We all mess up, and we should be allowed to mess up

We all make mistakes. Everyone over 35 talks almost incessantly now about how glad we are that we grew up in a time when social media wasn’t recording and sharing every stupid moment of our lives. Stupid moments of life aren’t just normal, though; they’re part of growing up.

People need to learn by testing boundaries and getting their hands slapped or burned a bit, metaphorically, but the punishment really needs to be proportional to the infraction. Tweeting something insensitive, or even racist, isn’t worth a struggle session. It just isn’t.

Nobody deserves to have their lives ruined, least of all an adolescent, over what amounts to–and, yes, I mean this 100%–a minor infraction. Call-out culture like, “dude, that’s not cool,”w/ apologies done mostly in private or small groups makes some sense. It’s proportional.

We’ve all messed up, all crossed the line, all hurt people’s feelings by being a jerk, being insensitive, testing limits clumsily, etc., and for most of us, even a mild call-out leads to feeling awful and making changes. That’s the learning process. That’s appropriate.

Cancel culture and its younger sister, social media mobbing, are genuinely horror shows, and they not only cause harm but further prevent any possibility of growth, learning, and developing from honest or just stupid or even asshole mistakes. This has got to stop.

Some of you are pointing out the flip-side of this, and I couldn’t agree more. The other side of this is learning to forgive. That’s absolutely missing from cancel culture. A mob cannot forgive, if there’s anything it can’t do. This requires practice too. So, absolutely yes!
James Lindsay (I added links)











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