Cancel Culture: Its damaging effects and the need for growth

From political figures, celebrities, social media personalities, and even the Royal Family; the cancelation of human beings seems to have no limits; cancel culture is everywhere. This toxic trend in society has become very common, and it is having a detrimental impact on the world. These public acts of shaming have always been deeply rooted in our culture, but social media brings it to a larger scale through platforms including Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and many more.

According to an article from the State News, “Cancel culture is the act of withdrawing support for public figures or companies after they’ve done or said something objectionable or offensive.” People are inspected and targeted based on everything they have done throughout their life even before they gained their fame. With such large audiences, it is very common for people to conjure up past statements, videos, or even posts that may offend or upset people.

Counselor Matt Wehrman said, “I don’t always agree with the people or things that are ‘canceled.’ We are essentially making ourselves judge, jury, and executioner. However, there are some who have been frequent offenders and have not changed their ways that do not deserve to be a role model for the youth and society in general, and should, in some cases, be put away in jail for the things they have done.”

Senior Clara Arnold said, “Cancel culture has turned very toxic over the past couple of years. When someone does or says something that is wrong or frowned upon, they are at risk of being cancelled. It sadly has become such a normal occurrence in our society today. Instead of cancelling individuals and groups, we need to educate them on why what they did or said was wrong.”

Social media has brought cancel culture to an even bigger, widespread phenomenon than ever before. The Internet plays a huge role in the participation of cancel culture because of how fast rumors and gossip spread social media platforms. Also, people behind their screens have more confidence than if they would in person. The screens act as their safety net to say whatever they want in order to get their opinion across to millions of people around the world. Along with the ability to hide behind a screen, many people join in on the cancelation of someone just because being a part of a large group of people helps them feel included in society. People feel the greater need to join the bandwagon of what others think in order to fit in with society instead of fully comprehending what they are advocating.

“It is easier for people to sit behind their devices and pass judgment on others when they themselves have had their fair share of indiscretions. We see this issue a lot with teens and cyberbullying as well. Kids pass judgement on others, publically, and somehow get away with terrorizing other humans, despite the fact that the person making the comments isn’t perfect,” Wehrman said.

The cancelation of people is centered around the simple nature that all humans make mistakes. No one is perfect no matter how hard they try to be. Therefore, this trend of canceling others due to their mistakes is very questionable. While people are shaming others for mistakes made in their lifetime, they are also making their own mistakes. It is necessary to help educate others and promote growth, but this cancel culture trend has taken it to a whole new level that is creating more negativity than before. In an article belonging to Portola Pilot states, “Due to its fear and shame factor, cancel culture poses a toxic way to hold public figures accountable for their actions which ultimately leads to fear rather than genuine change. Rather than canceling, individuals should make a stance to educate and promote growth rather than creating fear of canceling.” This trend has moved from its original message of accountability to one of shame. Instead of putting people in hiding, society needs to help promote growth and change.

It is very evident that there has been a lack of education through past generations.  People who are making offensive comments or actions need to educate themselves. Those who are canceling others based off other’s mistakes need to restructure their values and try to promote a healthier way of bettering society instead of adding more toxicity than before. 

“It all comes back to education. A lot of what people get canceled for comes down to ignorance. We have to continue to educate one another on the issues of society. Racism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc., are not acceptable in modern society, and we need to understand the effects that our words and actions have on others in society. We are finally getting to a point in society where people are finally comfortable being themselves, and yet we still have people that spew hatred with their words and actions. However, as a society, I think we need to stop with the ‘holier than thou’ treatment that we give other people when we are online. Social media is often the place that galvanizes that type of belief, and is currently a challenge to moving forward with forgiveness and growth,” Wehrman stated.

Compassion and mercy are essential qualities that need to be given to everyone around the world. Making mistakes is an essential part of being human. If humans were incapable of sin, there would be no growth transformation throughout our lives. Mistakes, big or not, can help individual’s grow and develop into better human beings. As bystanders, it is important to help educate those who may lack in acknowledging their mistakes, but that should be the conclusion of it. The cancelation of a person goes against all morals and values. Everyone deserves love and greatness, therefore; it should not be up to people to completely ruin someone’s career due to a mistake that he/she made throughout their career or even before.

“Instead of jumping to public conclusions, educational conversation is crucial to growth in the right direction. Educating one another is very important when trying to actually create a change that can help better the world,” Arnold stated.

In society, cancel culture is very popular and it is used against many public figures all around the world. Celebrities, political figures, and social media personalities are targeted and objectified for their past mistakes. When society cancels someone, they not only diminish someone’s human dignity, but they do not take into account growth or change that may have occurred throughout their lifetime.

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