Content Warnings Are More Important Than You May Realize
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

Content Warnings Are More Important Than You May Realize

Giving your audience a head's up about graphic content in your work is courteous and respectful.

35
Content Warnings Are More Important Than You May Realize

I absolutely loathe being startled. I hate it when my friend hides around a corner, waiting for the perfect moment to jump out and scare me.

Yet, I love horror content. I love stories about monsters, ghosts, and psychopathic murders hell-bent on murdering an entire family for the fun of it. Jumpscares, however cheap, are my guilty pleasure.

This may seem like an oxymoron. How could I love Five Nights At Freddy's but hate when my friend sneaks up behind me?

There's a long and short answer to this, dear friend.

The short answer? While playing a horror game or watching a slasher flick, I consented to the fact that I would be startled. The long answer? I knew that something was going to pop out at me, so I was able to brace myself for the scare. I know my limits when it comes to being startled, which is why I'll never step foot in a haunted house, no matter how corny the props are.

Fortunately, being startled by my asshole of a boyfriend won't send me into a panic attack. I won't have vivid flashbacks to past trauma. I'll just be mildly pissed and move on with my day.

However, for some other people, when they see or hear something specific they weren't warned about, they can't just "move on with their day."

That is why posting content warnings about any and all graphic content in your work is so important. If you are releasing content into the world for public consumption, you are responsible for posting a warning if something in your work is potentially triggering to someone.

And no, "being triggered" isn't something Tumblr just made up, nor is it a big joke. It's a real condition that people with anxiety deal with on a daily basis, particularly those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

PTSD, as described by UCLA professor Javier Iribarren in his paper, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Evidence-Based Research for the Third Millennium, "...is the psychiatric disorder that can result from the experience or witnessing of traumatic or life-threatening events such as terrorist attack, violent crime and abuse, military combat, natural disasters, serious accidents or violent personal assaults."

Trauma triggers, as defined by University of Alberta's Sexual Assault Centre, "...is something that sets off a memory tape or flashback transporting the person back to the event of her/his original trauma."

So, if you are a content creator and decide to create something that deals with heavy topics, such as sexual abuse, heavy violence, or death, it is your duty to add a warning to protect those with these traumas against something that could actually hurt them. Panic attacks are no joke.

It's not that hard, guys. If your work contains graphic imagery of, say, gun violence, just gives a quick notice before the work begins. Something like, "Hey guys, this work contains heavy subjects, such as gun violence. Proceed with caution!" is fine. Or, even just put a "CW: gun violence" before your work.

Giving a content warning gives the person with a trigger a chance to decide whether or not they are able to see, read, or interact with your content.

They're able to consent to see the graphic content.

It takes less than three seconds, and it's not that much effort. Yet, I've seen such a push-back against trigger warnings, for example, some claim it's "censorship" and that students need to be shown things that make them "uncomfortable."

Being triggered with a PTSD flashback is far, far different than being "uncomfortable." A flashback to a traumatic event is more than just "uncomfortable." It's horrifying. I think we, as content creators, can take a few seconds out of our schedule to add a warning for people.

Bottom line, your convenience is not worth someone else's well-being.

It's not your or anyone else's place to say how or when people interact with your content, especially if they have suffered through a traumatic event.

Posting a trigger warning before work that features graphic content is not hard. Caring for people who have gone through traumatic experiences is not hard. Being kind and considerate is not hard.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
What College Girls Remember from their Summers as a Kid

Yes, summer is almost here.. so what should we remember

Keep Reading... Show less
The 100 Things Millennials have ruined: A Comprehensive List
http://www.factandmyth.com/the-middle-class/are-mi...

Millennials: the generation everyone loves to hate. The babies of 1980 to 1995 take a lot of heat. I mean, we inherited a crashed economy, earn stagnant wages, live with crippling student loan debt, and try to enact change in a rigged system but our affinity for avocado toast and use of technology has wrecked society as we know it! As a tail end millennial, I wanted to know what I was ruining and, like any other annoying millennial would, I did some research. I scoured the internet, read online newspapers and scrolled through every listicle I could find. So, in case you needed another reason to resent the millennial in your life, here are the 100 industries we've killed, things we've ruined or concepts we've destroyed.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Anxiety Doesn't Discriminate

This month, Odyssey brings about awareness & normality to conversations around mental health from our community.

9152
Anxiety Doesn't Discriminate

It's no secret that even in 2018 our country still struggles with discrimination of all kinds. Society labels individuals by the color of their skin, heritage, religion, sexuality, gender, size, and political beliefs. You are either privileged or you're not. However, here's the thing, anxiety doesn't care about your privilege. Anxiety doesn't discriminate.

Keep Reading... Show less
College Boy Charm is Real and it's Very Sexy
Disney

After surviving a year of college and watching "Clueless" countless times, I've come to the conclusion that college boy charm is very much a real thing and it's very very attractive. It's easiest explained through Paul Rudd's character, Josh, in "Clueless". The boy who has a grip on his life and is totally charming. In this article, I will list the qualities of a specimen with College Boy Charm, to help you identify him at your next party or other social events.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Tik Tok Stars: Worth the Hype? or Overrated?

As Tik-Tokers rise to fame, do their 'copy-cat' dances deserve the clout?

6820
Tik Tok Stars: Worth the Hype? or Overrated?
https://pixabay.com/photos/tiktok-social-media-app-tik-tok-5323007/

Oh, the wonders of social media. Trends come and go just as quick as a story on Instagram, everyone posting for their shot at fifteen minutes of fame, and the ever growing following of a new type of celebrity- social media influencers and content creators. Everyone who owns a smartphone probably has Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and now Tik-Tok, as it's growing to be a major social media platform for teenagers and young adults. Tik Tok became popular in the United States in late 2019 and since then has grown a considerable amount. Personally, I was one to make fun of Tik-Tok and say it was a dumb app like Musical.ly or Triller, and now months later, I spend more time on it than I do on Instagram.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments