I have been witnessing a movement with the birth and growth of social media in which people take posts, tweets or videos that contradict society and use them to try and put a stop to someone’s career and character. This has now been dubbed as cancel culture.
Cancel culture forces people to be held accountable for their actions. There are individuals that will share on social media, language and behavior that disregards another’s value; acts of outright prejudice and racism. These attitudes towards people should be followed up with proportionate consequences for the perpetrator. Many have lost jobs, promotions and friends, while others face criminal charges for their doings. These forms of conduct should not be left unaddressed allowing intolerant expressions to continue.
There is also another aspect of cancel culture that lacks the ability to grasp onto the mentality of growth. Certain posts that contain questionable rhetoric produce a push for someone to be cancelled. These posts, whether they are two days old or twenty years old, should be held to a standard of accountability from the originating person. However, the urge to cancel an individual is often preemptive to their ability to respond. A person’s reputation may be destroyed or a career ruined because there has not been space for the understanding that an individual’s views, beliefs and education can change.
I grew up in a very stringent and narrow-minded Evangelical Christian environment. I learned from a young age that any sexuality other than straight was deemed as a great sin; one that would cause a lapse in salvation unless repentance and a change in lifestyle were to occur. I believed this was the truth and held onto that view for many years of my life. I would not be surprised if there is an old social media post of mine that condones this way of thinking.
As I grew older, I realized my sexuality fell outside of the realm of what I grew up believing was right. I chose to educate myself and throughout my own growth and maturity, my worldview has completely shifted.
We grow up absorbing everything from our surroundings; home life, school culture, community atmosphere, religious beliefs, the list goes on. It is our responsibility to strip those systems and determine which of those we will adhere to, let go of, and stand against.
We have the ability to change.
Unfortunately, cancel culture has quickly become a toxic movement. Instead of calling out someone and waiting for a response on an inappropriate post, people push to completely tear down a person’s well being and livelihood. If an old post resurfaced that demonstrated my outdated narrow attitude, someone could use that to throw accusations at me without giving me the the chance to explain that I now comfortably identify with that which I once thought was so wrong.
Continue to hold each other accountable, it is important for advancement of both personal and societal growth. At the same time, hold onto the humanity of it all. We are humans; beings full of flaws, misinformation and misguidedness. We have all made mistakes and we have all said and done things we regret.
We also all grasp the capability of change, growth and transformation. So next time, instead of a cancellation, call for a confirmation. Confirm if the person has grown, if they have changed. Let’s hold each other accountable and together we can create a changing cultures instead of a cancelling culture.