Kamohelo Eugene Mabuya 2018484796 Essay Draft 1 The strength and capability with which our every word is recorded, catalogued, and archived has expanded rapidly since the rise of information technologies and social media platforms. What is or rather, was once a platform which enabled individuals to engage in different forms of online interactions, has morphed into “a powerful force in contemporary life paving the way for the rise of digital participatory cultures and social movements” (Velasco, 2020:1). With just a few gestures, the totality of any individual’s verbal or written expression can be resurrected, resuscitated, and revived under the hoax that the individual is indebted to those statements eternally. An example of this is the modern derivative of the Call out culture – the Cancel Culture.
The “cancel culture” demands social change and addresses the deep inequalities in keeping the oppressed, oppressed. Critically analyse the advantages and disadvantages of the “cancel culture”.
Introduction The power with which our every single word is recorded, catlogued, and stored has grew rapidly since information technologies and social media platforms were on the rise. What was once a platform that connected individuals through different forms of online interactions has now changed into what is said to be “a powerful force in our modern life making way for the rise of digital participatory cultures and social movement” (Velasco, 2020:1). This opened up space for debates as well as judgements in the social media platforms. Raging from public figures to normal people, everyone seek social acceptance especially from online interactions and in order to gain it, they have to speak their truth into existance. Cancel culture has advantages that are most likely greater than its disadvantages because information that is disclosed on social media needs to be monitored as not everyone is kind enough to space personal emotion.
There are advantages pertaining cancel culture in the social network society. Firstly, the network society is not a place of isolation but a hypersociety according to sociologist Manuel Castells. Individuals have right and freedom to speech. Individuals are also free to choose who they want to be, which can later lead to drastic consequences. Thus, majority of people try to connect their every day real time lives to their online lives. This fully blends technology into our lives slowly but surely. This is usually done by public figures or celebrities to make us normal people keep up with their lives, which then gives us the power to use our voices upon those very same celebrities we follow. We have the power to discriminate, judge, decide or CANCEL! Secondly, celebrities have to be very careful when posting or commenting or making a statement in social media. It is common that celebrities know what to expect when they are about to post something on the internet. It is said to be that individuals who were cancelled before overcame the fear of social acceptability. Some of them even delete or deactivate their social media accounts after being cancelled or cyber bullied. Thus, advantages of cancel culture are few but they still benefit the public as much as it affects it.
As much as there are advantages of cancel culture, there are also disadvantages surrounding the cancel culture in the internet today. People are not only erased from the public, this is done by either publicly shaming someone, deplatforming or demanding someone to be fired according to Beiner (2020). It could also be from a threat, but in contemporary life, a threat encountered online could only mean a meme, or a chain message. In addition, individuals who have been publicly shamed are less likely to recover from the embarrassment. They might feel bullied or feel like they lost their power to express themselves or their feelings. This can also lead an individual to anxiety or depression or more serious health issues. But, with regards to Natalie Pang from the National University of Singapore, people who were socially excluded from the internet are now free to state their minds and express themselves. They now have a voice, but at the cost of someone’s live. Even though people who gets to experience the disadvantages of cancel culture, people on the other side gets to experience the advantages of it.
Cancel culture is needed in order for feelings to be freely expressed in the social media concept but not forgetting the disadvantages coming with it. For example, a celebrity or an influencer might express something that might have occurred to him or her, this can be something that the celebrity experienced in his/her life. This is totally fine but others will not see it the same way. So it is internally harmful. The freedom that is granted to the public is overly unlimited which makes it more easily for people to judge, discriminate or misuse the internet. But, in order for cancellation to be allowed, the public has to be very sensitive about it and consider other people’s feelings like celebrities. The public should know that public figures are humans with real feelings too. Therefore, all social networking platforms should have enough limitations to limit the public from cancelling or shaming anyone in the same concept.