In an era that claims to be much more progressive and open minded than previous ones, for some reason, we aren’t so open minded on one important topic, forgiving and forgetting seems to be lost. People that made even small mistakes are suddenly getting “cancelled.” They are suddenly becoming alienated from society. WIth parts of their fans or friends leaving and not coming back, scarring their fanbase for good, for things that may not be on purpose. It’s horrible, and there’s a name for this, and it's called cancel culture.
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What is cancel culture?
Cancel culture is an online epidemic, that encourages alienating and totally just blocking off anyone who messes up. The reason it’s toxic is the fact that doing this leaves no opportunity for growth. For redemption. A much better solution for all wouldn’t be ‘’cancelling’’ someone but instead, encouraging them to change. Not exactly call out culture. You shouldn’t shame someone if you want them to change. You should let them know, they are wrong and tell them how to better themselves. Even former president Barack Obama spoke out against cancel culture. 'If I tweet or hashtag about how you didn't do something right or used the wrong verb, then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself,' he said. ''Cause man, did you see how woke I was? I called you out.' the former president continued on to say, 'That's not activism,' he explained. 'that's not bringing about change. If all you're doing is casting stones, you're probably not going to get that far. That's easy to do.’
Who is cancel culture affecting?
Cancel culture is most widely used against celebrities, but heck, even normal people can get affected as well, one excellent case of this lies in a teenager we are calling L. She was canceled at her school. Without her even knowing at first, it was sudden and quick like a dagger slicing through the open wind. When she came back from summer break, all the friends she had at her middle school just seemed to.. Ignore her, cut her off of their friend group, they blocked her on social media, they couldn’t dare even look at her. After a bit, L finally got her former friends to tell her why. One of the friends said she was a mooch, while another said she ruined the girls self esteem, while the worst one, called her a filthy emotional leech, thirsty for validation. ''This put me in a situation where I thought I had done all these things,'' L said. ''I was bad. I deserved what was happening.''
Two years later, the aftershock is still with her. She says things got better, but she still feels bad about the absurdity of it all ''You can do something stupid when you're 15, say one thing and 10 years later that shapes how people perceive you,'' she said. ''We all do cringey things and make dumb mistakes and whatever. But social media's existence has brought that into a place where people can take something you did back then and make it who you are now.'' in her junior year things apparently got better. But still, she now is plagued by thoughts of if she’s ever doing the right thing, she tends to overthink things now. ''I'm very prone to questioning everything I do,'' she said. '''Is this annoying someone?' 'Is this upsetting someone?'''
''I have issues with trusting perfectly normal things,'' she said. ''That sense of me like a monster, a terrible person, a burden to everyone, has stayed with me to some extent. There's still this sort of lingering sense of: What if I am?''
L is living proof of how cancel culture can ruin someone, leaving horrible lasting impacts to those it touches. Scarring them for years and years to come. Cancel culture can leave a huge impact. We shouldn’t let things like this happen as a society. Cancel culture is toxic. And hurts a lot more than it tries to prevent. Encouraging those who’ve wronged to change would be a much better and more successful approach. Instead of pushing away and alienating those who break societal rules. The fact it could ruin anyone’s life in the span of days is the scary thing. Above all we should work to stop such disgusting tyranny from taking such a stable grip on our society. It is poisonous to all those who oppose society’s rules. The fact that we live in a society that acts like this is just despicable. And I hope we as a community can move away from this.