Sunday, 20 October 2013

Trigger warning of.. stuff. Yes, there's stuff everywhere.

Trigger. Erm, that's a horse. (Who pulled the fastest milk cart in the west). It's currently a bit of a ... thing to label your blogposts and your comments and your general social media behaviour with 'trigger warnings'. To an extent, it's a matter of good manners: let readers know in advance if what they are about to read is potentially going to upset them, but it's also becoming a bit of a self-righteousness indicator. It's not good to have a conversation completely obliterated and drowned out by people screaming that it 'needs a trigger warning but refusing to discuss whatever it actually was.People who have been traumatized in any way can be badly upset by all sorts of things - rainfall, blue trousers, the smell of cheese - and while those close to them can tread carefully and avoid any known upsetters, there needs to be a balance between one person's distress and another's right to discuss stuff ,be themselves, live their lives. 'I've been triggered' is sometimes used as a justification for bullying. attention-seeking behaviour - when it comes to discussion of something contentious, does one person's need not to hear it trump another person's need to speak?
An obsession with policing what is and isnt' 'triggering' is just another version of censorship. I'm certainly not going to label any posts after this one as 'trigger warning' - only two people and a dead dog read this blog anyway - if you don't feel too good, or something upsetting has happened to you, confine your internet activity to comfortable, gentle websites and good luck to you. But the rest of the world doesn't have to stop.

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