Student Life: Effects of cancel culture

What is cancel culture and how is it affecting the everyday lives of young people?

Perhaps it’s a term you’ve never heard before, but it isn’t a new phenomenon; it’s merely become more popular and easy to spot with the rise of social media. In short, cancel culture is boycotting an individual from social circles on the internet or in real life. This typically stems from rumours and runs on a mob mentality, completely outcasting the person in question, and with no surprise, takes a tremendous toll on that person’s mental health.

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We see it all over social media. There will be a scandal centred around a celebrity, and as if overnight, this celebrity’s career can be completely derailed, even though the story is biased and poorly researched.

Cancel culture can be a very dangerous occurrence. It has lasting effects on the people involved and can seriously harm someone’s self-confidence, especially because of the rate it’s happening at and the circumstances where people make little effort to try and understand both parties.

So how does this play into the lives of youth? How does such a toxic mentality leak into the mundane and tear apart close friends and dehumanize the victim?

On a smaller scale, cancel culture can easily be found among friend groups and cliques in school. It’s part of the everyday anxieties students go through.

Because of the exposure cancel culture gets in the media, it can easily influence the young and impressionable to utilize it in their daily lives. Cancel culture, to put it simply, can be another form of bullying. Kids are fragile, and when experiencing such an issue as becoming a social pariah without warrant can be detrimental to their state of mind. In the worst cases, these circumstances can drive the victim to feel worthless, depressed, anxious and paranoid.

So what’s the best solution to fight cancel culture?

The most destructive part of this phenomenon is perhaps its prejudiced nature. If we learn to take a neutral standpoint on an issue instead of following the trend of hatred and shunning. and in place of that, use the principle of “innocent until proven guilty’’ we’ll be able to make a more ethical decision.

It’s important that we learn to educate ourselves so we can take actions that align with our own moral compass and not participate in the mob mentality that has been popularized.

Macy How is a grade 12 student at Brooks Secondary School in Powell River.

Copyright © Powell River Peak


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