Are people abusing the concept of a trigger?

Polarity27

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Jake Martinez said:
It's amazing to me that certain people live with so much privilege that they believe they can dictate the terms of what unpleasant life experiences they will have.

And here I was assuming that often life was unfair, or cruel, or just down right nasty, and a test of someones character was how they dealt with this fact. How stupid of me. All I needed to do was create a list of things that I didn't want to see/hear/read/think about and problem solved!
But anyone with sense does that to some degree. You've never looked at a headline or a post title and decided to nope the heck out of there, for any reason? Yes, bad shit will happen and you can't tell it not to, but at the same time, you also can't give your attention to every single thing on the internet, on the news, in your community, etc. Attention is finite, and it's a health-promoting practice (really, it is) to self-limit, for instance, how much time you spend watching/reading negative news stories.

I object to "trigger warnings" as such, but support "content warnings". It gets around this entire debate about what's a trigger, does this rise to the level of a trigger, triggers don't exist, triggers are misused, etc. and simply acknowledges that there is some content that people would rather not engage with for whatever reason. I'm not talking about "content includes octopus semen" or something else absurdly specific, but thinking about some of the themes of a piece of media and noting it is a thoughtful thing. Optional, but nice to have on things that are upsetting and stressful for a lot of people. You don't need to be triggered by rape debates to have reason to want to avoid them. Television news has been at least somewhat aware of this for years-- is it that controversial to have a "this story contains graphic images" warning ahead of a news story?

(Also, triggers are often *incredibly* specific things. A certain smell that's reminiscent of your abusive father's cologne. The song that was playing when you were raped. The pattern and colors of the wallpaper in the house where you were molested. The movie you were watching when you got the call your sister had been murdered. The exact curve on Rt. 8 where you got into the accident that nearly killed you. Things you couldn't warn for even if you wanted to.)
 

Karadalis

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Some "People" actually claimed to have gottend PTSD from twitter comments...


You know the same PTSD that war veterans got because they had to live through the horrors of war.


Ofcourse triggers are fucking abused by the special snowflakes of tumblr. They wouldnt know a real trigger if it jumped into their faces naked ass first.

Its a fad nothing more.

We had punks, we had surfer/skater/metall/hippy etc culture. This is just another of those... but unlike the others this one is less amusing and more headache inducing.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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A few days ago I was talking to an old mate whoo suffers from pretty severe PTSD (he was a combat engineer with the Australian Army and his first active deployment in Eastt Timor had him crawliing through mass graves to check for traps).

His opinion on the whole matter is this:

"Life won't pad the hard corners for you, so you either harden up or you get away from the shit that sets you off. People whho claim 'triggers' and 'trauma' and whatever the fuck else just to corner others into shutting up are cunts... BUT the people who let them get away with it or keep going to places where those sorts of fucks hang are idiots. Life's too short to care about what a bunch of cunts don't want you to say, just go find somewhere else to say it."
 

hentropy

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To start off, yes, some people take it too far. People take everything too far for all sorts of reasons. Some people hate trigger and content warnings so much that they just want to do away with them entirely, or any of use of them regardless of how appropriate they are gains a certain amount of undeserved hate.

When I watch Adult Swim at night I'm reminded constantly that some of the content being shown might be offensive to some viewers. I have not once felt those were unnecessary, because some content is over-the-top.

For me, I just can't watch real or very realistic instances of bullying. 98% of media depictions of bullying don't fall in the category, but there were some attempts by well-intentioned people to show what bullying is actually like. Documentaries I can avoid, but I found myself unable to watch certain 30 second commercials. I would leave the room or change the channel temporarily just to avoid them. So when I'm watching Rick & Morty and the "King Jellybean" scene comes up, I can see how people who have gone through such experiences (rape) might be teleported back to their own experiences, if it's sufficiently realistic enough. It's not just a matter of breaking down in a sobbing mess- all the feelings ranging from helplessness to rage come back to hit you like a freight train and the things you saw back then "flash back" in front of your eyes. The depictions of Vietnam flashbacks and the like aren't exaggerations in most cases. And you can't just talk that out with a psychologist to get rid of it or "harden up". Such experiences and depictions of them force you to disconnect yourself from your emotions just to cope and that's honestly not healthy.

Should there be content warnings for the bullying ads? I'm not really asking for them, as those ads probably do a lot of good and putting a trigger warning on them probably wouldn't have stopped me from watching them once. Still, because of those experiences I can identify with those who have been through much more traumatic experiences such as rape or have witnesses instances of extreme violence, gore, and death.

