The "Cringe"
Hello everyone, I wanted to gather your thoughts about this topic that has been populating my mind for the past week.

So what is cringe? This phenomenon that has become prevalent over the internet over the past years. Cringe terminology is pervasive and has colonized every part of the internet.
But why is it so? My working hypothesis is that cringe has morphed: from an harmless, and generalized term to define inopportune behavior online to a segmentation tool involuntarily molded by specific groups to try and stop narcistic behavior.

First of all I would like to clarify that I consider social media and internet usage inherently narcissistic in some way. Although image posting, of any kind, holds a special place as the zenith of narcissism online: as you post an image, you are making what you are posting ultimately about yourself. You aren't posting any insight, just your own self image reflected in some way. 

This is reflected on the most narcissistic of all social medias "Instagram", where this kind of behavior peaks.

Having said all of that I can now explain myself properly. When a zoomer sees a "goodmorning and happy sunday" pic posted by their boomer acquaintances they say cringe, they say it together, as a group, because disgust is as much social as it is psychological (chinese man eats dog/bugs, but you don't and find it disgusting). The zoomer does it because, unlike real life, where adults, kids and youngsters roughly occupy different places spatially, on the internet they are forced to share the same platform, the same space. This frustrates their narcissism, you are on the same plane as your dumb lame parents, they get the same amount of likes, internet points, attention, thus you need to divide yourself from them. You need to build a wall.
That wall is the "Cringe", a social phenomenon of narcissistic segmentation.

What do you guys think?

And sorry if I posted this on the wrong board
It literally just means "uncool". If it was the previous century we'd be saying "square". What does the counterpart "based" imply, beyond "hip" (according to the timely fashion of the in-group)? Nothing, besides pointing at said fashion. If you tried to distinguish, that's what you'd be talking about: the target, not the nature of the pointer-word itself. But in the process of usage by a specific group these pointers become associated with whatever thing the generational users tend to point at, hence we don't say "hip" or "square" anymore, in fact, to some circles, being "square" might actually be "based"... but on a functional level nothing has changed.
Based is to be understood in the context of “Based and Redpilled”. Based is not a fashion, it is a personal disposition, one conducive to becoming redpilled, which is the state of knowing the/a truth. It is possible to be based without being red pilled, and such a thing could occur in an environment bereft of easy access to the redpill, if the personal incentives to be bluepilled were overwhelming, and/or if one is simply not yet redpilled on anything but soon will be. It is theoretically possible to be redpilled without having a based disposition, but this generally would only happen in a society where the redpill was commonly accepted. Since our society is bluepilled on virtually everything, it takes being based to be redpilled on almost anything.

Cringe is the opposite disposition to based. It is the tendency to self deceive, to accept the comforting or socially acceptable lie, to come to be bluepilled. One could also be possessed by various narcissisms, resentments, group identities, etc. that cloud the mind. Very cringe! When a post is cringe, it means that in it the author has displayed this tendency within them (which everyone has at least a little bit of (which must be crushed)). When shitlibs or leftists say based, they REALLY mean cringe. They are talking about things like… trannies and niggers. Blacks are cringe because they are stupid, narcissistic, and resentful, and these make you bluepilled. Even conservative blacks tend to blame welfare for black problems because they can't overcome these things to see the truth. Trannies are cringe because... "and I leave this as an exercise for the reader". The only possibly correct application of based by a leftist is to certain based and bluepilled commies (debatable).

This is my definition of True Cringe. Of course, if others use it a certain way, then one can argue that that is the meaning. But those people are cringe so who cares. This is how cringe should be used (except when using it literally to refer to cowering or a facial expression).
When I use cringe I’m talking about something that is awkward or uncomfortable to watch, see or hear because it is so embarrassing and gay. It does seem cringe has morphed into a synonym of uncool or as an antonym of based. I don’t see it as a unified generational thing that everyone in whatever generation is going to all together view something as cringe. I feel like the boomer post you described would be viewed a lot of different ways by a zoomer, some seeing it as wholesome, some as dumb or stupid, some as funny depending on the pic, some could view it as cringe. I think it would depend on the picture and the circumstance. A white boomer wearing a blm t-shirt and throwing up a black power fist, definitely cringe, but some zoomers will like it.

I don’t see any zoomers irl caring that older adults like their parents or grandparents are online. Many follow their parents or grandparents on Instagram. They will like their posts and often have a family pic or two up. Zoomers that care about their family seeing their content just have a public account and a private account or use apps more freely like TikTok or Snapchat that older adults don’t use. I also don’t see zoomers caring how many likes or followers their parents or grandparents get. Most older people have less followers and get less likes.
I would agree with the concept "cringe" has essentially morphed into "uncool" or "weird" beyond its older understanding as just describing a social faux pas, but at the same time "cringe" has become a word fought over for its political usefulness. Its an excellent tool to label an idea, group, or person as weird or fringe and therefore wrong without attempting to engage with them. The older anti-SJW youtube era would describe many SJWs (a phrase which has now become "cringe") as "cringe" in an attempt to signal that their ideas were fringe, weird (therefore they all must look weird), and so they're just wrong.

The fact SJW as a term has become "cringe" to say shows that this was then flipped on its head, shitlibs started playing the game too and now just as there was a "cringe" archetype for SJWs there's a "cringe" archetype for the anti-SJW of 2012-2016 (neckbeard, fat, etc). The word is a political tool, "cringe" is whatever your enemy is. Even sites that try and play a middle ground and preserve that proper usage of "cringe" eventually fall ill to it just being a political tool. Kiwifarms as an example, if you're "cringe" you're a lolcow but now the bar for being "cringe" enough to be labled a lolcow is far lower. You don't need to be truly bizarre like Chris Chan, now you just need to be politically weird with some quirks and you'll get on there as "cringe". AltHyp has a page on there, you'll see posts essentially saying "wow these ideas are socially not ok and so loony, this is cringe". There's now plenty of shitlib Twitter accounts posting right wing "cringe" which amounts to some small anime pfp account making a George Floyd joke, so yeah at this point it's just a label to associate your enemies with some kind of social outcast appearance/mentality to signal people should therefore avoid their ideas.
(05-09-2022, 07:39 PM)Mal Wrote: The fact SJW as a term has become "cringe" to say shows that this was then flipped on its head, shitlibs started playing the game too and now just as there was a "cringe" archetype for SJWs there's a "cringe" archetype for the anti-SJW of 2012-2016 (neckbeard, fat, etc). The word is a political tool, "cringe" is whatever your enemy is.

Just like other such terms used with a similar motif in the same time period, it has been revived by shitlibs (and normies), and henceforth used as a political tool. Over time, the term has built up cultural significance and is now something larger. As it stands, Cringe had it's ego-death 3 years ago when company twitter accounts began using the term.

Obviously this doesn't mean that the term can't be used in its original context anymore, just that, as you said, 'Cringe Culture' itself is now seen AS the cringe. Wonder what word will share it's fate next?

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