Students talk unity

Students share their thoughts on cancelling, blocking and unfollowing online and the divisive role media plays in politics


Eden Hodges, Managing Editor

With talk of unity swirling around now that President Biden has taken office, students continue to cancel, block and unfollow those that they disagree with online, creating division among peers, family and friends.

“I feel like the two sides really can’t just see each other’s point of view because they don’t even want to try,” said Georgia Southern student, Simon Shin.

In a time when blocking or unfollowing someone for their political beliefs has become commonplace, some students avoid political conversations online entirely.

Jaila Petersen, a GS student, said she no longer argues with people online, finding it annoying and toxic to her mental health.

“I am willing to hear what a disagreement is because I have the ability to be wrong about things,” said Petersen.

However, for her, some issues are not up for debate or friendly banter. Petersen draws the line at social issues.

“It depends on what they consider to be political… Debating on human rights, like rights to the LGBTQ community and people of color, those aren’t political things,” said Petersen, “My human rights specifically aren’t political to me.”

Nolan Dickens, another GS student, has been on the receiving end of some blocking an unfollowing online.

“I don’t really get bothered by it much, but I don’t see the point of them doing that,” said Dickens.

Dickens brought up the phenomenon of ‘cancel culture’, saying he believes cancelling someone for their beliefs online doesn’t have enough organization to become a movement.

“You’ll get cancelled one day and then next week you forget,” said Dickens.

Petersen also commented on the disorganized, band-wagon type nature of cancel culture.

“Cancel culture will only work if we actually take it seriously,” said Petersen, “It should only be for people that are actually causing harm.”

Many students are familiar with the uncomfortable conversations they have with family when the topic turns to politics, but according to Dickens, “Family at the end of the day is family.”