Cancel culture is the most modern form of ostracism in which someone is forced out of social or professional circles — whether it be on social media or in the real world. This form of cancellation is becoming dangerously apparent in our culture today.
As the owner and senior writer for my Star Wars news site, Far, Far Away News, I experienced this shocking truth first hand.
Back in February 2019, I built and developed my own Star Wars blog and, with the help of my brother, it slowly garnered thousands of followers on various social media platforms during its roughly one and a half years of existence.
It began with my love for Star Wars. The series has always been something I enjoyed. The older I got, the more I realized how apparent its fictional stories were in the real world. You could say it was my “world between worlds” and my escape from the bitter truths of the real one.
Cancel culture is the real world. It’s not something to be trifled with.
As my site grew, I was blessed with a crew of more than 20 volunteer writers and editors who became some of my best friends, at least so I thought.
As a senior studying communication at BYU-Idaho, I was always taught to establish a distinction between your personal and professional life. I learned the hard way that this separation between self and professional identity was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
On my sites’ social media pages, I would tag my personal profile to the corresponding article I wrote, just as I did for my other writers, per their request.
As someone who is very involved in the political environment and quite outspoken about it, I would post regularly about my political beliefs and the current moral dilemma.
Unfortunately, the owner of a Star Wars podcast got jealous of my sites’ success and decided to be the next internet sleuth by revealing my political opinions to the entire Twitterverse by posting screenshots of my comments and forwarding them via direct messages to other Star Wars pages I was affiliated with.
This shocking experience led to the quick demise and cancellation of my site.
Once my political opinions went public, all of my writers, sponsors and affiliates left as quickly as you could say “Utinni.” Within hours, I was without writers, most of my followers and the will to start all over again.
I was devastated. The franchise and friends I loved turned their backs on me without a moment’s hesitation. It was all gone — except it wasn’t.
Luke Skywalker once said, “No one’s ever really gone.” He was right.
Although cancel culture reared its ugly head, I realized that nothing is ever really gone. The experience I gained, the relationships I was able to salvage, the memories and hard work I poured into something I love was all worth it.
Cancel culture doesn’t define who you are. You are defined through the experiences you make for yourself. While some experiences may be painful, no one can take away from you what you’ve given of yourself.
Cancel culture isn’t going away. The way we react and learn from it is what defines who we are.
And as Rose Tico aptly said, “That’s how we’re gonna win. Not fighting what we hate, saving what we love.”