If you have been on social media this week, by now you would know about the situation surrounding James Charles and Tati Westbrook. I am personally not a huge fan of James Charles, I never really connected with him or his videos. I am not defending him or his actions and I won’t be addressing any of the drama surrounding him, there are enough videos on drama channels for that. I am a big believer in that there are three sides to every story, two are the views of those involved and the third is what actually happened. Also because in the world of social media you never really know what is true, fake or speculation.
Since the situation first surfaced online James has lost almost 3 million subscribers, within a matter of days. Which is a first in YouTube history, what unfortunately isn’t a first in YouTube history is cancel culture.
‘Cancel culture is a term used to refer to the phenomenon of “cancelling” or no longer supporting people-usually celebrities, events, artworks such as songs, films, TV shows or things that many have deemed unacceptable or problematic’ – Wikipedia
Don’t get me wrong I am all for boycotting someone or something that you don’t agree with or want to support, we all have the right to our own opinions. It’s when boycotting turns into bullying is when I have an issue. Literally, overnight James went from having 16 million people who loved him, bought every product he created and supported everything he did. To millions of people attacking him, sending death threats, filming videos destroying his products, creating fake text receipts, mean memes and hurtful messages and videos all over the internet. All the features of cancel culture contribute to cyberbullying, cyberbullying includes sending, posting or sharing hurtful, false, harmful or negative content online about someone else. Which is exactly what is happening to James and the many others that have been subjected to cancel culture. The current relationship between supporters and influencers is complex because influencers are dehumanized and put onto a pedastool, expected to be perfect. As a result, when they do end up messing up the view people have of them is shattered and they jump on the cancel culture bandwagon. But the reality is that Influencers, Youtubers and even celebrities are no different to you or me. They have a personal life, family, friends and feelings. We are all human we all mess up, it’s part of growing up and the only way we truly learn and grow as a person. The only difference is that unlike us their mess ups are broadcasted all over the internet and mainstream media. So instead of having a few people disappointed in them, they have millions.
Hence why I am worried about the effect of cancel culture on the victim, because it’s putting cyberbullying to the extreme. Instead of dealing with a few bullies they are dealing with millions and there is no escape. Causing to the victim to feel:
- Vulnerable and powerless
- Unsafe both online and in person
- Humiliated and exposed
- Disinterested in life
- Unhappy with who they are
- Alone and isolated
- Anxious and depressed
- And in some cases lead to self-harm and suicide
The effect of cancel culture brings to light a bigger issue surrounding heard mentality and our treatment towards others. It honestly makes my heart hurt to see how much enjoyment people are getting from picking someone apart and watching their career fall apart. And it makes me wonder what this is teaching our generation and younger generations? That it’s ok to bully someone if you don’t like them or their actions because it isn’t a big deal, because it’s just a funny meme, the tea is hot and everyone is doing it. Cancel culture has become a legitimate excuse for people to bully others online. However, what they don’t realise is that cyberbullying not only harms the online reputation of the victim but those participating in the bullying as well. Everything you share online both positive as well as negative or hurtful content becomes a permanent online record, that everyone has access to.that includes future schools, employers and anyone else looking into you. If you searched up your full name right now what would come up? Keeping in mind that everything you have ever posted, shared, commented or liked will come up. What goes on the internet stays on the internet.
Every time you go online you have a choice, you can either spread the toxicity or you can take a stand and stop it. You can still educate someone on why what they have done is wrong without tearing them down, remember to take a step back and think about how you would feel if you were on the receiving end of the message, meme, comment or video. Together we have the power to cancel, cancel culture!
– What is your opinion on cancel culture and the James Charles situation? Comment down below I’d love to know! xx
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