TRIGGER WARNING: This picture may offend some people.
I joined the popular micro-blogging website Tumblr way back in October of 2009.
(TRIGGER WARNING: The rest of this article may offend some people.)
For almost four years now, I’ve used it for the sole purpose of mindlessly wasting time. Many others use this platform to further their tedious social-justice exploits, make friends within the “fandoms” that pique their interest, or to validate their absurd, pretend identities by virtually surrounding themselves with equally delusional people. There are countless ways you can utilize this silly slice of the Web.
I only started noticing this trend of people adding “trigger warnings” to their posts within the past couple years. The purpose of these “warnings” is to shield anyone who may have encountered a substantial amount of trauma in their life that would make it necessary to avoid seeing certain images or reading certain words that could, well, “trigger” them. I think it’s gotten out of control.
The most frequent “TWs” that I see are for posts that deal with rape, self-harm, abuse, racism (along with every other “-ism” naturally), eating disorders, etc. Some of those are reasonable…to a point. I can see how certain grisly images can be unsettling for some. I can see how a long, graphic essay detailing a brutal rape could rightfully garner a warning of sorts, but then there’s the people who will slap a “TW: RAPE” on posts that merely mention the word ONCE. Isn’t that a little counterproductive? If the sight of the word “rape” is enough to send someone into a flashback spasm, wouldn’t the “rape” mentioned in the warning give the same effect? What if you’re triggered by trigger warnings? How many trigger warnings deep would you have to go before your post is completely safe for all to see?
I guess it’s all about making a “safe space” for yourself on the Internet. I’m sure a lot of people don’t see the harm in that, but I would think that if you perfectly created a little cyber bubble where nothing you ever saw or read offended you in any way, then real life would be much harsher and unpleasant for you.
There are no trigger warnings away from your computer screen. No little alerts to protect you from hearing about something that raises a no-no flag. No magic sunglasses that hide your eyes from gazing upon words that are apparently too much for some people in our modern world to handle. What are you going to do when someone mentions a big bad word while you’re going about your daily tasks? Are you going to plug your ears and scream “LALALALA” until it’s “safe”? Probably not.
I could think of a whole list of things that I wish I didn’t have to be exposed to while I was on the computer, but I’m not whiny. If you truly cannot handle certain things due to legitimate past traumas, then maybe the ocean of human waste that is “the Internet” isn’t the place for you. But if you slap excessive, useless trigger warnings on every little thing just because you want to make sure there is no way anything you post will be offensive to anyone because you feel that you have some “moral duty,” then (TW: suicide) kill yourself…or really, just stop being so annoying about everything.
TRIGGER WARNING: This picture may offend some people, too.