Are we pretending the above warnings aren’t meant specifically for children and the parents of those children? Have you ever seen a movie that included shit like ‘spiders’ or ‘feet’ as reasons for why it was rated R? Have you ever seen a tumblr post tagged ‘tw: coarse language’? Did you even think about this comparison at all?
Good point. But if the world outside of Tumblr were required to put trigger warnings on EVERYTHING then nothing would ever get done.
Only on Tumblr have I had people come at me requesting I put trigger warnings on posts that contain like—to me—the most mundane shit.
The point of trigger warnings is really quite similar to the point of warnings and TV ratings! It’s so people can make informed decisions about what they’re reading or seeing.
For example, if something has a trigger warning for self-harm, I always make the choice not to view it, because I know it will lead me to wanting to cut. If something has a trigger warning for rape, then it just depends - sometimes I can deal with that, sometimes I can’t.
You can’t make trigger warnings for absolutely everything, because some people have specific/unusual triggers that you can’t predict. It’s also true that there are people who ask for trigger warnings when it’s something that just makes them kind of uncomfortable instead of actually triggering them. That doesn’t mean that triggers aren’t real and that trigger warnings aren’t useful and shouldn’t be used.
Okay, sure, for the most part, trigger warnings don’t exist outside the internet. Why should that mean that we shouldn’t use them? Why should that mean that we shouldn’t make this part of someone’s life a little easier and a little more comfortable for them? Is it really that hard to type in a few words when you’re posting something that could seriously screw with someone? You can even just use them for the big ones, like rape, suicide, self-harm, abuse, etc.
And why is it bad for someone who follows and enjoys your blog to come to you and say, “Hey, you sometimes post stuff with [x] content, and this is really triggering for me. I like your blog and want to keep following you - could you maybe tag that stuff?”
The guy that harassed me on the bus last week didn’t say, “Hey, trigger warning, I’m about to come sit right behind you and hit on you and trigger your PTSD from rape and make you utterly psychologically useless for the rest of the day.” But posts on Tumblr or elsewhere will say, “tw: rape” and give me the CHOICE about if I want to read it. I appreciate the fuck out of that.
Ultimately, when it’s your blog and your space, it’s your choice, and if you’d prefer that people just unfollow you instead of having to tag things, that’s fine. You’re the boss of your own underpants and no one can tell you how to run your blog. But maybe don’t make fun of people who genuinely rely on trigger warnings to make the internet a better place.
tl;dr trigger warnings are a relatively easy way to be a good person and help people out so why not stop making fun of them and just do it