Would you ask a friend to add a trigger warning?

posted 7 days ago in Relationships
Post # 16
Member
564 posts
Busy bee

TV and film have had content warnings for ages and the whole even PG/Rated R stuff is kinda of like a content warning. I know they came with a new word for social media/ written content ie trigger warning but I think it just works to belittle the person who is “triggered” ie have flashback or ptsd. 

i think it’s completely ok to approach it in an educational way, since she is new to the field and it is a sensitive field. It might be helpful to her in future specially if she wants to talk more about this on social media. And you don’t have to approach it as in “you have to” but more like this is common in the field (even film/TV) warn that this contains graphic content not suitable for children, survivor of rape, etc. 

Post # 17
Member
1688 posts
Bumble bee

To me, trigger warnings do the opposite. It strikes anxiety in me without me even really knowing what it is about yet. Whereas if a headline or caption sums it up I can choose to not read or view it once I realize what it is. 

I think there’s no good way to say to your friend that she needs a trigger warning in her posts without sounding condescending. Since you know she may post such things now, be cognizant and scroll or click past it.

Post # 18
Member
205 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

I had a friend do something similar. She’s vegan and her stories on Instagram would vary between really cool photography and animals being killed/abused. At one point I did say something to her because one of her stories was extremely triggering for me. I asked if she could put a trigger warning before some of her posts. She understood my concerns and she had trigger warnings for all of two days and went back to not using trigger warnings. I then put her stories on mute. I never had a problem blocking/mutibg people on social media if I hated their posts, some of hers were really cool and others were extremely graphic- there was no in between. Maybe for your own mental health you should just put her on mute.

Post # 19
Member
1546 posts
Bumble bee

Life doesn’t come with Trigger Warnings and there is truly zero safe space.  In my opinion, we, as a culture, are afraid of our feelings and how seeing things make us feel.  Especially if it’s not about positive things.  We seem to be slowly losing the ability to be resiliant when things upset us.

Post # 20
Member
45 posts
Newbee

Especially since she is in the field, I think she would want to know (I’m assuming she just didn’t consider it, since she’s new). I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it, but just mention next time you see her that it would be nice to have a trigger warning on future posts, and you can always explain the trauma, PTSD aspect, etc if she asks. But again I wouldn’t make it a huge issue

Post # 21
Member
247 posts
Helper bee

So many bees making this about ‘trigger warning culture’, safe spaces or even being resilient when things just ‘upset’ you are totally missing the point.

Being triggered has become a pejorative term and is used to mean being upset but that is not what it is. It is a psychological phenomon as a result of serious trauma. So a solider may be triggered if they hear a load bang or are unexpectedly confronted with images of war, and equally a sexual abuse survivor may be triggered if they are touched in a certain way or are unexpectedly confronted with images or stories of sexual violence.

Being triggered is not being made to feel sad or see things you disagree with – it is your body RELIVING a traumatic experience in detail, re-feeling it, re-experiencing it and all of the disassociation and trauma that comes with it. It is a part of violent PTSD.

If she is working in this field she needs to know this and if she is your friend she should want not to retraumatise you or others. I would have no problem with asking her to add a line that says ‘trigger/content warning: graphic description of sexual violence.’ The worst she can say is no.

I don’t want to make this message too long but my final point is that trigger warnings for trauma are not about a lack of resilience but actually enable survivors of serious trauma to navigate and cope well with daily life. There’s a reason the suicide rates for those living with trauma, including sexual abuse survivors and soldiers is astronomically high and part of it is the constant, unexpected reliving of the worst moments of your life over and over again when things subconsciously ‘trigger’ a PTSD informed response. Adding a warning is such a small simple thing but it is a kind thing that makes a real difference. 

Post # 22
Member
7186 posts
Busy Beekeeper

kia2019 :  So I partially agree with you, however there is a huge difference between a loud bang, which triggers someone and they have no idea its coming, and scrolling through instagram stories, and stopping to READ THE DAMN STORY and then blaming the other person it triggered them. 

It doesnt sound like these were short anecdotes, it says graphic survivor accounts. Why would one continue reading if they are actually so bothered? Like in your loud bang scenario, thats like reading there is going to be a fireworks display, and then grabbing your lawn chair for it. 

Post # 23
Member
853 posts
Busy bee

Without having seen the post it’s hard to speculate on how useful a TW would have been here. But if it was primarily text and obvious from the first sentence or two that it’s about rape (without immediately being graphic)… then my feeling is that’s kind of a trigger warning of its own, and you can just stop reading at that point? Though maybe it was more graphic from the get go… it’s just hard to say without seeing it. 

