The Cause and Effect of Cringy Content.

“Cringy” social media content refers to posts or interactions on social media platforms that are perceived as awkward, embarrassing, or uncomfortable by others.

The term is highly subjective, but there are some collectively cringy moments, and some things content creators should take into mind when they start creating content.

Cringy content often involves attempts at humor, self-promotion, or social interaction that miss the mark or come across as insincere.

For example, we’ve all seen the girl at the restaurant who was dancing when her food arrived, seemingly excited, although the planet knew there was a phone set up beside her.

Sitting stoically in the background, was a couple, enjoying a a night out for pancakes and chill. The woman looks at the dancing pancake eater and gives her best Homelander impression, hoping to eviscerate her from the planet with a single gaze.

But alas, Vought International did not inject her with super serum, and so her stares went unrewarded.

That is until the post went viral and the whole world became enthralled with the interaction, agreeing that the whole thing was annoying and the girl’s bitter beer face was justified in the presence of such cringy behavior.

And that’s where we’ll start. Why/How do people create cringy content, and how can creators avoid making the same mistakes? It’s a loaded question with multiple answers, so we’ll try our best to dissect cringy content creation, and how to avoid it.

Self Awareness in Content Creation

Before we get into it though, let’s talk about self-awareness, which we believe to be the number 1 global reason for anything bad or good in content creation, and probably more things in the world, but we’ll leave that for Dr. Jordan Peterson to tackle.

The fundamental lack of self-awareness in our society creates huge gaps in content creation, because, if you don’t know who you are, you will never be ok with what you do, or understand why you do it.

Content, holistically speaking, is supposed to be an expression of oneself, and the audience determines if that content is funny, inspirational, thought-provoking, or cringy.

Cringe lives in between purpose and insecurity. When we don’t know who we are, and what we bring to the world, we either create things we think people want to see, or we pretend to be something that we’re not, which leads to creating content that is undeniably unauthentic, and therefore, cringy.

You’re trying too hard, bro. Of course, this is not a hard line to decipher cringy content. There are certainly anomalies, but the vast majority of cringy content lives in one of these silos.

People with pure intentions can create cringy content, too. Stage fright is a thing, but the difference is that fear will subside as they practice, but you can’t fake being authentic. That nervous content creator who looks like a hostage in their first 5 videos will get better if they’re striving to continue to put out authentic content in the world.

The Cringe Trap

Much like a thirst trap, the cringe trap unsuspectingly sucks in content creators, building a false narrative that causes them to create inauthentic content. Avoid these pitfalls when creating your content.

Risking it all for Attention:

Getting attention for a business or to build a brand is why we’re all here in the first place.

It’s why we write articles, post stories, and in general exist. Whoever gets the most attention wins. But what no one tells you is whoever delivers the most entertaining, authentic, and engaging content is who actually wins.

Yes, there are exceptions to this rule, but this circles back to awareness. If you’re posting content with no rhyme or reason, just to get likes and comments, people will not respond for any length of time.

Also, it’s no fun trying to chase numbers if you’re not passionate about what you’re posting about. The attention will come after you find your why, but there is no “attention business,” there is only attention FOR your business or brand.

Don’t be cringy for attention. Individuals may create attention-grabbing content with the hope of gaining likes, comments, or followers. This can sometimes lead to exaggerated or insincere expressions that others find cringy.

Lack of Social Awareness:

This is a thing, and some folks just don’t get the functioning of a civilized society.

You can’t plan for being socially unaware, or out of touch, but the best advice we can give is to seek counsel before publishing content if you’re not entirely sure about how it will be taken.

There are exceptions to this rule, but if you’re just tone-deaf and can’t read the room, enlist the help of someone who can.

Some people may not fully understand social norms and expectations on social media, leading them to share content that others perceive as awkward or out of touch.

Chasing Trends:

Don’t be a trend jockey.

Yes, it will get you some likes or comments, but if your business or brand has nothing to do with a trend, why would you be dancing in the middle of the mall with a Taylor Swift song playing in the background?

That’s inherently cringe-worthy behavior.

Also, if you’re a neutral party, stay neutral. there’s nothing more cringy than for someone who has never said one political thing in their life to now have a sudden stance on whoever is in power at the moment or why we need to “mask up.”

Your audience wants to hear you talk about your favorite ice creams, not the war on terror. Or that you stand with whoever you stand with this month. Politics and Religion are divisive arenas, and you’re always going to cause a riff with your audience when you hop on the latest activism trend.

The worst we’ve ever seen is the masks during the pandemic. Pro mask, anti-mask, Vax, No Vax. The fucking word Vax…Who gives a shit. Unless you’re running a political or incendiary public opinion page, stay true to who you are, and who your business or brand serves.

It’s hard because people inherently want to be part of the cool, controversial, ally or woke club, but that club is not for everyone. Stay in the loop, and sometimes a trend or cause may pop up that you want to take part in. But remember, your cause is not your audience’s cause.

Strategically participating in trends will help elevate your brand and not make it subject to the airing of grievances at Festivus.

Doing too much for The Culture:

Don’t be your grandmother in a room saying this is Litty. Read the audience, and try not to be too cool for your good.

If you’re saying something because you think other people will think it’s cool, or it will make you look more in tune with the times, it will have the exact opposite effect.

Chasing the Validation Train:

Trying to get outside validation from friends, family, co-workers, or worse, strangers who could care less about your life is a road paved in cringy content.

And why? Because the nature of the content is not authentic, and when you’re seeking a result that doesn’t align with your truth, you will inevitably create content that doesn’t map, which has potential cringe DNA.

Now, are there people out there posting unauthentic content that other people follow and love…Yes. People get good at living in the dream, but it’s only a dream. There is no merit behind the rented Ferrari or the trip to Mexico. It’s a curated highlight reel of insecurity manifested through unrealistic content that people ogle over.

Not Knowing Your Audience:

Lack of understanding about your audience can lead to the creation of content that does not resonate well with them, resulting in cringy reactions.

Reading the room is a critical component to making content that lands. If you make a video about a cupcake tour in your town and all of your followers are fitness junkies, your audience will have a collective cringe.

An important aspect of creating authentic content is understanding why your audience tunes into your channel in the first place.

The Essential Truth About Cringe, Content, and Judgment.

Content in all forms is extremely subjective. It’s essential to note that what one person finds cringy, another might find entertaining or relatable. Social media platforms host diverse communities with different preferences, and one size does NOT fit all.

However, when creating content, creators must look deep inside themselves and discover what their true motivations are for creating in the first place.

Is it “just for fun?” (General thirst trap page answer), OnlyFans/ “Exclusive Content”, to create a brand, raise awareness, entertain, build a business, or simply connect with other people and creep on everyone else’s page.

No matter what the reasoning, self-awareness is the key to making content that lands with your audience.

Some parting thoughts.

1. You must create content to get better at creating content.

2. If you’re being authentic, by law your content cannot be cringy. It can, however, be terrible. But don’t worry, it will get better.

3. Cringy content is anything inauthenticly created that tries to elicit an authentic response from the audience.

4. Authentic is why Lil Wayne doesn’t have a health & wellness line, even though he certainly could.

5. Learn how to navigate 4-way stop signs, it’s a critical function to being a productive human being.

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