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Green Room - Week 1 - Day 4

Warning: We will not be discussing Roy Roger's horse.

Warning: That may have been a reference that is way too old and/or obscure for younger Idolers and will make the Idolers who *do* know the reference feel a lot older.

The question was asked, in the Weekend Edition - "What about trigger warnings?"

That wasn't the exact question, but I think it is a good jumping off point. (Warning: Kris Kross will make you... Again, some of you will feel really old)

LJ Idol does not have a policy about trigger warnings.

If you want to do them - do them.

If you don't want to do them - don't do them.

Like most things, my advice is, if you do them, to make sure that they don't distract from the actual piece. (For instance: Making sure there is enough of a distinction between where one ends and the other starts is something I've seen folks, in the past, have some trouble with as far as spacing issues go. There are also some that argue that having anything before that important first-sentence dulls the punch.)

Every season though, the people who make up the group have slightly different ideas about what they like, and what they don't.

So I'm throwing it out there for discussion - what do you think about trigger warnings? Where are they needed? How can you use them without taking away from your entry? (is that even something to consider or is the warning more important?)


Your important links: Topic for Week 1: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/951685.html
Sign-ups, which close Wednesday evening: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/945807.html


The buffet line starts to the right for anyone hungry this morning (or whenever you stumble in)


( 64 comments — Leave a comment )
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Nov. 21st, 2016 02:25 pm (UTC)

I personally never do trigger warnings and do not like them. However, I do understand people who feel the need to do trigger warnings.
Nov. 21st, 2016 02:55 pm (UTC)
You're fiiiirst!!!! :throws confetti:

(no subject) - adoptedwriter - Nov. 21st, 2016 03:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alphaloria - Nov. 22nd, 2016 02:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 21st, 2016 02:59 pm (UTC)
Eh, trigger warnings. I personally don't like them but I respect the reason(s) why people use them.

The biggest reason why I personally don't like them is because I think it distracts me from what I'm reading. It's like driving on a smooth-as-glass road at cruising speed and suddenly hitting a very large jarring bump.
Nov. 21st, 2016 03:21 pm (UTC)

I typically don't need a trigger warning, but I know it matters to other people. To me it's almost like a topic tag. If the writing is that good, it doesn't take away from the story for me.

Nov. 21st, 2016 04:00 pm (UTC)
I do trigger warnings, because I know people for whom certain topics are difficult, and they prefer being forewarned about them.

Personally, I am fine without them, but it's nice if people say beforehand they are going to talk about anxiety or weight/food problems.

So for me, if you write about the following topics, you should consider putting them, especially if you put your work out there for strangers to read:
-struggles with weight or eating).

Also, if you feel it would be nice if others mentioned something beforehand, warn others if you write about a similar subject.

There was a recent Twitter discussion on whether or not a trigger warning may be considered a spoiler, and I agree with those who say that it should not be.

I agree that the warning should be visible yet not detract from the reading. Probably the first line of the entry separated by a couple of empty line from the actual text is best.

I have seen people hide only the potentially triggering passages, but I am in two minds about this, where LJ Idol entries are concerned because it may interrupt the flow.

Edited at 2016-11-21 04:04 pm (UTC)
Nov. 21st, 2016 09:28 pm (UTC)
I would add rape/sexual assault to that list, but otherwise I agree.
Nov. 21st, 2016 04:06 pm (UTC)

reminds me of a sign I saw
once or twice at Disneyland

which says something to the effect that

Nov. 21st, 2016 04:24 pm (UTC)
I'm not a fan, not because I don't respect some folks' need for them, but because I never know what constitutes placing one... there's a LONG list of things people find disturbing... and not all of it is common. So where does one decide when to place one? How does one know which subjects need a warning? Are there some common ones? Sure... but really, I feel like most things can be a bit triggery, considering life is a dark road to navigate... Right now, even politics is a shaky trigger ground... And if that's the case, then I should just summarize my piece with "this story contains references to this, this and this"... which I do think completely derails entries...

SOOOO, I choose not to warn, even on dark subject matter... I don't want anyone to feel bad when they read me... but I don't want to compromise art because it's evocative... To me, that's the whole point.
Nov. 21st, 2016 04:31 pm (UTC)
That's also part of why I don't like them either :nodding:

What was it, over last spring or summer, it was on the news that some university (U. Chicago, maybe?) announced that they would no longer be using trigger warnings in their literature classes for the reasons you just described. I remember somebody on my FB feed posting it and chiding those who protested it as being "special snowflakes", etc. I remember reading that and grimacing because even though I completely got what they meant and agreed with it, I also remember being deeply affected by stuff I've read because it brought up a lot of my own stuff, but not to the extent that I'd need a warning before reading it. But then again not everyone is me and vice versa :shrug:
(no subject) - tamaraland - Nov. 22nd, 2016 03:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 21st, 2016 04:27 pm (UTC)
Changing gears for a second (not that I don't want to talk about trigger warnings but this is the GR)...I'm doing my first overnight shift in god knows how many years tonight. Please pray that I don't crash into something on my way home...
Nov. 21st, 2016 04:51 pm (UTC)
I am unaffected by trigger warnings; they don't bother me, but I also am not bothered if someone does not use them. Truly, I think it comes with the territory of working as a therapist; my entire day is made up of triggered material!