In general though I ironically agree with pp that our society is increasingly uncomfortable with our own feelings. If we say or do something that hurts another person, we’d rather call them a triggered snowflake than investigate our own motives for saying/doing that shit in the first place. Many will do anything to avoid feeling guilty or taking responsibility for inflicting pain on another person. 

Post # 24
Member
3168 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

Omg, no definitely don’t say anything,  just keep on scrolling!

Post # 25
Member
1281 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

You can’t police what others post online. I’m all for – if it offends you or it confronts you, don’t look. It’s part of someone else’s process.

Social Media is a dangerous at the best of times for those who are triggered – and I should think that if such posts would have a negative effect, Facebook would not be the place to be. I have recently made a connection between FB and IG to the passive negative thoughts I’ve been having (linked to my ED), so I deactivated both. It’s not my job to stop others from posting, so I removed myself.

Last year a “friend” (an outer rim “friend of a friend” facebook friend – one you probably wouldn’t even recognise on the streets) went through a devastating loss – a stillbirth. I felt that loss for her through my whole body, so I couldn’t even imagine the pain she was in.

The hospital was kind enough to let her spend a day with her son before they needed to take him. She took dozens and dozens of photos of the family with him, mourning him as a part of a family he never got to meet.

She posted the photos daily on FB. It was confronting. I couldn’t see it. That kind of loss, it was something I couldn’t bear to see.

But I can’t sit here and say to her “tRigGeR wArNiNG”. It was part of her healing process. I can’t judge that. I unfollowed her, because I couldn’t handle it. I wasn’t going to push that on a grieving mother though

You can’t dictate to someone what they can/can’t put online, especially if it’s something we need to bring more attention to. If people don’t want to see it, they need to unfollow. Simple as that.

I’m a fan of “stay in your lane until called upon”

 

Post # 26
Member
45 posts
Newbee

People keep using the terms ‘police’ and ‘dictate.’ No one is *telling* the friend what to do here. Of course she can and will post whatever she wants to. The question is whether it’s appropriate for OP to give a suggestion. 

Post # 27
Member
398 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I don’t think it’s a bad thing to suggest. I don’t think it’s offensive or controlling and may just be a courtesy that she is unaware of.

Post # 28
Member
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

As someone who works with sexual assault survivors, I know many many of them appreciate a simple warning that something about sexual assault is about to be discussed/mentioned/displayed. It’s harrowing to be caught by surprise and reminded unexpectedly of one of the worst events of your life. A TW does not “police” anyone’s content, it’s a simple addition to content that is sensitive to the fact that (stats vary) roughly 50% of women experience adverse physical symptoms when seeing/reading anything about sexual assault (increased heart rate, sweaty palms, nausea, etc) A headsup can help people manage their exposure, given your friends work, I would think she would be understanding of this. Have a discussion with her!

Post # 29
Member
615 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I also think it’s appropriate to say, “Hey, this should have a TW at the top.” I don’t think that’s a big deal. 

All the PPs who are rolling their eyes and suggesting that “triggers” are silly and sensitive have likely not dealt with people suffering from PTSD. (And if they have dealt with such people, that says something pretty terrible about the characters of PP.) One of my students had been in the military and had two grenades go off somewhere near him, killing one of the other soldiers. He had to sit in the corner of my classroom so that no one would be behind him and so that he could see out of the windows; otherwise, he was liable to have an extreme response to unfamiliar stimuli. He was 21 years old. 

I have since been very sensitive to trigger warnings. Being “triggered” is real, and if you care about being a compassionate person, you have no right to tell others that they’re being “too sensitive” about their traumatic experiences. These experiences can be rape, torture, murder, animal torture, and so on. When you’ve seen the barbarism of human beings, fuck anyone who tells you that you’re too sensitive to further barbarism. 

Post # 30
Member
600 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

I can appreciate Graphic Content warnings. 

But there is an element of personal responsibility. You have to know what you can and cannot handle and be your own safe guard. When it comes to articles or stories, you as a consumer of information are choosing to read it, it’s your responsibility to read the headline or first few lines and click off. Same with Movies and TV, a show comes on it’s your responsibility to know, I can’t handle watching this, I need to change the channel. You have to be able to remove yourself from situations that are damaging to yourself. Wether that’s digital content or physical places. It’s really the only way to survive when you have had extremely traumatizing experiences.

And there’s nothing wrong with muting people.

 

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