It's undeniable that the internet has a significant and very present role in our daily lives. More than ever, we are connected through a virtual world by taking online classes, talking to our friends, and even reading this article. It's also undeniable that with the internet, we - as a society - have developed new behaviors that can be beneficial or harmful.
A specific behavior that we can see on the internet is called "cancel-culture", but what is this really? On social media, canceling is the practice of removing support from and aggressively patronizing someone that did and/or said something that could be perceived as offensive. This can happen to anyone, but we mostly see it happening with public figures and big companies. And the repercussion that this can cause in someone's life is tremendous. Some of them can have their lives completely ruined by their mistake and lose their job, or in the case of a public figure, their career can come to an end.
There’s a stark difference between cancelling someone and calling someone out. When you call someone out, you give them a chance to explain themselves and recognize their mistakes, but canceling does not work like that. People who are cancelled are not given space to talk about their mistakes or an opportunity to improve their thoughts and actions.
This topic can be met with a debate: Does cancel culture prevent or promote conversation? We can all agree that a better society would be a place in which we can all educate ourselves and promote healthy discussions. One of the main ways we can do that is to learn from our mistakes. However, cancel culture does not give you room to talk and discuss mistakes, which prevents meaningful conversation. Because of this, it does not provide an opportunity for the person to understand their error and try to improve. It also makes it harder for society to talk about important topics and understand all its facets. This only results in hampering the process of education within communities to live in better harmony.
Therefore, the current form of cancel culture does not give room for improvement and regrets: if someone makes a mistake, it would consider that "their end" even if the person admits that they are wrong and works on improving their thoughts and actions. This is the most significant loss of this culture: they deprive someone of learning from their mistakes.
Conclusively, cancel culture is not the best way to make society better. In fact, it actually does the opposite of that because it prevents conversation. As a result, people do not have the opportunity to clarify their mistakes or to educate themselves.
You may think that someone should not get away with their mistakes, so it is crucial to consider better ways we can hold people accountable. Call out offensive and harmful behavior, and try to promote conversations in which people can learn and grow from their mistakes. As we grow increasingly connected through virtual platforms, it is our duty to create a space of learnings and continual improvement.