Why Cancel Culture Is Toxic Essay
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Why Cancel Culture Is Toxic
The use of social media has grown tremendously over the years. People worldwide interact through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Most public figures have millions of followers on social media platforms; therefore, they should be cautious of their actions and statements because the online community is always there to judge. The cancel culture is a phenomenon where people who have spoken, written, or acted in a manner that is not socially acceptable are shunned and snubbed. Twitter is most notorious for canceling people. The canceled individuals face a lot of backlash from the online community, whose aim is to end the individual’s careers or lose their social status. Cancel culture is toxic as it affects the mental health of affected individuals, is nuanced, leads to loss of jobs, and does not encourage accountability.
Mental health is crucial for the well-being of an individual. Immediately someone acts or says something that most online people think is wrong; they are instantly canceled. The person gets insulted by thousands of people and is verbally attacked within minutes (Nast). This mentally damages the individual as they feel like the whole world is attacking them. Their inbox and post comment sections are filled with insults, which pile on for days. So, when did cancel culture start and how it influences people? One gets tensed and cannot carry on with their daily activities. Online attackers are stuck with the notion that they are right and other people, especially celebrities, are wrong. They believe that if they do not like or agree with someone, they can stop supporting them immediately and influence others to do so. The canceled people might result to hide or lock themselves up in a room and switch their phones to keep off from everyone. For example, cancel culture celebrities isolate themselves and drown in deep thoughts that could lead to mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. It takes a lot of time and resources for the affected individuals to return to their normal mental state and embark on social media. Online attackers should be mindful of one’s psychological health before canceling someone.
Freedom of expression should be practiced everywhere, including on online platforms. One has the right to express their views regardless of whether they are different from others. If we will talk about cancel culture examples celebrities, the cancel culture does not give space for nuance (“Cancel Culture Is Toxic”). The social mob is too quick to allow anyone to express and defend a statement. For example, the recent remarks by Kanye West brought about public outrage, and people started putting out hashtags to cancel him. Before he could even explain himself, a lot of damage had already been done. It takes less than a minute to be canceled. Individuals are not given a chance to defend themselves. The matter gets blown out of proportion, and since social media information spreads like wildfire, it becomes hard to correct any statement or act. Deleting is not an option because people take screenshots and start circulating them immediately. This is a very toxic behavior that goes against the right to expression and make cancel culture victims facing painful conditions.
People work very hard to ensure they reach their dream careers. The cancel culture can end one’s career (“Cancel Culture Is Toxic”). A single mistake could result in losing one’s job due to public outcry. There is so much power in social media. According to social judges, one’s importance and good deeds are automatically forgotten when they are in the wrong. They put so much pressure on the employers and even threaten to cancel the offender’s place of work and brand partnerships. This is taking matters out of proportion and being too toxic to give space for an explanation. The social mob does not consider the weight of a matter before proceeding to cancel someone. The canceled individual loses public respect, and finding a desired job might be hard. Their reputation is ruined, and they have to get back to the drawing board and strategize on the way forward. People should be fair enough to weigh on a matter before canceling someone.
It is morally correct for people to be accountable for their behavior. Nevertheless, cancel culture emboldens shame and discourages accountability (Dubin and Lyons). Canceling someone makes them unable to correct their wrongs. It does not provide a solution to the root cause of a problem; it focuses on hurting the victim. One does not understand why their actions or statements are dangerous to others. The social mob might even decide to dig deeper through the internet to find past mistakes of an individual and use them to fuel the current situation. This causes more public humiliation to an individual. One might develop social anxiety and is unable to continue interacting with people.
Psychological health, lack of expression, loss of jobs, and humiliation are reasons why the cancel culture is toxic. People get prosecuted on social media platforms for putting out actions or statements that are deemed socially unacceptable by the social mob. They act as judges and persecute people by influencing others to cancel them. Canceled people’s mental health is harmed as they could develop anxiety or depression. Canceling is done so fast that people are not allowed to express themselves. Individuals could lose their jobs due to being canceled as they are seen as unfit for any workplace. Finally, people might face humiliation as they are not given a chance to be accountable. The social mob should aim at explaining to people their mistakes and giving them a chance to correct themselves instead of canceling them.
“Cancel Culture Is Toxic.” Intelligence Squared US, 9 Nov. 2021, www.intelligencesquaredus.org/debate/cancel-culture-toxic/#/.
Dubin, Alesandra, and Heather Z. Lyons. “Why Cancel Culture is So Toxic and How to Effectively Hold Folks Accountable, According to Social Media Experts.” Insider, 28 Oct. 2022, www.insider.com/guides/health/mental-health/why-cancel-culture-is-toxic.
Nast, Condé. “All The Reasons Why Cancel Culture Is So Toxic For Our Mental Health.” British Vogue, 5 Mar. 2021, www.vogue.co.uk/beauty/article/cancel-culture-toxic-for-mental-health.
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