Let’s Cancel This

A brief explanation of Cancel Culture and why it should be “Cancelled”.

Over the past several years, the idea of canceling a person- in other words, culturally blocking a person from having a public platform or career- has sparked the question: Why Do We Cancel People?

People have been getting canceled since the first social media platform was made in 1997. Of course back in the 90’s it was considered Cyberbullying. When you look at the two you’ll notice that Cyberbullying and Cancel Culture are actually very similar. They both have one end goal: to kick someone off of social media for their own personal gain. This isn’t to say that people who “cancel” others are actually bullying, but when people do get canceled it’s normally in a public way through social media outlets, and it’s because of this public view that many people can become bullied online.

Social Media influencer Tana Mongeau has experienced the intensity of cancel culture on multiple occasions. Photo Courtesy: The Revealist

Take Tana Mongeau, a social media influencer, who has been canceled so much it’s hard to keep up. Now, I’m not saying she’s the perfect person, but in recent interviews, she’s explained that some of the things she’s been “cancelled” for were just rumors that still follow her today. 

Cancel Culture is often mainly based on rumors or lies. It’s hard to tell the facts from fiction with multiple news outlets such as TMZ, Star, and US Weekly. These outlets do cover news, but most of the time it’s “fake news” or exaggerated in order to engage their audience. 

Writer and stylist, Ayishat Akanbi, states in her interview for Double Down News that Cancel Culture is a complex ideal. She explains that the problem with Cancel Culture is that people often get canceled for changing their ideas, but it’s human nature to change our ideals. “Mental health is just as important as physical health, and to discard people at the first sign of something we don’t like, the two don’t mix well together with me” Akanbi states. She continues to point out that people are brought up differently with different beliefs, but that doesn’t justify canceling someone or bullying them. “If you commit a crime, then you should pay the price” Akanbi continues. 

Akanbi points out that many people are canceled for petty topics, but we often neglect that people who are canceled don’t commit violent crimes and yet they are treated like criminals. “Just because something is popular, doesn’t make it good”. Akanbi concludes her interview by explaining that through history there have been many things that have been popular, but that doesn’t mean these occurrences were good or justifiable. She also explains that it’s natural human behavior for us to change our beliefs as time goes on and we learn from our own life experiences.

Social media influencer and Tik Tok Star, Larri Merrit or commonly known as Larray, had disclosed to Genius that his song “Canceled” wasn’t meant to cancel people at all, but to inform his audience about how easy it is to make a rumor seem true. He decides to call out his friends in a comedic way because he didn’t want to “expose them because that’s lame”. He goes on to further explain that “Canceled” was to just recap on all of the stupid things his friends have been canceled for. 

Tik Tok, a social media platform on which influencer Larray gained prominence, can be a facilitator of cancel culture. (Solen Feyissa)

The song included many popular names such as: Addison Rae, James Charles, and Shane Dawson. Larray discusses how it was funny to him that most of the things he “canceled” people for were just unproven rumors. He goes on to say that people will try to cancel you to “educate you, but you tweeting me and spamming my tweets doesn’t educate me at all”. Many public figures, social media influencers especially, feel this way. Many people will bash someone’s name without having all of the proven facts. “And you calling me out and making a meme out of it is canceling me” Larray informs. He concludes his interview by saying that in 2020 we all want to be followed or noticed by someone bigger than us as a sense of validation. 

Cancel Culture can be funny at times because some of the things said can be outlandish and funny. However, the culture is toxic, especially when the ages for social media users are getting younger and younger. As high schoolers, we often fall into canceling people without even realizing it. Sometimes we are the ones getting canceled for either voicing our opinion or disagreeing with someone else’s. In my opinion, it’s cancel culture that needs to be cancelled because it does nothing but hurt others and their reputations.