Cancel Culture is an internet phenomenon with (very) real world consequences.
Once upon a time, people who behaved badly were publicly shamed and exiled. But these days, you can’t just kick someone out of the village. Thanks to the internet, we are all connected all the time…and the internet rarely forgives and never forgets. That doesn’t stop the people you offend from trying to SHAME and REMOVE you (socially, professionally, literally, etc.).
Here’s how it works: I say or do something that someone finds inappropriate or offensive. They post it on social media. Other people share it. It goes viral, and suddenly an angry mob is baying for my blood. The mob goes after my job, my reputation – maybe even my children or my life.
As a society, this form of public shaming exists for a reason – we want to keep our neighbors in line and make sure our communities are abiding by certain values. It’s the public applying pressure to do the right thing (what exactly that means obviously varies depending on your social and political beliefs). At its best, Cancel Culture holds society to a higher standard. At its worst, it’s a witch hunt with sadistic consequences.
Celebrities are no strangers to Cancel Culture (be it for actual wrongdoings like sexual assault or simply perceived insults) and many companies have seen Cancel Culture hit their bottom line (Goya is currently being boycott by many in the LatinX community after the CEO came out supporting Trump. Facebook felt the heat when they were caught disseminating false news. Lululemon came under fire for body shaming. The list goes on…).
But, lately, many regular people have felt the toxic, even deadly, effects of Cancel Culture as well. (I’m looking at you, Karen.)
I say this with first-hand experience of inadvertently angering the mob… Please, before you jump down someone’s throat or needlessly call the police… before you jeopardize someone’s livelihood or life, seek first to understand the whole story. Replace taking offense with having patience. Both sides need to create space for dialogue…instead of trying to cancel each other out.
Have you ever been a victim of Cancel Culture? What are your coping tactics for dealing with offensive posts on social media? Comment below and follow for more.
Beate Chelette is The Growth Architect & Founder of The Women’s Code, a training company specialized in providing companies an ROI on Balanced Leadership. She has been named one of 50 must-follow women entrepreneurs by the Huffington Post. A first-generation immigrant who found herself $135,000 in debt as a single parent, she bootstrapped her passion for photography into a highly-successful global business, and eventually sold it to Bill Gates in a multimillion-dollar deal.
Beate works with business leaders and supports organizations by developing and providing training the training, tools, and expertise to create and maintain a balanced, equal and inclusive work environment that fosters creativity, employee engagement and corporate growth.
Recent clients include Merck, Women’s Legislative Caucus of California, Cal State University Dominguez Hills, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), NFTE, CreativeLive, the Association of Corporate Growth, and TracyLocke.
Beate is the author of the #1 International Amazon Bestseller “Happy Woman Happy World – How to Go From Overwhelmed to Awesome” a book that corporate trainer and best-selling author Brian Tracy calls “a handbook for every woman who wants health, success and a fulfilling career.
To book Beate to speak or train please connect here.