That said, I do try to be mindful of time when others may appreciate a trigger warning. Again, I contribute this to my profession; it become second nature to handle things with a trauma-informed care approach. A lot of my subject matter deals with the inner workings of the mind and dark moments.

It doesn't bother me at all to slap a "Hey, fyi, this piece contains some references to self-injury/suicide/whathaveyou so please skip if you feel like that would be a bad time for you"--but it also doesn't bother me if someone doesn't do the same.
Nov. 21st, 2016 05:04 pm (UTC)
I dislike trigger warnings. I find they're often either general enough to mean absolutely nothing (Literally saying only "trigger warning" or "TW" with no subject listed) or specific enough to be a spoiler.

Also, as someone else said, there are way too many things people are sensitive about. I guess I grew up in a world before trigger warnings (then again, I grew up in a world before bicycle helmets too, which may explain some things).

There's instructions for how to do a spoiler cut in the FAQ, under "Trigger Warning" if people want to make the warning opt-in.

ETA - I guess LJ notifications are broken. I wondered where the GR was today, and it's been up for hours.

Edited at 2016-11-21 05:06 pm (UTC)
Nov. 21st, 2016 05:18 pm (UTC)
I was thinking maybe they were broken because I didn't see you here until now :)
(no subject) - xo_kizzy_xo - Nov. 21st, 2016 05:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Nov. 21st, 2016 05:14 pm (UTC)
I am not likely to use a trigger warning - everybody has a different trigger, and if I use it for "you" and not for "her"...then I offend someone by accident. So I don't use any - and offend everybody equally!
Nov. 21st, 2016 05:15 pm (UTC)
Firstly, can we please say "content" warnings, rather than "trigger" warnings? Because "being triggered" is a specific medical term related to PTSD, and if it's used too often out of context then it becomes unuseful as a medical term, which I don't think is helpful.

Also, I personally think there is quite a large difference between mentioning something in passing, even presenting reflections on the topic, vs. going into extremely graphic detail about something horrible. I'd prefer a warning for the latter, personally, although I'll likely read the entry anyway, but I'll live if I don't get one. Ideally, for me, they would be used, but only when it's really, really necessary -- writing that is out of the ordinary, that is severely different from the range of things that most people would expect to encounter in reading something.

Another way to look at it is like film classifications. We could do something like that, in the title, maybe? Or to circle back to what I was saying earlier, only provide one if it's an 18?
Nov. 21st, 2016 05:34 pm (UTC)
Sure, no problem. I have seen people write both, but did not know the difference.
Nov. 21st, 2016 05:41 pm (UTC)
I would only consider a "content" warning or "trigger" warning if I were writing about something such as sexual assault or physical abuse.

I journal a lot about my anxiety and depression. I wouldn't put a warning on those posts. If I was actively having suicidal ideations, then I might put a content warning on it.

I guess what I'm saying is that it would have to be something truly traumatic to make me TW it.
Nov. 21st, 2016 05:46 pm (UTC)

Not to sound stupid, but what is a trigger warning?

Nov. 21st, 2016 07:29 pm (UTC)
No such thing as a stupid question... well almost all the time!

A "trigger warning" is a warning you give, usually at the very beginning of a blog entry, or in our case, in the beginning of an Idol entry that warns others that the piece contains potentially "triggering" things. What constitutes as being "triggering" is a rather nebulous topic, however many agree that triggering subjects can consist of the following:

eating disorders

And this is kind of the tip of the ice burg. What is triggering for some, may not be triggering for others. Others, such as myself, are not triggered by anything. Still, many people like to include a "trigger warning" if they are worried their entry may upset some people who may be surprised to be reading about things they find difficult. There are people with anxiety disorders especially who find certain things triggering, and mostly it triggers their anxiety so especially for them, trigger warnings can be helpful.

As you can read from the comments, it is a rather contentious subject. I thought most people are in favor of trigger warnings, but it turns out most aren't.
(no subject) - ryl - Nov. 21st, 2016 08:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clauderainsrm - Nov. 22nd, 2016 12:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 21st, 2016 05:54 pm (UTC)
I'm someone who's generally not triggered by things I read/watch, so I feel like my perspective is not as relevant when weighing in on whether or not they're needed. I think I also generally don't write things that would require such a warning either. Though I did include a NSFW (if you're using a screen reader, since it's words, not pictures) warning on my entry on the topic post this week. I wouldn't do that in the actual entry itself, though, because I didn't want it to detract from the piece.

I will say though that sometimes in the past I've seen trigger warnings and actively avoided reading the entry just because the warning was specific enough about the content and the subject it included was something I didn't feel like reading, because I tended to jump to the conclusion that the person is writing it just to be provocative. I wouldn't do that if there was no warning.
Nov. 21st, 2016 06:26 pm (UTC)
I don't typically use warnings, but I also don't typically write about things that are common triggers. If I do write about something that's likely to be triggering to someone, I'll put a warning at the top of the entry rather than in the middle, so it's not jarring for others reading it.
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