Why Cancel Culture Should be "Canceled"

At one point or another you’ve probably heard about someone being “canceled”. Usually it’s used in reference to a celebrity or social media influencer that has said something problematic in the past or in the present. It can even be used as a joke if someone does something you don’t necessarily like or agree with. While this can be an innocent ordeal, that is usually not the case in the world of social media. 


When the internet feels the need to cancel someone, it’s because they have found a problematic thing that a person has said. They want an acknowledgement of what is usually a bad behavior and an apology for it. This can seem like a reasonable thing but it gets messy when it turns into a mob mentality or when it’s directed at someone who has changed from the person that once did that problematic thing. 


This mob mentality is what’s really dangerous. People on social media are behind a screen so they have no regards for the actual human being that they are attacking. They take “canceling” a person too far. Yes, some mistakes are worse than others but there are better ways of dealing with those mistakes. 


Because cancel culture has become so normalized, it’s not surprising when someone you thought was unproblematic becomes the next person to be canceled over something they might have said years ago. This is when cancel culture becomes toxic. 


It’s understandable if you find out that a celebrity or social media influencer that you like has said or done a problematic thing in the past and you want them to apologize for it or be held accountable for it. But it becomes a different situation when these problematic actions are ones that were said or done years ago and the person who said them are very different than the person who once did said problematic things. It’s also never just calling someone out, it becomes an attack on that person instead of trying to have a conversation. 


The internet is an unforgiving place. Because of this whatever dumb thing someone might have posted in the past can come back to haunt them even if they are not that same person. Even if they are clearly now a better person, they can still be canceled over something they said when they were 15 years old. The only reason they get called out is because they are in the spotlight. But everyone has said or done a problematic thing at one point or another. We were all dumb kids who have done and said dumb things. But we learn and grow as human beings and canceling someone for something they said years ago diminishes and ignores that growth. The internet completely disregards that the person who is being canceled is not the same person they were when they did the problematic thing. 


The issue with cancel culture is that we are shunning people because of things that were done in the past even if they have changed. As cliche as it sounds, everyone makes mistakes, no one is perfect. It’s also an issue when an accusation is made about a person and they immediately get attacked but it turns out the accusation is false. Why is that the people that get canceled do not get the benefit of the doubt? We have become a society that is so quick to think the worst of people. We also don’t wait until more information is given. What we forget is that as people we grow everyday and we change from being ignorant to educating ourselves the older we become. 


Instead of shunning someone for something they’ve done in the past, we should be opening up conversations that can educate a mass amount of people. We should also be more aware that cancel culture is a big group of people coming together to attack one person. We are all human and we tend to forget that when we only see each other behind a screen.