…or how to hold them accountable without running them off the internet.
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. Shocking, I know, but hang in there. There has been a rash of “cancel culture” for the past year or so. Instead of cancelling people, can’t we just hold them accountable instead?
Everyone makes mistakes, whether we want to admit that or not. We all do stupid crap when we’re young. The only difference is we have the internet now. So, most of us older folks don’t have video or social media evidence of our stupidity, but we did it.
A lot of people form mobs to run people off the internet if they feel slighted in any way. This can something truly heinous or just, as hard as it is to fathom, a simple difference of opinion.
Instead of running people off the internet, let’s hold a mirror to them, metaphorically speaking. Show them the thing they did which angered or offended. Ask them to account for their behavior, no matter who it is.
It is easy to type, but it is difficult to put into practice. I know. It isn’t easy calling out a friend that’s done something less than tasteful, but it has to be done. HOWEVER, there is a difference between calling them out and tone policing, which happens all too often.
If you know your friend to be brash in how they talk, tone policing them is never the answer. I know. I am that brutally honest person that doesn’t candy-coat things. Ask them why they say what they said or did what they did. MAYBE, just maybe, there is a reason for the action. This is how you call out someone without chastising them for how they did or said something.
Normally, there is a reason for the action. Youth is often laden with ignorance of the impact of their actions and words. Someone posting something you find angering maybe something they agree with because of what they or their relatives have experienced.
This is why cancel culture should not be a thing. It does NOT take into consideration that people change or experiences may lead to the person doing the thing for which they are being canceled.
Are there exceptions? Yes, if what they did is illegal, then make sure their accountability fits the crime. Do not excuse the person if they are a minority or disabled when they have full knowledge of the crime they committed and knew it was wrong. Status should not equal exemption if a crime was committed.
The other exception if it is clear that they have not changed and have no intentions of changing. This doesn’t call for a total cancellation, but holding their feet to the fire and showing them the error of their ways will make them a pariah all the same without running them into the shadows.
Until Next Time,
Anissa “Maddy” Walker