I’m a proud member of Generation-Z. I believe my generation is the most politically and socially active generation, as we grew up right when new technologies were popping up all over the place. With this, it is inevitable that we are more in touch with the world around us, and thus more freely opinionated. Young people can do research on their phones, come to an opinion within the hour, and voice it to others. I also believe that we are the most rebellious, liberal, and accepting generation that America has seen. We are simply more connected to and educated about the world around us. Of course, people may disagree with me, but young people, in general, tend to lean Democratic and liberal. However, with a nation so split over so many issues, I’ve noticed that popular social media apps, especially TikTok, have been dominated by Gen-Z arguing with each other, other generations, and honestly everyone on the app. “Cancel culture” is a prominent part of social media today, so I couldn't help but wonder “Is Gen-Z Too Sensitive?”
“Today, people get offended over everything!” is a sentiment that I have heard many times in my life. I can see why, as older people tend to be more conservative since many issues that were considered “unacceptable” while they were growing up are now more acceptable and expressed more freely. As humans grow and evolve throughout the years, so do ideologies and stances on different issues. After all, it was once seen as perfectly normal to own slaves, or to keep women out of the workplace. Then a younger generation came along, decided they weren’t going to accept it, and they changed it- it’s just the way of the world. Today, groups such as the LGBTQ+ community and many racial minority groups are now more widely accepted into society. Gen-Z supports women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and the BLM more than any other generation. I fully support these movements, but there are many people of Gen Z who do not.
On TikTok, politics has made its way on to many people’s For You Pages. Once a fun way to create dances and fuel trends, TikTok is now home to “cancel culture”, the process of “canceling” popular creators, celebrities, movies, TV shows, etc. for being racist, homophobic, misogynistic, etc. While I understand why this is happening, people take it a little too far and it becomes incredibly toxic. After a person is “canceled”, their comments are filled with negative comments and sometimes even death threats. Although I’m all for treating every human being equally and I don’t agree with these creator’s comments, I don’t agree with canceling people. Most of the time, if not all, it has only a negative impact on everyone. The person being canceled is getting threats and hate, and it leads to them getting defensive and outraged, just like the people who are doing the “canceling”. I believe that instead of canceling people, we should accept that other people have opinions that are different than others, whether if you think they’re right or wrong. Just remember, the more conservative people of Gen Z think that you’re wrong just like you think they’re wrong. To get more people to accept more of these minority and oppressed groups, we should present them with your side of the story and why you think you’re right. If they still don’t like it, then it’s okay, move on= you can’t change everyone’s views. I believe that things such as racism, homophobia, and sexism should not even be debated, but there are people who believe in these things. Educating people who don’t want to listen is like talking to a rock; it’s not effective at all. All change is gradual, and I’ve seen many beautiful cases of people changing their views to become accepting of all people and treat everyone the same, which is a human right that everyone should have.
Cancel culture is also toxic because many popular creators on TikTok, such as Addison Rae, are being canceled because they liked or tweeted racist things over six years ago. I believe that a lot of change can undergo in a person in a six-year duration, as I know my beliefs have changed a lot as I’ve heard more and more opinions and developed my own. It’s also become a trend to call people “snowflakes”, using the snowflake emoji to reply to people who “are too sensitive” and “can’t take a joke” if users say or do something questionable, such as hanging out with child predators such as rapper 6ix9ine or making a joke about disabled people. I believe social media and cancel culture are a huge part of the division of America. Everyone is just canceling each other and arguing and not seeing that we should be one.
Every generation sees the one after it as a bunch of crazy youngsters and the one before it as stubborn and outdated. The truth is, we all try to do the best we can while we’re here, but no one can change the past, and no one can keep up with the future. I only hope the future is more progressive, gradually becoming a society that is respectful of all races, genders, sexualities, and backgrounds. Only then can we move forward as a whole and be united as one.