Does Cancel Culture Exist at UT?

By Jolie Prins

With everything going on during this time, students become more and more anxious to speak on behalf of their beliefs, feelings, and even morals. 

The idea of the meaning “cancel culture” is said to mean facing backlash or hate from peers for expressing unpopular beliefs.

Living in a cocoon and feeling unable to express your opinions on certain things is extremely difficult. Exploring classmates’ different ideas about what we like or dislike is undoubtedly essential for the real world to get your thoughts out there. 

“One time, I was expressing in my communication and law course that I would rather live in different times where everyone is less judged and more open to ideas,” said Kaitlin Abbene, sophomore marketing major. “After that was said, I felt attacked like I had said the worst thing possible. It was sad.”

Expressing your beliefs and ideas is especially hard because of all the new technology available today. You never know whether someone is recording your idea or thought, and it scares many people, especially me. 

There are many different social media platforms out there today. In the learning environment that you are in, you, of course, want to feel as comfortable as possible.

Being in and out of classrooms at different times, unlike regular class meetings or sizes, has been hard for students after speaking with a few classmates.

Students say this has made talking freely in public settings more awkward and less regular.

“I feel more uncomfortable being in classrooms nowadays. Not only with Covid-19 always going through my head but with 5-6 people in the class, including the professor and me, it’s hard to feel fully act like yourself and want to share ideas or opinions,” said Sarah Newcomb, senior advertising and public relations major. “I feel if you believe something and someone else disagrees on it just because they think they are correct is downgrading and messes with my self-esteem.”

This generation is safe to say, more sensitive to other people’s terms and what they think or say about you. Most people have a negative outlook on that. Specifically, I included.

“Cancel culture” is a highly trendy phrase currently. Sometimes, this may not mean what others are portraying it to be. 

You are not automatically “canceled” after you say something others may disagree on. People may have strong opinions, even I concur with that. Just because they feel or think differently should not change who you are as a person. 

Losing a debate you strongly believe in is hard. Understanding how to react makes us stronger and get through most obstacles easier.

“I have had a situation where I expressed how I felt about something, and it resulted in negative behavior. People’s emotions could get a hold of them, and they begin to feel more down, angry, and more, that is what happened during my situation,” Emily Stevens, senior communications major. 

Some professors ask for feedback during class time and expect students to respond and share with the class. 

Many people have no problems with this, but freely speaking can cause you to feel as though you are being judged, especially in 2021.

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