Cancel Culture and Its Effects on Mental Health

What is cancel culture? Cancel culture refers to the withdrawal of support by fans and followers who support a certain creator, artist, actor, etc. When said person makes a comment, remark, or action that is found to be derogatory, his/ her fans have complete power to take back all support and love for that person. This results in the “cancellation” of said person, sometimes ending their career. In this article I will be further analyzing cancel culture and its effects on people’s lives.

Cancel culture has been around a long time, but just in the last three years has it really grown. A survey done by “Townhall Poll” states that since 2017, 58% of Americans have begun to self-censor influential people on the internet. Among the many that have been “canceled” or censored, Ellen DeGeneres and JK Rowling are among the notables. The award-winning Harry Potter author, JK Rowling, was canceled for making anti- transgender comments and bewildering singer/ rapper Doja Cat. This shows that even the most influential/ famous people are not safe from the threat of being “canceled”.

While cancel culture looks mainly at certain people, many TV shows, books and companies have also been “canceled”. One of the most recent examples of this, is the “cancellation” of some Dr. Seuss children’s books . It was recently brought to attention that several of Dr. Seuss’s books will be restricted because of insensitive and racist images portrayed within them. This “cancellation” is one of few that have a negative reaction by many. This is possibly because of the nostalgia that many associate with the Dr. Seuss books, as a part of their childhood.

While cancel culture may help debunk truly rude and bewildering comments, it can have a very negative effect on the person who is canceled. Oftentimes someone is “canceled” for something they said a long time ago, usually when they were teens. When these comments were posted, the teen probably did not know how much of an effect it would have. In simpler terms, we all make mistakes in our adolescent years. When a person is “canceled”, they usually make giant strides to apologize and feel genuine remorse for what they said or put out in the world. The problem is that oftentimes, their fans and followers do not accept these apologies. If we lived in a society where this always happens, then we would be nowhere. Think of the last time you made a mistake but genuinely apologized. If your apology had not been accepted, you would feel even worse about the mistake made. The overall message is that if a mistake is not accepted as a mistake, a person’s mental health may deteriorate from its premade state. In a society where many people are struggling with mental illnesses like anxiety and depression, cancel culture can be really painful and demoralizing.

We are all very aware that social media has many effects on new generations and the way they are being brought up. When you put in the extra threat of cancel culture, it is possible that future children will grow up being scared of putting any thoughts or feelings out into the world because of the risk of being “canceled”. A survey done by “CNN Health” shows that 56% of children have social media starting at the age of twelve . While social media can be useful to help communicate, mental health sometimes deteriorates because of it. Along with the effects of regular social media, when cancel culture is thrown into the mix, it may provide a very dangerous situation for adolescents and their developing brains.

All things considered, cancel culture has both positive and negative effects on this world. I employ you to do your own research and find your own examples before relying on anyone else’s, regarding cancel culture or the general topics brought on by mainstream media. Before “canceling” someone we must know all the facts and the point of view from the person you want to “cancel”. In the end, everyone has their own opinions and way of life, that overall we must respect.



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