By: Mia Hope
Social currency has been circulating heavily in this new market of likes, comments, and subscribers. We follow celebrities, trends, and other friends in hopes of staying in the loop, showing support, or just outright being nosey. One of the most popular places to gather and share our thoughts is Twitter. Twitter has been a place for classic memes, quick access to share our thoughts, stories, and moments.
Yet in recent times it has become a canceling l playground. “Cancel Culture” is a form of ostracizing someone who has done something unacceptable. That person is cast out of the social, professional, friendship circles both in media and real-world scenarios. The parameters for being canceled can be racism, sexual assault, pedophilia, insensitive comments, political leanings, etc. This can be a dangerous playground to play on. The culture of canceling can overlook a major step in a social discourse which is “opportunities to learn and conversations.” The question begs to ask, “Has Cancel Culture gone too far?”
Today in the age of social justice and social movements it has been a major platform to educate and create important, educational and insightful “threads” to encourage discussion and bring focus to the main issues. Some of these movements have been distracted from due to the massive group of twitter mobs that swoop in with the gavel of canceling ready to chop off the head of the accused before any facts are checked, words are spoken, or educating is provided. These chatrooms and threads brew an air of divisiveness and criticism.
To come to the reality that people and celebrities are not always the people you created and imagined them to be can be hard. The alienation and lack of fact-checking can and, in some way, has turned into this gladiator ring of hurt feelings, ending careers and shutting down the open space for free dialogue and discourse. This is not to ignore that there is a thin philosophical line between freedom of speech and hate speech. We must hold people accountable for their actions.
Court of Public Opinion
Opening this court of public opinion can cause irreversible damage. Has Twitter gone too far? Unfortunately, we can say “yes”, but at the same time, Twitter is just the vessel of the people and their own opinions. This opens up the conversation of how we can engage with one another away from the screen and have physical conversations with another. There are a certain detachment and confidence behind the screens with what we can say. I encourage us to take a step back and think of what we say. Words have power.
And, if you really want to hold a celebrity accountable, I suggest trading in your social currency with actual currency. Do not support their brand, product, or source of revenue. Do this… AFTER, you have checked all the facts. You will save yourself and actively contribute to the betterment of society.