By Chloe Gile
As social media activity rises, so has the concept of “cancel culture”. Nowadays, it seems that you can’t hold a platform on social media without being cancelled at least once. The concept of getting cancelled can be defined as the withdrawal of support from a person who has done, or said, something deemed “socially unacceptable”. This idea may have started off as a joke, or a genuine effort to raise awareness surrounding an influencer’s undeserved platform, but at what cost will we decide enough is enough?
During the pandemic especially, there has been a spike in cancellations. The Times Now News explains in great detail how the excessive amount of time spent at home during the past year has given people more time on their hands to worry about what other people are doing. We have gotten to a point where there is no room for opinions anymore and if everyone is not on the same page (which would be impossible) there is a high chance of being publicly shamed on the Internet.
Believe it or not, this sense of cancellation in the social media world is not exclusive to influencers and celebrities. This issue has extended to actively cancelling people in our communities, places of work, and even college campuses. For example, over the past year, the University of Oregon has been presented with multiple social media accounts created for the sole purpose of reporting, calling out, and “cancelling” other college students for not following the current COVID-19 guidelines. Although the accounts were created from a place of concern for the Eugene community, and had a pure desire to prevent the spread of the virus, things have gotten ugly.
Accounts like these are no longer informative, helpful, or impactful. They are surrounded by malicious intent and have curated unnecessary drama throughout the community. Unfortunately with the number of COVID-19 cases in Oregon rising, something does need to be done to combat the inevitable spread, but social media cancellations have just become a distraction to the real issues at hand. Do people think that these posts will motivate students to reform their actions, or instigate them to act out even further?
This stands for other issues in the world as well. When change is necessary, is the best thing to do focus on de-platforming the people in the wrong, or make positive efforts towards change within oneself and the people in your own circle? Depending on the scenario, it could go both ways. There are instances when a person may not be worthy of anyone’s support anymore, but after a year of the social media world being set in this mindset of cancellation, you would think people would grow tired of cancelling others and experiencing no real change to the issues at the core.