If you’ve been on the internet for the past couple of months, you probably already know what cancel culture is. In its simplest definition, cancelling is withdrawing support from people that have done something offensive.
In other words, we’re holding them accountable for their problematic behavior — or at least, we’re supposed to.
What ends up happening is the person in question gets severely bashed online and then forgotten after a couple of weeks. You would see call out posts, insults, memes, and all the posts in between all over the internet, basically sensationalizing the situation.
Anger is valid. However, with this chaotic cycle, cancel culture ends up promoting eternel guilt, leaving no room for growth moving forward. It’s as if we’re saying that they are and will always be wrong no matter what they do.
Moreover, what’s even more dangerous about this is that we tend to cancel people over things wherein the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. From celebrities who committed sexual assault to someone who tweeted something politically incorrect, the treatment is the same.
While big companies do get backlash for their problematic behavior, rarely do they get de-platformed. They survive the online hate and most of the time they get out of it unscathed unlike people who are already marginalized or simply uninformed.
At this point, we have to rethink how we go about cancel culture. Yes, we need to hold people accountable but it should be in a way that there is still space for change and forgiveness. Everyone has the capacity for change. Let’s not hinder that growth.
Cancel culture very much exists, but it’s just not working on the right people.