Cancel culture commits the same crime it punishes

Cancel culture commits the same crime it punishes

Aaliyah Solano, Editor-in-Chief

Cancel culture is a staple in today’s society with social media.

“It is a psychological rejection of someone’s behavior or ideas, and then that can gain momentum with other people who may share a similar set of beliefs,” psychology teacher Jeff Purdom said.

According to an article in Psychology Today titled “What is Cancel Culture’’ their definition is, “Canceling is an individual’s volitional act of publicly rejecting and actively pursuing harm against a perceived transgressor.”

The goal of cancel culture is to demonstrate and have others consider how their actions can hurt others.

“I use their mistakes [those who have been canceled] as a learning lesson to put myself in a position not to get canceled. There is learning and reflection that comes with cancel culture,” junior Camryn Knobbe, said.

“The danger with “cancel culture” is the line between being held responsible for your actions/words/behavior and public intimidation for any views that don’t align with everyone else’s,” Purdom said. “The idea of individuals being held accountable for the things they have done and said can have great power in society. But how that power impacts culture, in general, seems to be the main issue people have with ‘cancel culture’.”

However, the consequences that come with being canceled can even be worse than what the accused has done.

“When it is communicated through social media and joined in by other individuals who feel the same way or are looking for an “outrage fix,” canceling spreads like a contagion, amplifying the harm to the canceled entity. It becomes social canceling. Instead of one person, a group now seeks punitive action against the canceled entity,” according to Psychology Today.

With cancel culture affecting present society, regular daily existence has been exposed to change.

“The way people acted three to four years ago is way different than they act now,” junior Andrew Garcia said. “It’s like society is so soft now.”

“Everything is online and out in the open for everyone to see and we base our judgment on how a person should be off their social media,” senior Christina Rukujzo said.

The vast majority of the present cancellations come from offending one or various groups; whether it is by race, gender, or sexual orientation.

“What is Cancel Culture” by Psychology Today composes the frequent narrative that is associated with cancel culture: “Just about every week we see the
same story. Someone takes a jittery smartphone video of a white person caught in the act of doing something that’s labeled racist. An army of online commentators mobilizes. The video goes viral. And the person in the video is publicly shamed, often losing a job or being ostracized by the community. His or her name becomes a hashtag for hate.”

Rather than righting wrongs, some feel these actions are unfair.

“We expect so much from people that we don’t even expect in ourselves,” Knobbe said. “The lines are blurred between what is ok and isn’t. Society is walking on eggshells to say anything.”

The material that gets canceled was not always intentionally offensive.

“Whenever you post something, the intention is never to offend anyone,” sophomore Amaury Solano said, “but at the same time I think today’s generation is just sensitive.”

Many accept that individuals follow the publicity of cancel culture to follow the group.

“It’s all for publicity. Everyone wants to cancel someone just to be big,” Knobbe said.

“I’ve been canceled twice,” said Garcia, “I took a break from Tiktok when I was most relevant but like I could’ve been big [on that app]. We’ll
never know now.”

Cancellations among adults have been known to strip one’s livelihood. Jobs have been lost and reputations have been tarnished.

“Some cancellations come with valid reasoning, but what good is ruining someone’s life going to do,” said Solano.

“If they aren’t sorry for their actions, getting other people’s opinions and reactions isn’t always the best thing to be used in order to hold someone accountable,” Rukujzo said.