If you’ve seen our article defining ‘cancel culture’ and how your teen may be taking part in it, you may already have an inkling as to what ‘call-out culture’ is. If your teen is active on social media, they could be partaking in it, or could even be a victim.
Should you be worried about your teen’s possible ties to call-out culture? We’ve got a definition to help you understand how it can affect your child.
What Is Call-out Culture?
Call-out culture, also known as outrage culture, is a form of public shaming where people identify offenses and publicly “call out” the offenders in an effort to shame and punish them. By placing the supposed offender and their offending actions in the public eye, accusers hope to hold them accountable for their actions. Social media has made it easier than ever for the practice to exist.
Unlike cancel culture, the aim of call-out culture is to recognize what was offensive and why it was considered offensive. Conversely, cancel culture focuses more on bringing down the offenders for their actions, without focusing much on “solving” the issue, such as sparking a conversation and bringing more knowledge to the offender.
If someone posts a problematic Tweet, someone will usually call it out directly through a reply. Ideally, the original poster will be able to recognize what was wrong and understand why. This can be an instant realization or brought on by a longer discussion, but either way, the hope is the call-out prevents the repeat of future problematic behavior.
How It Can Be Dangerous
You may be wondering what’s so bad about recognizing something problematic and calling attention to it. Sadly, call-out culture doesn’t always come from good intentions.
Call-out culture can get brutal fairly quickly, especially on social media, and escalate into something more like cancel culture. It can progress from screenshots of private conversations can spread to things edited out of context — the possibilities are endless. Something said out of pure ignorance can become a target of a call-out. What could have been a valuable, teachable moment, turns into someone’s public humiliation or tarnished reputation.
People lose life opportunities — scholarships, jobs, and so on, because of call-out culture. Sometimes, it’s warranted for those doing serious crimes, but others are left stripped in the public eye. The line between call-out culture and cancel culture can easily be blurred with the help of social media.
As a parent, you may not be able to monitor everything your teen does on social media, but you can help them understand what they’re doing. Sit down and discuss their internet behavior and how they participate in online discussions. Do they do the calling out themselves? Do they share information? Turn a blind eye?
Help your child recognize how their behavior can affect others, and how they themselves should look at information on the internet.