View Full Version : How do you feel about trigger warnings?

09-13-16, 04:09 AM
Do you think there are too many or not enough?
Do you think they are used appropriately or abused?
Do you think they are used to avoid anything that can be unpleasant? Or used as some sort of shield?
Do they help?
What if you need to read/see/hear about what the trigger warning is for? What then?
And what about safe spaces? Do they help people that are triggered?

Can someone share some real life examples?

09-13-16, 04:18 AM
I think they become a problem when they get in the way of healthy debate and discussion particualrly in places of education.

I'm not adversed to mentioning things at the beginnings of a class , video whatever like "oh maybe there's going to be graphic content etc" or pre warnings when discussing certain sensitive issues.

However I don't know how we can move forward and become educated about certain sensitive topics if we feel the need to completely avoid subjects or ban speakers outside of the "safe space".

Whether I agree or disagree with their standpoints it starts a discussion rolling and I think to progress and move forward that's a good thing.

But really

09-13-16, 04:19 AM
I remember this topic from several months ago. :)

I think trigger warnings are helpful in a similar way content warnings before movies are helpful. It can help me know whether I should avoid (for example) reading an article, like some articles can trigger flashbacks (PTSD) for me.

I'm not even sure what safe spaces are, I've head those words before but never have found out what it actually means.

This is sort of on a similar topic although it has more to do with a phobia + PTSD from watching an elderly lady I worked with die. There was an autopsy video in our A & P class we were supposed to watch - the whole class watched it at once. I knew I could *not* handle it so I asked my teacher if I could write out lots of notes about the medical notes I heard people verbally saying in the video. He agreed and said that's fine, and I ended up writing 4 pages. (I never looked at the screen, just had my head down entire time)

I think trigger warnings can be helpful.

09-13-16, 07:50 AM
The point of trigger warnings isn't to avoid a topic, but rather to prepare for it. With a trigger warning people are better equipped to cope with the topic. If they aren't up for dealing with it, they can make an informed decision to step out and do something else.

The movie rating system used in the US is basically a set of trigger warnings and few seem to have an issue with that. There are also video game content warnings in the US, Australia, and Europe that also qualify as trigger warnings, and these have become somewhat central to marketing games.

Before dismissing trigger warnings as a bad thing, it probably helps to understand what they are precisely.

09-13-16, 08:08 AM
The only "safe space" I've found that feels truly safe is within my own self, regardless of where my meat coated skeleton decides to visit. Everywhere else, and everyone else, is a trigger potential waiting to happen, pretty much. But that doesn't mean I avoid everything and everyone. Depending on the day, of course.

I appreciate seeing a trigger warning when it comes to reading and videos so I can make a choice. However, if it isn't noted and I end up diving into what triggers me, I then have to be able to pull myself out by going within to my own safe space to grab my life jacket and redirect my energies.

Since my drastic diet changes about a year and a half ago, things as simple as a trip to the grocery store, or trying to get to the other side of town and having to pass all the disgusting fast food chains along the way can trigger the f*** out of me.

Being asked to go out to eat, grab a coffee, etc. all have potential to put me in my anxiety and shame ridden mind space that feels like there's no escape from. None of that comes with a trigger warning, and it would be impossible to ever cover ALL the bases. It just is what it is and I have to learn to navigate it.

09-13-16, 08:16 AM
Maybe I think too sick.

Life in society is pure trigger and triggers have to be handled like life – almost if it is hard
sometimes. Withdrawal to wilderness decreases triggers but increases desires of society.

Triggers are best exercise to learn handling triggers if they are not too much.
Life without triggers could be pure joy but would become boring why I always come back from wilderness to society.

Having the option to make decisions is better than trigger warnings. I think trigger-warnings enforce trigger-anxiousness.

Being attracted by triggers is part of my personal evolution, reinvents myself and rebuilds my health.

I need triggers. I am attracted by warnings. Triggers release transmitters. Sick, nah?

I did not get a life-warning at birth.

09-13-16, 08:26 AM
I would rather err on the side of caution; if there's content that might bother me I prefer to know ahead of time (even if it turns out to be something that's not upsetting to me at all).

09-13-16, 08:39 AM
Reading, thinking and understanding your thoughts I only see two options:

1. A trigger-warning while starting the browser, in the beginning of every thread, post or word.

2. A personal adjustable trigger-filter based on self-entered word-clouds using artificial intelligence to scan content before reading to warn of mighty content that still can have a different meaning.

Label me! I dont detect a general trigger for ADHD. It is too different.
Do I need a subtitle "trigger-warning" below my crypto-name C15H25N30 ???

09-13-16, 08:44 AM
I'm not sure how it works. I know I can avoid triggers if I choose to, but I don't give much thought to it. I probably unconsciously avoid triggers, like avoiding a hot stove after being burnt on it once or twice as a child. I don't spend effort trying to track down all my triggers and create a safe space from them. When they come along, I try to learn something from them. I want to grow past my triggers and be able to walk safely through the fray.

