Cancel Culture

The Cancel Culture (formerly referred to as the “call-out” culture) is now how people are using social media to publicly shame (usually celebrities or brands) due to what they deem is a controversial issue or act.

Whether it’s politics or the car you drive, it seems everyone has an opinion.

However if something is against their beliefs or morals, instead of having a diplomatic conversation – or seeking the truth, it’s easier to use their keystrokes to jump to conclusions — and assume it’s true since it’s on the Internet.

There’s no rewind online

The Internet is unforgiving, even if Chris Pratt or any celebrity that makes a mistake (thinking back to Kevin Hart) true or false — the gang-like mentality of social media can be overwhelming.

The fact is the digital population doesn’t take a moment to determine cyber-fact from cyber-fiction. They will quickly destroy a career and reputation within a few clicks and taps of their keypad.

The Cancel Culture is very troubling, since many of these people are adults acting like children; they are all quick to react without taking the time to consider all sides of a story.

No one is perfect, many of us have made stupid comments or even posts years ago and what we’re witnessing is the corrosion of humanity. People use the power at their fingertips to ruin and hurt others — and they don’t think twice about it.

Online reputation and being canceled

Your online behavior is a reflection of your offline character. If you are the shamer or the person being shamed, your online reputation can be affected. We are all a click away from digital disgrace, including being canceled!

It’s an aim and shame society online – and sadly, celebrities or major brands typically take the hit, since they are public figures or easy targets.

What we learn from this is no one is immune to online hate (even celebrities); Bad things happen to good people online, this doesn’t have to define you.

We are living in very contentious times, especially for those that have strong viewpoints and believe that others are wrong or bad people for not having their same belief system.

Right or wrong, in these heated times anyone can easily become a target for almost anything. Especially if it pertains to politics, religion or race — if you have ever made any comments (whether in jest or not) – you never know how they can come back to haunt you or be taken out of context.

Young people especially need to think twice before engaging in this type of behavior, it can literally define your future. Whether it’s applying to colleges or interviewing for jobs, your online behavior is available to anyone that puts your name through an Internet rinse cycle. 

People today are quick to judge and slow to consider all the facts behind these posts or images. It’s really sad – since you can ruin an innocent person’s life, especially regarding their online reputation – which is just about everything today. 

Like online shaming, there are very few instances that the Cancel Culture has a place in our society.

3 Ways to avoid being canceled

Personally, I’m not convinced that the cancel culture will be gone anytime soon. For now, here are 3 ways you can navigate online safer.

Avoiding Being Canceled:

  1. Share with care: If you can’t contribute constructively, consider not sharing your thoughts at all. The truth is, if you have a strong viewpoint you might be better off telling them to your friend offline. You will be less likely to risk online controversy or shaming at all.
  2. Politics and religion: This is a very slippery slope and you want to be very careful on how you share your comments. Your online behavior is always a reflection of your offline character. You might be strong in your convictions, but could it cost you a job, relationship or career. It’s also important to remember your words don’t always translate the way you want them to online. So much can be taken out of context.
  3. Humor: Everyone loves a laugh, but keep in mind that online context (tone especially) can translate very differently. What may seem harmless and humorous to you – could be construed as sarcasm and cruelty to others.

Maybe canceling has some good intentions such as people wanting to bring awareness to social justice causes. People don’t get canceled for having bad hair or preferring pineapple on their pizza, but because they’ve done or said something problematic.

If you use common sense and keep it friendly, you shouldn’t fear being canceled or shamed (though it’s never a guarantee online). If you do make a mistake (we’re all human), be accountable, apologize swiftly. Remember, even if you do remove it – chances are good someone already copied it to another place in cyberspace.

It might be time to take a digital detox.

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