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An edgelord, who usually consists a high hairline, is someone on an internet forum who deliberately talks about controversial, offensive, taboo, or nihilistic subjects in order to shock other users in an effort to appear cool, or edgy. Often, edgelords tend to emphasize perceived "darkness" in their own personality or situation in an effort to garner the attention, control, or respect from others.

Potential Causes[edit | edit source]

Trauma. It is not uncommon for teens adults who have faced trauma to find comfort in the few moments they can control. By owning the shock value of an unexpected nihilistic comment with the right timing, it gives the edgelord a moment in which the social circumstance is their domain. The connection between edgelords among and surrounding the incel community makes sense given the trouble maintaining social connection that many members face. In a sense, a controversial or shocking opinion may be an attempt to form a momentary connection with a group where the incel is forced to be noticed for better or worse.

Boredom. Disillusioned by witnessing and participating in thousands of meaningless human interactions, an edgelord might find the cadence of regular life mind-numbing. The opportunity to ruminate on and share what could be perceived of wildly negative or outlandish thoughts opens a door to experience something new. The higher the shock value, the more entertaining it is to the edgelord to watch the party on the receiving end squirm, and the more "heard" they feel.

Intellectual Insecurity. Intelligence and Depression have a striking correlation.[1] An edgelord may be emphasizing dark or taboo truths in attempt to demonstrate their intelligence to others. By feeding into the idea that the only people who can see the reality of the way things are can understand how truly upsetting, horrific, and shocking the world is, the edgelord attempts to assert their position as the smartest person in the room.

Examples in Media[edit | edit source]

  • Batman
  • Sasuke Uchiha (Naruto)
  • Bender (The Breakfast Club)
  • Donny (Assassination Nation)

See also[edit | edit source]