How To Stop Worrying About What Other People Think


  • Author Toby Gill
  • Published September 8, 2022
  • Word count 758

“Don’t take life too seriously. Nobody makes it out alive anyway.”

When I saw this quote the other day, it really did take me aback. Its message is clear, succinct, and simple, and yet so easy to forget.

All of us on the earth today, now, are living through a monumental period in this planet’s history. We are witnessing immense technological changes, with commercial space voyages seemingly decades away, and a constant revolving door of new ideas coming in-and-out of our newsfeeds every day. Likewise, we live in the digital era. A time in which we are engrossed in our phones and the average Brit spends one and a half days in the week glued to their phone screen – over 33 hours a week. That’s over 72 days in a year spent looking down at this virtual world rather than ahead, at the natural world in front of us.

And what is in this virtual world? Why are we all so infatuated with our mobile devices? Why have phones become the nation’s favourite past-time; the hobby people won’t quit…the addiction with no treatment.

Unfortunately, it’s nothing good. This virtual world is a world full of fantasy. A world where people post fake snapshots of their lives with the goal of gaining a few likes. A world where children can swipe a thousand times a day and watch nonsensical videos from sunrise ‘till bedtime. Our phones provide us with a false sense of comfort. Quick dopamine hits which we consume like drug addicts. They take away our creativity, our imagination. Instead, our phones present us with a false reality, where we care more about what a stranger on Instagram is doing than about what we, ourselves, are doing.

I don’t write this to make people feel guilty about their phone usage. I write this because, in this virtual world where popularity is determined by followers and likes, and where we are constantly comparing ourselves with others every second we’re on social media, we are destroying our confidence and our relationships with others.

Now, I’ll come back to the quote.

“Don’t take life too seriously. Nobody makes it out alive anyway.”

I admit this has been slightly paraphrased, but the meaning still stands. When we are on social media, every story we view on Snapchat; every person we swipe on Tinder or every exaggerated LinkedIn post we read, we are comparing. It’s one of the unhealthiest things a human being can do, and it has caused irreversible damage in society in the last two decades. Yet we continue.

Hence the quote. “Don’t take life too seriously”. We are all human beings, and the most important thing we can do is act like it. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Stop worrying about what some stranger a hundred miles away will think of your Linked In post. Stop distressing over whether an old school friend, whom you haven’t spoken to in years, will like your Facebook photo. Just enjoy your time and focus on you. You don’t have to impress anyone, other than yourself. Life is far too short.

I am not proposing you remove yourself from social media or stop using your phones. This would be counterproductive, as going cold turkey with tech simply doesn’t work in my view. Instead, I am suggesting that you use this technology as a tool. The way it was intended. Spend less time on your phones and get up and go for a walk. Spend time with your kids or grandparents. Sit outside in the sun. By simply sitting or walking and letting your brain have a rest from the constant activity of social media usage, you allow yourself to grow. Your brain can be creative, your imagination can flow, and your relationships will prosper.

Don’t take things too seriously. Your health and happiness are top priority. Your career, and your social image come second. At the end of the day, we all have one life, and nobody makes it out alive.

It’s up to you to stray from the pack. Don’t be consumed in the mindless and false virtual world of likes and followers. Simply put … it’s not that deep. Life your life the way you want to live it. Stop caring what people think. Our time on this beautiful planet is finite.

Embrace the positive changes in your life take place as you stop looking down, and start looking straight, at the path ahead.


A young professional, trying to make sense of the world. Here to spread my learning as I go along.

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