Ohh, blogosphere. This is a terribly controversial subject, but I am here to address it because I have an opinion on it.
So, nowadays, on the internet, there is something called a ‘trigger warning’, that a lot of people get very het up about. This ‘trigger warning’ causes arguments and misery and general unpleasantry.
What is a trigger warning?
It is a warning on any content (especially video content) published on the internet about the contents of said content. It could warn about sexual abuse, self harm, hair pulling, suicide, harassment and a number of other issues that the content may cover. The warning is present to protect the people viewing the content who may be affected by the images or words, especially if they have suffered those issues and don’t want to be reminded of it.
At the surface of it all, it just seems like a genuinely nice thing to do. Oh, hey, I am posting a video that contains some imagery of self harm, so beware if that sort of thing ‘triggers’ you.
You know, gives you a panic attack or makes you spasm or makes you feel sad or depressed or triggers a bipolar or schizophrenic or psychotic episode.
I am not being sarcastic, honest. I do know that a lot of people suffer with these things. Why do you think they have warnings before a movie if there are flashing lights? To prevent epileptic episodes in people who are epileptically prone. That is important, of course. It’s important for people who are truly mentally ill.
But I am talking about triggers for things that would probably cause mild discomfort at best, exaggerated wildly by some bored teen with large opinions on feelings sitting comfortably behind their laptop. What. So now EVERYBODY has ‘severe anxiety’?
It may also be true that there are plenty of people out there who like to seek attention by complaining in the comments of videos that they were ‘triggered’ and telling the video makers off for making the video. Some of them, especially the younger and more impressionable ones, write that they are shaking and feeling terrible because of the video and shame on the video makers for not putting a trigger warning on it.
Then you have the angry realist army marching in with comments like, ‘there is no trigger warning in the real world.’
Which may sound a liiiiitle harsh, but to be honest, there is a sound point there.
There ARE no trigger warnings in real life. Controversial, painful, hurtful, cruel things happen in the real world on a daily basis, and going around with your eyes shut, shouting, ‘TRIGGER WARNING’ is childish at best.
Making videos to spread awareness of abuse and suicide is helpful to the population. Sharing experiences allows other people to recognise when they are in danger, and to know they are not alone. However, when does it become too much? Too much angst, too much feeling sharing, too much irrelevant anger and regurgitating the past over and over again, complaining about being triggered, arguing about triggers, telling everybody off on camera for not putting trigger warnings on their material.
If we all put trigger warnings on material, I am sure, in order to cover all the triggers out there, we would fill an entire page. Which is just impractical. People need to deal with their triggers and realise that the world is not going to be a safe place, ever. You need to make it safe, you need to do your bit, and you need to help yourself. Strangers on the street are, sadly, not going to help you.
When I was a young and impressionable girl, I allowed a much older man to manipulate me, rape me, convince me of unimaginable things, lower my self esteem, and make me feel pathetic and horrible. I was immensely depressed. I thought that was ‘love’. However, I escaped his evil clutches, and yeah, sometimes, when I see a video or read a book, I am severely reminded of what happened and it is certainly not pleasant. Despite this, however, I don’t think it is necessary for people who write about sexual abuse, or make videos about it, to put a ‘TRIGGER WARNING’ so I can be spared some depression.
If I lived my life afraid of being ‘triggered’, if I went around shouting at people who didn’t make sure I wasn’t ‘triggered’, I would be in a sorry state of affairs. In fact, I would probably be a mental cripple.
The point is, there ARE no trigger warnings in the real world. People have to deal with their issues, and get on with it. And it may be harder for some than for others, but we have to understand that this world is vast, and cruel, and harsh. And not everybody will bow down and respect your broken feelings. In fact, they may make them worse.
It’s a Tumblr generation thing, to find everybody and everything so problematic. It’s a self righteous, butthurt attitude spawned by teenagers, taken on by tweens, and spread around the world because teens now have a platform on which to vent their feelings. Which is fantastic, of course, but it causes a lot of problems.
Five, six years down the line they will step back and realise that perhaps they were being a little too het up about it all. Or maybe, as it becoming increasingly apparent, this attitude will be enforced by others, creating a generation of weak little weevils, too afraid to step out their front doors for fear of being ‘triggered’. The world owes you nothing. You are not special. There are millions out there suffering worse things and are not ‘warned’ before a gun explodes in their small little faces. Grow the heck up. I’m sorry.
People need to grow up.
And, I guess, life is about learning to deal with that, and sticking to the nicer people who lift you up instead of put you down.