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Offended For The Likes

To get real diversity of thought, you need to find the people who genuinely hold different views and invite them into the conversation.

-Adam Grant

The problem with cancel culture is not that everyone is too sensitive; I would guess that most people being labeled as “too sensitive” have thicker shields than they let on. The problem with cancel culture is this unspoken fight between everyone to become the center of attention. People use being offended to their advantage. They create long statuses on Facebook or videos on TikTok to illustrate how offended they are.

This is precisely why cancel culture produces absurdities. Cancel culture is “holding people accountable” when comedians like Bill Cosby, who has been accused of raping numerous women, no longer have access to the public. However, we shouldn’t be holding people accountable for their political beliefs. We should be creating a climate that welcomes intellectual diversity. We shouldn’t be canceling people for not understanding certain social constructs; we should be having conversations and learning from where different ideas stem.

America is a melting pot of different ideas. We can’t agree on one religion let alone one policy. Our individuality is part of what makes America great. We require freedom to express ourselves, to protest against what we believe is wrong, and to speak up for what we believe is right. Cancel culture puts a chilling effect on individuality. If you’re not repeating the dictated script or properly representing the national narrative, you are viewed as a threat by those in charge.

Holding people accountable is important. We wouldn’t want a serial rapist or murderer having access to the public because we want to protect our children from what they might have to say. We don’t want pedophile’s preaching the righteousness of pedophilia, again, because we want to protect our children. However, we’re not utilizing cancel culture to take these people down. It took decades to end comedian Bill Cosby’s access to the public. Gina Carano was fired from Disney’s The Mandalorian a day after a tweet comparing the current state of affairs to those of Nazi Germany.

Protecting our children is important, but we’re not protecting our children when we prevent them from hearing different sides to arguments. In fact, we’re placing them at a disadvantage. Children are growing immune to safe spaces—spaces that don’t naturally exist in the real world. When faced with disagreement in the real world, people don’t know how to respond because they’re not properly prepared. Instead, they jump on social media where they can characterize their experiences as traumatic and boost their serotonin levels through likes and shares.

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