People Are too Sensitive Nowadays

Dear Editor,

For the majority of human history, people have disagreed with each other’s opinions. But these kinds of relationships now take place differently because of the internet, especially social media. Nowadays there are countless people who can go online and criticize the actions or comments of others, and organizing groups to take part in public debate has never been simpler. Cancel culture makes individuals realize that their personal opinions aren’t always respectable, but it also doesn’t inform them of the reasons why they are unhelpful and problematic, allowing the ugly ideology behind cancellable actions to grow unchecked. Some people have viewed cancel culture as appropriate in some situations because it appeared to give disenfranchised persons and organizations a tool to silence someone they found unpleasant. On the other hand, cancel culture has been criticized as a detrimental, even toxic, method of oversimplifying complicated topics and promoting fast judgments that can easily lead to severe penalties in less offending instances. 

 Movements to “cancel” usually target famous people and influential social and political figures. Specifically, with the app Tiktok, there has been a crazy rise in drama or feuding between celebrities, popular creators, and even people who aren’t even famous but create a dramatic story to get known. As well as some other social media platforms they allow people to quickly share any recent celebrity drama. For example, I think we can all remember the slap from the 2022 Oscars that caused the cancellation of Will Smith. As comedian Chris Rock was delivering an award, Will Smith startled the audience by storming onto the stage and slapping him due to a joke Mr. Rock said about Mr. Smith’s wife, Jada. The following day, Mr. Smith issued an apology for his behavior, saying: “Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally. I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness”. Usually, celebrities can atone for their actions if they take a specific period of time to remain silent, abstain from social media, and refrain from taking part in any press appearances. Then, slowly coming back, they can explain that they have “made every effort” and are regretful. 

 At the end of the day, we are all human and we all make mistakes! There are much more bigger and important issues that are going on in our world today that we need to be focusing on than having our full attention on celebrity feuds. Canceling a person is not healthy and never okay. Individuals must be allowed to learn from their mistakes rather than being penalized because they are still developing their identities and world views. It must be present in public debate because of the nature of its consequences. The harm caused by the actual occurrence or comment is frequently outweighed by the collective bullying and dismissal of individuals for relatively insignificant, isolated actions or words. Should someone lose their name or their job—their whole livelihood, possibly even the livelihood of their family—as a result of one tweet? Do they deserve to have their lives destroyed, their homes attacked, and their inboxes flooded with death threats? No. It takes flexibility, forgiveness, and understanding to maintain good mental health and to view errors as an opportunity for reform rather than punishment. Don’t cave into online peer pressure when canceling; instead, do your own research and give others a chance to apologize. We’ve all made mistakes with our words and actions that we regret. Everybody has erred. And even online, we all deserve second chances.


Andrea Ivarez, DVC student