Things get cancelled all the time for different reasons. That staycation you’ve been planning for months got cancelled because your boss didn’t approve your leave. Shows gets cancelled due to low ratings. You cancel an order after you change your mind that you don’t want it anymore. To cancel simply means to call off plans and things. But time has changed and now, the world cancels people too.
We saw how Cancel Culture is trending in the digital continent. But what does it really mean to cancel people?
Well first, we shouldn’t mistake cancel culture with another popular term the “call-out culture”. Call-out culture is the act of pointing out someone who has done something that is inexcusable. Whereas to cancel someone is to reject them, to ignore, to publicly call out their bad behavior through the internet and then take the extra step of figuratively removing them from the society, hence the term cancelling.”
With that said, there are two sides in this culture: a means to achieve social justice or a threat to human dignity. So, what is it really? It’s more complicated to see this as black and white. As we all know and perhaps realized by now is that there are a lot of gray areas in our lives and in the society itself. It’s a good thing to call-out the wrongdoing of the people, either they are public figures or an ordinary man, but it isn’t right to shame and bully them for what they did. It is true that with this kind of culture, social media forces people to acknowledge their actions and be held accountable for what they did. And because people decided to cancel people, social media also take away their opportunity to correct their own mistakes and learn from it.
In this digital time, it’s easy to be defined by one mistake, by one moment, by one click, by one social media post. We easily become judge, jury and executioner. But we have to embrace the truth that no one is perfect even with all these kinds of modernization and as long as we are human, we are bound to make mistakes. Instead of cancelling people, we should be educating them. And instead of calling people out, we should start calling them in. Addressing bad behavior is important, but so is understanding. Instead of shutting people’s voice, it’s time for us to have an open heart to listen to them instead.
We live in a society wherein voicing out criticisms has become a norm and shaming and bullying have become social powers. At the end of the day, it’s our personal decision to continuously participate in cancel culture or to start building a culture of love. Imagine a world full of acceptance, understanding, forgiveness rather than a world where people hate, shame and cancel each other. Wouldn’t you want that?