Cancel culture is a term that has entered our vocabulary. And the ones who have created it are the younger generations, but mainly Generation Z. They make up the majority of college students too, which should make universities aware of their impact, needs, and expectations. Protests are nothing new to the world, they have existed forever.
But nowadays, they are growing and growing at a much faster pace than before. The easiest example is that of Greta Thunberg, a 19 years old climate activist who became well known around the world at the age of 15. She is the one who started the movement “School Strike for Climate” and where millions of peers around the world joined her. So, what is cancel culture? Are there innocent victims of cancel culture? Let’s find out.
Cancel culture definition
As mentioned above, cancel culture is a term that entered our vocabulary recently. It refers to those young activists willing to ostracize a company, business, or someone. The reasons might be diverse, but they are mainly environmental, political, or justice. One of the most famous examples of people who have been canceled in 2020 is Ellen DeGeneres. In a report published that year by a news outlet, people of her staff accused her of having a toxic working culture. Being a famous television host, many people were outraged by the report, so they stopped giving it support.
Psychology students in college are studying the effects of cancel culture on mental health. Because the problem with cancel culture is that it comes with significant mental effects not only on those who have been canceled but, on the cancelers, and bystanders too, you can read a cancel culture essay to understand what cancel culture mean and its effects. People might be frightened and scared that they will be canceled, hence losing the support of those around them if they are real. Which makes more room for anxiety to appear in a time already described by high levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
Social Media and Technology
Cancel culture is mainly made up of Generation Z and Millennials. Who has a different perspective on money and spending than older generations. They might be the first that put a great emphasis on the return of investment they get. They want to have financial stability and they are willing to let go of things and experiences they want and that would dwindle their financial security.
But, at the same time, they are the ones to speak out when something is not right. And social media is their greatest ally. This is one of the reasons why so many social and civic movements gained momentum so fast during the years. Take a look at movements such as Black Lives Matter, School Strike for Climate, or Metoo.
Having access to technology since you are born shapes your understanding of the world. You have a different perspective on money, justice, and politics. These are the generations that are now the majority of college generations and are not afraid of speaking up their thoughts and ideas. And they always have technology that helps them spread their ideas.
It will not sound surprising that these two generations are taking their decisions based on cancel culture. All of them are aware of the environmental impact of certain decisions. And they also know the companies, banks, and people that are supporting companies that destroy the environment.
So, with the help of social media, they plan to cancel those companies. They will no longer buy their products or services and they will protest against them. And this virtual word-of-mouth will slowly become well-known around the world and in their communities.
Of course, they will not cancel that company forever. If they see that consistent steps have been taken to repair the damage and change the policies, they can offer their support back. But cancel culture has a tremendous power nowadays, especially among Generation Z who have idealistic worldviews.
As cancel culture is a new term that has entered our vocabulary in the last few years, a lot of studies try to define it and its characteristics. However, its power is impressive and it is thanks to technology and social media. Generation Z and Millennials represent the majority of cancel culture and they are willing to raise their voices against companies and people who are unjust, toxic, and damaging.
Author Bio: Michael Turner is a content writer and blogger. He writes articles on topics such as politics, society, and social movements. Michael is an active climate activist who goes to protests and supports climate NGOs.