So yeah, being warned about content that talks explicitly about certain topics or shows them is a nice courtesy to people who don't need to be reminded of the reality as they have lived it themselves. Naturally, some people will take it to an extreme and go apeshit when someone types "rape" without a trigger warning, or demands trigger warnings for every mundane thing. So yeah, trigger and content warnings can and should be used under certain circumstances. We can't take the stance that just because something useful has been misusesd means we should stop using it.
 
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RhombusHatesYou said:
A few days ago I was talking to an old mate whoo suffers from pretty severe PTSD (he was a combat engineer with the Australian Army and his first active deployment in Eastt Timor had him crawliing through mass graves to check for traps).

His opinion on the whole matter is this:

"Life won't pad the hard corners for you, so you either harden up or you get away from the shit that sets you off. People whho claim 'triggers' and 'trauma' and whatever the fuck else just to corner others into shutting up are cunts... BUT the people who let them get away with it or keep going to places where those sorts of fucks hang are idiots. Life's too short to care about what a bunch of cunts don't want you to say, just go find somewhere else to say it."
I like your mate. he's a nice mate.


slightly on topic:

Came across this video, and of course the top comment on it (99% most likely a troll) is about trigger warnings COMBINED with feminism, and even though it's a troll, it gave quite the bit of momentum to a shit war in the comments over being overly sensitive/PC brigade and trigger warnings.



 

Atmos Duality

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Of course it is. That was inevitable once you combine the three necessary ingredients:
1) Awareness (people learned that they have a right to be offended)
2) Attention (it makes people feel special; no matter how fleeting or mundane or fucking stupid)
3) Internet Hate Machine (Speaks for itself)

Being the Internet, this became another case of "Give an inch, take a mile."

There's plenty of shit in this world that offends me, yet somehow, I don't see fit to lean on some catchphrase to invoke special privileges or treatment. Namely because: Unless my offense has legal or serious ethical imperative (beyond what I merely claim), it doesn't give me any special privilege.

Also, there's a difference between being offended by something, and demanding nobody bring that something up, ever.

So my rule is this: Anyone that acts (or claims) to have a right to be "offended" by *potentially anything* must also accept that everyone else has right to say/show/do something "potentially offensive".

What's that? Some people have legitimate psychosis that merits triggers?
Then they need to get help and/or stay off the internet (or at least, the "problematic" parts of the internet for them).
That's called being responsible; by not foisting your problems on total strangers.
 

Arctic Werewolf

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I'm probably one of the few people who saw honest "trigger warnings" before they were coopted for brainwashing purposes. It was on a forum for very depressed people (I'm fine, btw). If your thread contained content about suicidal ideation, you put "trigger warning" in the title so depressed people who come to the depression forum to talk about depression would be aware of content that might make them think about suicide. There were testimonies there that would make your hair stand on end and your blood run cold.

That was... shit, like eight years ago or something. I've never seen a use of "trigger warnings" that wasn't aggressively crass and exploitative since that one website. Not once. In, like, eight years. As a witness of the original good intentions of the "trigger warnings", I am sickened to see how the cynical coopt the term and exploit serious problems for their own ends.

[EDIT]:
Farseer Lolotea said:
As others have already pointed out: it's more-or-less the equivalent of the film rating system or a warning label. (Unless, of course, one is going to argue that those are unnecessary and for wimps?)
I get what you're saying, but I don't agree. I think there is a non-trivial difference between a content warning for stuff people just don't like and a trigger warning.

I think there is another issue. I don't object to age ratings and content warnings that are already in standard use in the U.S. (generally). But I recognize they come at the cost of a very real chilling effect. This isn't an obscure issue, it defines what kind of films and TV shows you see. So how far do we want to take this? Because I'm a fan of stuff like Pink Floyd, Kubrick films, and Frank Herbert novels. Not terribly unconventional, but the potential "trigger warnings" would go out the door and down the street. All my favorite stuff would create a full blown trigger-warning-super-panic if it was released today. I can just picture it- "Triggering Warning! Billions of people killed in horrible war gleefully compared to Hitler! Trigger Warning, hysteria, Patriarchy!" You may laugh, but like I said, the content warnings we already enjoy define what you watch- and what you don't.

Things are too restrictive as it is, in my opinion. We don't need The Illiad to be preceded by 10,000 pages of trigger warnings.

Polarity27 said:
(Also, triggers are often *incredibly* specific things. A certain smell that's reminiscent of your abusive father's cologne. The song that was playing when you were raped. The pattern and colors of the wallpaper in the house where you were molested. The movie you were watching when you got the call your sister had been murdered. The exact curve on Rt. 8 where you got into the accident that nearly killed you. Things you couldn't warn for even if you wanted to.)
"Coco Mademoiselle: A Fragrance by Chanel" TRIGGER WARNING: COCO MADEMOISELLE