Cancel culture has become popular over the last few years. If you make a mistake, society cancels you out which means there are no second chances. While cancel culture may have been based on important movements in this country, it’s an unhealthy way to view the world because there is no room for forgiveness. However, it’s an unfortunate reality we are facing, and whether we want to believe it or not, we are all affected by it.
That’s not to say people who post horrible things shouldn’t be held accountable. The point here is that no one is safe. Whether you’re a 15-year-old in Indiana or a major celebrity, it’s a reminder that perception is a reality. We need to be aware of our words and actions now more than ever. There are celebrities losing work over old Tweets and college students losing scholarships over old pictures. This is a hard truth, but in a world flooded with social media accounts, what we see becomes what we believe.
Because we live in a world where perception is a reality, it’s easy to look at someone’s pictures on Instagram or read a handful of Tweets and begin to make assumptions about that person. We start to draw conclusions based on a few moments in a person’s life. What you see in others is who they become to you. You may think these judgments are harmless but have you stopped to think about the other side of the coin? What are you putting out into the world? What do others see when they see your social media posts? It could be a positive thing if your posts are promoting world change or equality, but if your posts are crude jokes and pictures of you partying, a new narrative is being written.
We can set our profiles to private, and we can send snaps to certain groups, but there are very real dangers behind sending and posting personal information online. A lot of this stuff is permanent, and when you are at the age of college and career, you want to ensure nothing is going to come back and bite you in the butt. It may be time to clean up your social media accounts.
Spring Cleaning Tips
Take some time to scroll through your accounts. If you’ve struggled with drinking or have been known to use in the past, you want to make sure to take down those pictures. This is not to say you should be ashamed of past choices, but others may take posts of drinking, posts where you’re clearly intoxicated, to mean this is who you are. Don’t let those old images define who you are today.
You also want to be cognizant of what you retweet or repost. If there are vulgar words, posts that are offensive or marginalize, those need to go, especially the latter. We watch people on a daily basis get called out for marginalizing tweets, racists repostings, and far worse. The same can happen to you. All an employer or school needs to do is Google your name. More importantly, if you are someone that enjoys this type of humor, it may be time to dig deeper and ask why. Your humor is a reflection of how you view yourself.
The last point stems from tone. It’s very difficult to read someone’s tone through their written words, especially if you don’t know them well. If something can be taken the wrong way, or if there is an inside joke that is seemingly offensive, it might be time to remove those posts as well. Many say the world is becoming “too sensitive,” but if someone else is the butt of a joke or comment, you may want to rethink that mindset based on compassion and kindness.
These suggestions may feel like an invasion of freedom, and if that rings true, it may be time to answer the following questions:
-What is my intention behind posting this picture, article, or tweet?
-Am I posting this for attention or validation? If so, what am I lacking in my life?
-Do I need to be on social media? If so, why?
These questions aren’t to suggest that social media is wrong or that you shouldn’t be using these apps. These questions get to the root of your actions. They reveal the intention behind your usage which could illuminate a larger issue within your heart and mind. If you are uncomfortable with the answers, it may be time to dig deeper.
The Bottom Line with Social Media
When you work for a company or attend college, you represent their mission. Most businesses, big or small, don’t want an employee partying on Facebook or posting racy content on Twitter. And colleges definitely don’t want scandal based on illegal substances and or racially charged content. You become a reflection of their values, and if they don’t align, you probably won’t be working there long and or you could quickly lose a scholarship.
If you’re still not convinced, consider this. Say you want to be a doctor, a lawyer, or a teacher, and think back to the judgments you make while scrolling. Do you want your kid being taught by a party monster? Do you want your surgeon drinking every night? Do you want your lawyer making racist jokes? We all make mistakes growing up, and there is no shame in that. But it’s time to step up into the best version of yourself and help this world grow.
If you’ve been questioning your behaviors and want to take the first step in turning your life around, professional help is always a great option. The Bougainvilla House offers adolescent behavioral health programs for individuals and families. Call us today to see how we can help 954-764-7337
, or use our convenient Contact form.