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Cringe culture

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One of the cardinal sins of the internet is Liking A Thing.
—@SuperSpacedad on Twitter[1]
This drawing by an autistic child is an example of the stuff cringe culture adherents think is bad somehow.

Cringe culture is a form of bullying that often targets children, queer people, girls,[2] people with mental illnesses, and disabled people (such as autistics and people with ADHD). When someone is just having fun and enjoying themselves while perhaps being a little quirky, they may be mocked and called "cringey."

Luckily, cringe culture is beginning to decline.[3] People are speaking out against it and encouraging people to enjoy things without feeling ashamed of having fun.[4]

History[edit]

People go on there to feel better about themselves by judging other people. That's shitty behaviour, full stop. The mods hiding behind good intentions doesn't make the behaviour of the subscribers any less shitty.
—Reddit user topdebottom[5]

Cringe culture was spawned from r/cringe, created by Reddit user drumcowski. While its founder intended forum users to have empathy for the people targeted by its posts,[note 1] the subreddit became a hotspot for bullying and mocking people. Drumcowski hasn't shut down the subreddit for fear that other, crueler copycats with less strict moderation would rise to take its place.[5]

Cringe culture has spread to other social media websites. YouTube is full of cringe compilations, while Instagram "flop" accounts post pictures of other people's work so that they can be mocked en masse.

Example targets[edit]

  • Drawings by children
  • Autistic people either getting excited about something or having a breakdown
  • Queer people (usually teens) using microlabels, neopronouns, or unusual terms
  • Asexuals
  • Adults who like "childish" things[6]
  • Otherkin and therians
  • Marie Kondo[7] (How dare she cheerfully teach people how they can get organized?)

Even if a child is bad at art, or a teen is engaging in silly otherkin stuff, that's no excuse to be cruel to them. Kids deserve the opportunity to learn and grow. Bullying them until their self esteem suffers would be the exact opposite of what you should do.

See also[edit]

  • Kiwi Farms, a forum dedicated to perpetrating cringe culture and is just overall composed of creeps.
  • Lolcow

Notes[edit]

  1. He was aware he was on Reddit, right?

References[edit]