In today’s heavily social-media influenced culture, something that you said online years ago can come back to severely hurt your reputation.
The “cancel culture” phenomenon has been around for a while, but has recently become more popular. Celebrities and other well-known individuals on social media platforms are more likely to be canceled, but it happens to people from all walks of life.
Celebrities like Kevin Hart, Doja Cat and Camilla Cabello have received serious backlash from the words spoken in the past. While some do not care about what was said, others feel it is important to note what happened.
This comes in various forms, including “exposing” the individual’s actions on Twitter by garnering thousands of tweets.
While these trends can lead to damage repair, most of the time they last a few days or even months before the world turns its eyes elsewhere.
The responses vary from person to person. Some notable celebrities take action by apologizing, donating to the offended cause and promising to grow and do better.
However, it is sometimes difficult to decipher who is actually seeking growth or who is only seeking their next paycheck by doing damage control on their reputations.
Though these thoughts may not have seemed blatantly insensitive then, with the culture of the world rapidly changing, continuing to speak about things like society is still in 2009 is no longer normal in 2020. We, as a society, have grown and changed.
Cancel culture often leaves out the important aspects of forgiveness and education.
Last year, Washington Post journalist Eli Saslow, author of “Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist,” shared the redemption story of Derek Black. Black was a prominent white supremecist before attending college.
He lived a double-life before being exposed on campus as a white supremeacist. Many campus community members turned their backs in disgust against Black; however, a group of students reached out to him and even invited him to attend weekly Shabbat dinners.
It was because this group of students reached out to Black that he began to question and eventually leave his old ways.
When you “cancel” someone, his or her problematic behavior does not just go away. Rather than immediately cancelling a person, give them a chance to understand what they did was wrong and then show them resources that can aid in their education to do better.