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Decoding the Allure of Cringe Culture: Exploring its Grip on Social Media - Coffeetable

How does Cringe Content - Coffeetable

In this reality crafted by social media, cringe posting is BIG. Platforms such as Reddit, TikTok, and Instagram have entire Cringetopia threads, subcategories and compilation accounts dedicated to it. It's no secret that cringe culture is addictive, but why?


Increasingly on social media today, people like, comment, and share content because they’re embarrassed by them. Glued to our screens, we’re continually feeding our brains bucketloads of content. Out of all of the content that we scroll past, cringe content is something “exciting” that stands out to us like a black sheep in a field of white. You know that internal twisting of your insides and that physical recoil upon witnessing second-hand embarrassment? Ah, how it makes our adrenaline kick in.


“Cringe” is any content that is humiliating in regards to the person’s looks, behavior, or talent, and the lack of self-awareness about those things. The person in the post shares such content themselves or finds it has been made viral by some third party. For them, their actions or words might mean something important but have either gone wrong or been received in a totally different way.


Cringe is highlighted by 2 factors:

Lack of self-awareness: people, unsuspecting of their awkwardness, put themselves on display, making the socially aware uncomfortable.


Extravagance: in the case of reality TV or celebs, cringe is triggered by the pompousness of the rich that seems “extra” for us normal folk.


People in cringe posts aren’t spared sympathy and are harshly ridiculed and bombarded with mean and insensitive comments.

They can meet either their fate and become memes where their original responses are taken out of context and blown out of proportion or become overnight internet sensations who turn their misfortune into a lucrative revenue channel. After all, good or bad– publicity is publicity.

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