Compared to our parent’s generation or decades before, teens have been more vocal about issues in our country and world. The method of how respect should be shown, culture is presented, and opinions differ from person to person, making it hard to stay 100% politically correct. Someone always ends up offended. Granted there are topics that are just blatantly wrong like racism, homophobia, and rape, but the internet has now turned into a toxic outlet to invalidate each other’s opinions rather than properly discuss and debate the topic.
‘Cancelling’ people is an element of this toxic culture and we see it being used to target musicians, influencers, and actors. It is a form of boycott from their content because of horrible statements or actions surfacing online. This can include people bringing up claims from years and decades ago. But where do we draw the line with ‘cancelling’ people and just blatantly attacking without proper research? What makes it so toxic is that people are so quick to attack without knowing the context of the story. Most of these influencers or celebrities are being attacked for or with things they’ve said almost a decade ago, during a time where being ignorant and close-minded was sadly normality. But I don’t disagree that these things are horrible to say nor am I defending their ignorance, but if we compare the dynamic of respect and knowledge on outside cultures and habits we had then to now, it is completely different. But actions like rape and assault from a long time ago from celebrities or influencers do not fall under this issue, it drives a further division from this into a more serious issue.
Ignorance plays a giant role in toxicity on the internet when it comes to other’s cultures and inner structures. Although the internet is all about speaking up for others who don’t have a voice, there is a clear division between helping and fighting other people’s battles. For example, if someone that isn’t my ethnicity is to state that someone else is appropriating my culture, I believe, they don’t have the right to do so because they are not directly affected by it and they also don’t speak for the entirety of my ethnicity.
We live in a day and age where we are so entitled to our opinions that we focus more on proving people wrong rather than realizing people’s mistakes and allowing them to learn. But what do we do when we come across people who just want to fight on the internet? No matter how driven that person who differs from the popular opinion we should be educating the public with actual facts rather than speculations, it is unrealistic to say that we can simply end toxicity on the internet but being more informed in our world will make the tensions on the internet decrease.