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The Allure of Call-Out Culture



The allure of call-out culture continues to enchant thousands of people worldwide each day with more and more people choosing to voice their opinions regarding others from behind the safety of their screens on social media. Call-out culture is a form of public criticism that uses social media to clap back at the behaviour and actions of people who may have done something that goes against public opinion. However, the increasing prevalence and severity of call-out culture leads to the questions Is call-out culture just an excuse for trolls to criticise people online? And has call-out culture gone too far or is it still beneficial to call out behaviours that are considered wrong?


We have all experienced some form of call-out culture. It may have been at a family dinner, may have been online, you may have even done it yourself, but one thing remains the same it has been around for years.


The issues with call-out culture lie in the contrast to basic human rights and social justice movements. We should each be allowed to voice our thoughts and opinions about topics that may be controversial without the fear of being judged and harassed. I have been argued against for voicing my own opinion at a supposedly friendly party and whilst I valued hearing the opinions of others, listening to a different perspective and point of view there comes a point in which a simple disagreement turns into a dispute. I disagree with call-out culture online and in person because of the confrontation. Despite the argument that is sure to follow it can be entertaining for witnesses. So, I suppose there are a few benefits. Call-out culture should be used when someone says or does something genuinely wrong, that goes against human rights or morals. As a result of being called out people are then cancelled – driven out of social circles, ostracised.


Call-out culture can often be used as a petty way to start drama or an argument. It can be used to stir up trouble and make a mess of things. It can be used online as a way for people to sit behind their screens and feel good about themselves for pointing out the inferiority of others, but this isn’t what call-out culture is about. It’s about making the world a better place all round by showing that nasty actions and words won’t be tolerated by forcing people to acknowledge that something is wrong. Call-out culture is powerful. If used correctly it has the power to make or break a person. It has the power to ruin a person’s career or reputation, to ruin relationships. With call-out culture, it is easy to get carried away and turn a small issue into something huge.


But with the ease of gaining the moral high ground and singling out a person how do we correctly call somebody out?


Some say that a softer approach is ideal. When you call somebody out publicly you are unwillingly giving others permission to contribute and as a result, it turns into multiple people against one. A softer approach would be to message them privately or pull them aside to save them from public embarrassment.


When or if we have said or done something similar we often use reason to justify what we have done. You may have been going through a bad break up so therefore you can do and say as you wish to anyone but why can you do this and not somebody else? A second approach that is considered better than calling somebody out publicly is considering the reasoning for the other person's behaviour. Taking a step back and asking yourself “why might they be doing whatever they may be doing”? This could lead to a less heated debate or maybe even a choice to ignore the person altogether.


In the end, there is no right or wrong way to call somebody out. Sometimes it is not up to us but rather the person who has done something wrong. It is up to them to use such incidents as a way to grow as a person, as a way to step back and realise they have done something wrong and as an opportunity to apologise.


If you have been called out it should not be used as an opportunity to make yourself seem better in the public eye by making a scene both in person and online. It is not an opportunity to insult and hurt people. If you have been called out simply work out what is wrong and acknowledge it. Apologise and try to fix what you have done and avoid making the same mistake twice. Try and walk away from the situation if only for a brief period of time to let everybody involved cool off.


Call-out culture is still beneficial to society if it is done right but isolating a person socially is taking it a step to far. No person should be left to fend for themselves against an onslaught of disagreement.


In the end, you can tell somebody they have done something or said something wrong but if they don’t wish to change their opinion or behaviours to fit in they will remain the same. Sometimes it is best to just ignore the issue. Sometimes a person doesn’t know what they have done is wrong so pointing it out results in change but is it truly worth it? In my opinion, no.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR, TEALIA:

I am 16 years old and I joined this committee to make a difference and be the support that my peers deserve, the voice for those who cannot speak up, and the guide to help navigate the rocky world of social media.

I want to help my peers be heard and make their online experiences more positive.

I bring to this committee my strength, dedication, and support. I am excited to help.

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