Cancel Culture



Cancel culture and social media affecting the perspective of the public.

Cancel culture has always been around, there have just been different variations. Today a widespread form of cancel culture is through social media. But what is cancel culture? Merriam-Webster defines it as “…the practice or tendency of engaging in mass canceling as a way of expressing disapproval and exerting social pressure.” In simpler terms, according to NYC Gallery, today it means “…the practice of withdrawing support for public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered offensive.” 

Today, with social media, people are able to find issues to cancel people about and spread them. People cancel celebrities and influencers they have never met and know little to nothing about. Being famous now means having to be careful what you say and do because one wrong move and you’re canceled. With social media, influencers and celebrities are now held accountable for their actions. An example of this can be seen with Travis Scott. In 2021, at the Astroworld Tour during his performance, there was a crowd surge. It left more than 200 people injured and led to 10 deaths. All of that was because of poor organization. Travis Scott received immediate backlash after the event. On all social media platforms, #canceltravisscott started to trend. People who weren’t even at the concert began to cancel him because with social media they were able to hear and see what had happened at the concert.

With the widespread idea of cancel culture, we are able to see its negative effects. There are mental effects on all those involved in canceling; the canceled, the canceler, and the bystander. Sadly, when someone is canceled it is often taken too far and it turns into bullying. Those who are canceled can often feel lonely and not heard when they are bullied. People may be canceled for something that isn’t entirely true or may be justified. Sometimes the canceler is so focused on what they believe the person did wrong they don’t even listen to the person’s side of the story. This can be harmful to the canceled, who doesn’t feel heard and can’t express themselves. Loneliness and being ignored can lead to greater anxiety, depression, and suicide rates. For the canceler, many times their canceling doesn’t lead to change and may even do the opposite. This can be very frustrating when they feel like all they’ve done is for nothing. A bystander may begin to fear being canceled because they see the effect it has on those around them that have been canceled. This fear can lead to anxiety and cause people to silence themselves. 

Cancel culture usually has a negative connotation, but it can be positive as well. It can address wrongdoings and inequalities. This allows a chance for change and improvement of issues and mistakes. The fear of being canceled can also lead to people thinking more about their actions and words before they speak. There will be fewer wrongdoings in the first place.