sometimes we do things and make decisions because we are told they will be good for us or we think that is what we are supposed to do. While it is good to get out of our comfort zone it is also good to know ourselves and our likes. If we do not enjoy loud parties we shouldn’t go to them even if our friends want us to. We can offer to do something else with them instead. I’ll never forget a conversation I had early in my career. A colleague of mine, married with 2 kids, told me he respected how I wasn’t getting married and having kids right away. I felt sad for him. It seemed like his life was what he thought it was supposed to be and not what he wanted. Do what is right for you. Not what you think you are supposed to do.

“I can deal with the bad nights
When I’m with my baby, yeah”

While it is nice to have someone support us we should be able to deal with things on our own. We should not rely on other people to get us through things. It is very unhealthy and puts too much pressure on the other person. In his song we see one perspective but the person they are signing about may find the person singing to them to be annoying and clingy.

“When we walked in, I said I’m sorry,
But now I think that we should stay”

I really like this line. It reminds me of times where I try something new and automatically hate it only to end up appreciating it. Sometimes we can have a preconceived notion in our mind that a situation is going to be bad and that can skew our perception of things. What we can learn from this is that things may not be as bad as we think they are and we should try new things with an open mind.

“I don’t like nobody but you”

*Eye roll*. I totally get what its like to vibe with someone and feel connected to them more than others. That does not mean that we can’t like other people too. I am getting real tired of it seeming cool to “not care” and “hate everyone.” If we really want to rebel, we should try liking people -it takes more courage and strength then taking the easy way out and living in denial saying you “hate everyone.”

Featured image credit: Justin Beiber Instagram

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