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My Concerns With Cancel Culture

The internet and social media have made the world more judgmental and mean-spirited. By hiding behind anonymity, many users are using technology to bully others in the name of justice.

​​To me, canceling culture is just another form of cyberbullying. Listen, if someone needs to answer to the law, I don’t have a problem with that. The problem with cancel culture is people are being called out on their past for things that didn’t cross legal lines but what people consider unacceptable social behavior now. The law isn’t judging people but nameless faceless peers on the internet.

All the world wants to talk about is other people’s problems and flaws. They’re constantly pointing fingers, blaming people, and digging up bones from the past to torpedo a person’s reputation, their relationships, or their livelihoods.

Here are my concerns with cancel culture:

NO PERSONAL RESPONSIBLITY.

By constantly looking outward and pointing at others’ past mistakes and flaws, everyone absolves themselves of personal responsibility. None of us are without blemish or regret of our past. We’ve all done stupid stuff that if the internet had been around when we were growing up, we’d have a lot to answer to today.

​​If nobody takes personal responsibility for their own actions and past, I don’t see society going down a good road with that mentality. We will live in a world where you have nothing to worry about as long as you don’t get caught.

ANXIETY.

Cancel culture creates undue anxiety. Everyone is now forced to live looking over their shoulders. Cancel culture creates anxiety by constantly questioning our past and whether we did something or said something that we don’t now remember, but that may come back to bite us.

​​We now live a life of worry – worried about whether we’re going to be called out eventually for something from our past.

NO REDEMPTION.

Cancel culture says there’s no redemption, no forgiveness. If we’re not allowed to change or redeem ourselves, we’ll all be condemned by our past. If nobody can ever feel like they can change, progress, or move on from their past, then what’s the point in trying? My fear about cancel culture is that people will stop trying to change.

Everyone loves a redemption story, but cancel culture will cancel those stories. Here is one of my favorite redemption stories:

In 2000, 23-year-old Cornealious Anderson III, nicknamed Mike, was arrested for robbing a Burger King at gunpoint. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison, released on bail, and told to await orders on when to show up to serve his time. Due to a clerical error, the orders never came. Mike never went to prison. Instead of using his freedom to commit more crimes, Mike started his own construction business, became a youth football coach, and volunteered at his local church. He also got married, had three children, and became a well-liked member of his community.

Thirteen years after being released on bail, the state discovered their error and put Mike behind bars for nearly a year. As the case received international coverage, an online petition for his release gained more than 35,000 signatures. After a court hearing that lasted a mere 10 minutes, the judge conceded that Anderson was a changed man and granted him credit for the years he should have been in prison. A teary-eyed Anderson walked out of the courthouse with his wife and daughter, telling reporters that he was grateful to God.

My biggest fear about cancel culture is that it will instill a mentality of being condemned to our pasts – that we can’t change no matter what we do.

​​This apathy will start to creep into every aspect of our lives – from our relationships to our finances. This will close minds and hearts to new possibilities and opportunities, and that is a scary prospect and why cancel culture shouldn’t be allowed to continue.

MIKE AYALA

MIKE AYALA

Mike Ayala has owned and operated mobile home parks since 2007, and has been active in construction and management since he was 15 years old. He graduated from the Associated Builders and Contractors 4-year project management program at age 22 and then became a licensed instructor. He is also the host of the Investing for Freedom podcast.