09-13-16, 08:46 AM
I hope I didnt give the impression that I do not appreciate trigger warnings, or think they are useful. I posed the questions because I wanted to see what people who do think they are useful and people who dont think they are useful think about them.
I know for me, if there is any kind of violence against women, especially sexually, or extreme cases of alcohol use I prefer them-because sometimes I am not in the right space to handle those topics.
I do wonder though if in the cases of them being misused, that they somehow turn the real necessity of them into some sort of en voque thing, or minimize their importance.

09-13-16, 08:55 AM
I do wonder though if in the cases of them being misused, that they somehow turn the real necessity of them into some sort of en voque thing, or minimize their importance.
Like in that "create your own unnecessary trigger warning" thread a while back, which seemed to mock the idea?

I have mixed feelings about trigger warnings in general. I like the idea that people should be willing to accommodate others' needs, sometimes proactively. There are practical issues, in that it would be difficult to address every possible trigger, though some of the most common ones could be foreseen. I also believe that people who know they react badly to triggers should advocate for themselves, ask in advance about their potential triggers, and not rely solely on other people anticipating their needs.

09-13-16, 09:58 AM
Like in that "create your own unnecessary trigger warning" thread a while back, which seemed to mock the idea?

Yes. Exactly that. And Im sure I participated much to my dismay.

09-13-16, 10:31 AM
Maybe animals life could explain trigger:

A dog barks to communicate everything from pleasure to fear like we communicate spoken or written words.

A dog in my opinion growls if triggered which is synonymous for human ranting.

Is looking for safe spaces not similar to a dog that is scared while pulling its tail down between the legs?

Predominantly reactions on triggers like growling/ranting or looking for safe spaces are two poles of a personality
while unipolarity needs treatment and multipolarity feels healthier but ADHDs impulsivity can make it hard to control.

I think a trigger-button would trigger me to abuse it.

09-13-16, 10:35 AM
I think trigger warnings (used correctly) are a good idea, like say for example if you enter a thread thinking it's not going to trigger you only to find it's talking about something that could trigger a lot of people, you'd realistically need to know before you entered it that there was a danger it would trigger you.

09-13-16, 11:37 AM
I think ultimately, the only thing that you can control in life is yourself and your reaction to situations (and even your reactions are potentially not controllable). Trigger-warnings are nice and appropriate in certain situations, but to grow to expect them in an academic environment is not something that I think is viable across-the-board (my view is the course title and syllabus are your trigger warning as it gives you the context and content of the class you're taking. Kind of like movie ratings). Having places and spaces carved out that are safe is great, but to expect every class to be safe defeats the purpose of learning, which often draws us out of our comfort zones in ways we couldn't imagine.

The key to navigating academic life well is thoughtful self-advocacy. If you need an accomodation, there is absolutely no shame in making sure your needs are met. If you're in a class that you know may touch on themes and subjects that may be hard for you to handle - in an ideal world you would go to the professor beforehand and have an open conversation about what you need to be successful in that class. That requires mutual respect, however, and I think what we're seeing in this backlash is that that mutual respect is sorely lacking.

On the one hand (extreme example) if you have a terrifying fear of death and dying, you may not want to take a class on Thanatology or Wars Through the Ages without a lot of self-reflection. On the other hand, if you're in an Intro to Psych class, you may want to give the professor a heads up if you've lost a member to suicide (and your professor, in an ideal world should do the same before embarking on a long discussion as such).

In other words, as a student, your job is to be at least somewhat well-informed in terms of reading lists, and topics covered in a class (to the extend that that is possible without knowing the syllabus ahead of time. If there is a class that you're worried might trigger you, you may want to contact the prof ahead of time and see what the reading list is, for example).

It is the professor's job to be attuned to the needs of the students in the class, sure. However, examination and exploration of controversial topics is our academic bread-and-butter. We are not going to shy away from hard discussions. Again, my job as a professor is to teach you. Your job as a student is to be prepared for class.

Academia is a strange place. There are a lot of convoluted politics. There are a lot of power-trippers. There are a lot of old-school profs who probably don't give a rat's behind about their students and use the podium to pontificate and hear their own voices. There are others who have been worn down by the system and are just cynical as all get-out. They've heard every excuse in the book and don't have the energy to truly listen and hear a solid reason over 50-million excuses. In other words, profs are human beings of all stripes, as are students.

09-13-16, 12:24 PM
Trigger warnings draw me like a moth to a flame. They seem to work backwards for me.

Instead of avoiding, I am drawn to them even though I know it may anger or upset me.

I equate them for me to seeing a train wreck. I don't want to see it but I can't look at anything else.

I feel triggered usually just from the warning. When I am triggered, I feel compelled to continue reading at the expense of my emotions.

It feels like I am just looking for something to get upset about instead of avoiding the topic.