We all are aware of the cancel culture. Recently, it has been used on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. In 2022 it’s become quite common to hear words such as this person is getting cancelled. To be more specific, let’s take the example of J.K Rowling.
She is the author of the famous Book Series Harry Potter, which was cancelled because she remarked on the Trans Community. This is just one of the many instances where the Cancel culture comes into the picture.
The word ‘Cancel’ is easy to understand; when an individual does not like a product, he or she might cancel their order, or your payment is cancelled. But is it this simple to understand what a cancel but a Cancel culture is a social way of showing disapproval on social media for celebrities.
Not only celebs even in Professional life, Cancel culture has become more predominant. In this article, let’s examine what Cancel culture is and why it has been so prominent in the west? And what are the significant effects of Cancel Culture?
What is Cancel culture?
The Cancel Culture is relatively new, and folks have used it since the late 2010s and early 20s. The meaning of the cancel culture is still being formulated since the term is quite new and is still being researched based on people’s online behaviour.
Cancel culture which more people are familiar with are removal or withdrawal of support for a Public figure to show disapproval. Cancel culture has been widely used on Social media, where groups of people show disapproval by forming a community against opinions, remarks, and even celebrities.
Origin of Cancel Culture
The start of the Cancel Culture dates back to 2014, when one of the contestants of Love and Hip Hop, a VH1 reality show, Cisco Rosado, used the Phrase on his then Girlfriend Diamond when she said she had a daughter. The word then had been used by many people on Twitter as A joke to show disapproval of their actions.
It has become more mainstream, and many prominent figures have been subjected to this culture. Not only prominent figures but also Big Brands have been subjected to Cancel culture. In recent times, even an old post or a tweet can be resurfaced and create new controversies for which the person or brand can get cancelled.
Another notable origin of cancel culture can be traced back to 2017 when the MeToo movement had given an opportunity for abuse survivors to come 4th and tell their stories and expose the abusers. This created a sense of support and unity within the people and gave courage to many to come forward and speak about their abuses and how they felt.
Cancel Culture and Politics
This light-hearted medium of showing disapproval and criticism has gained the attention of its mainstream audience and has become a political discussion. The cancel culture has expanded beyond the horizon and is now used for accomplishing things. Many activists believe that the culture suppresses the Freedom of speech of an individual.
Hundreds of examples can be given as an example for cancelling culture and how it varies. But will socially outcasting someone really make them distinct and not bring more consequences.
Pros of Cancel Culture
As everything has pros and cons, a cancel culture also has pros and cons. So let’s take a look at the pros of cancelling culture.
- One of the major advantages of the cancel culture is that it allows a group of people to raise their voices and show someone that their behaviour is not accepted. This encourages people to come forward and raise concerns about people doing wrong, even with great influence and power. People with power should be held accountable for mistakes and guided on how they can hurt someone’s sentiment.
- Cancel cultures promote accountability for the people who are being called out. With a cancel culture, it has become normal to bring people offensive behaviour in front of people and hold them accountable for their mistakes. This also makes them real life and helps them grow and educate themselves on the same topic of interest of conversation to be more open about their views.
- Culture helps in the growth of a person. It allows people to correct their behaviour and grow empathy.
Cancelling celebrities has allowed fans to correct public figures, which helps in growth and makes a person aware that some of their actions are hurtful and they need to grow more sympathy.
Cons of Cancel Culture
- One of the biggest cons of Cancel culture is that it focuses more on ending a person’s career, and it may seem like people can’t correct their mistakes and change.
- Cancel Culture has been seen as a form of bullying and can be one of the reasons for violence, irrespective of what the person is getting cancelled for. In a study, it was found that both Cyberbullying victims and Bullies both showed signs of PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- At some point, the Cancel culture feeds no good deed and does not bring any social change.
- It can lead to intolerance among the people and does not allow one to express their views fully.
Why has the Cancel Culture become more Popular?
There are a few of the reasons which have caused this Cancel Culture to become more prominent.
It helps in increasing Social Status
Cancel culture has become a ladder for people. People with status and money are very relative to those who want to have status and money. The latter is said to get a more lofty post when comparing the two. People around them drive their success and need their status to be maximized by seeking new ways. Cancel Culture is the perfect way to achieve Sociometric status.
It helps in strengthening bonds Cancel culture helps people to form new bonds within a group while doing something good. When we take the MeToo movement, this allows Victims to grow closer together and share their stories of how their abusers were living life freely. This culture helped them to grow closer and gave them a sense of security and protection. Though cancel Culture may not focus on educating a person about another person’s mistake, it does bring a certain group of people together.
People in the west have various opinions. Some portion of the population thinks that Calling out people on social media is very helpful and accountable, while the other half does not feel the same way. The cancel Culture harms your mental health, which is true for the person involved in the Cancel Culture and the person being called out.
- Cancel Culture can be termed bullying and make it impossible for people to cope with the trauma. This isolates people, causing a sense of loneliness and depression, with higher suicide rates.
- Being cancelled can now also mean the end of one’s career; hence, it doesn’t allow one to openly speak about their thoughts and views. If you have already been cancelled, a sense of giving up before trying can be very dangerous.
One can take good care of their mental health, and this whole Cancel Culture thing can be very toxic, and some precautions might need to be taken by an individual to protect themselves and their mental health.
- Know when your emotions are getting heightened, and know your triggers.
- Review what you post and filter what is unnecessary if you feel unsure about a certain tweet or caption.
- If you know you are wrong, apologize, this will help maintain your inner peace. Have a genuine explanation for your mistake and take a step to correct it.
- Know why people got all worked up, and this will really tell if you are trying to understand the other side better too.
- Talk to someone who will help you and recover from it.
It’s very controversial to say whether Cancel Culture is good or bad. There are some aspects of Cancel culture that can help the society grow, while there are some aspects which make Cancel Culture toxic and intolerable.