Every time I see stuff online about triggers and trigger warnings it makes me wonder what the world, and more importantly the humans were like a hundred years ago before we had such terms. There is a lot of talk online and in real life about how we raise kids so sheltered and protected that they miss out on learning how to be healthy independent people. Well, as adults being healthy independent people means taking personal responsibility for your own psychological glitches. If you dislike spiders, this has not in the past meant that everyone around you, including complete strangers, had to cater to your dislike by not displaying images of spiders. It makes my blood boil reading or viewing media that portray women as inferior or subservient by nature, regardless of the gender of the speakers, but this does not give me the right to expect that everyone on Bubblews is egalitarian and respects women’s rights as human beings. My dislike of sexist perspectives does not imply that everyone around me refrains from displaying sexist ideas, so why are spiders any different?
I like that we, in modern society, are trying to respect the comfort of others. Ad campaigns that feature common triggers- spiders, acute violence, blood, needles, rape (yes, there have been ads tastelessly alluding to rape to sell products) are irresponsible and are just trying to be sensational in hopes that you will pay attention because of those triggers. Recognizing that our society doesn not generally approve of such cheap sensationalism is great. I’d love to live in a classier, more creative, more positive society. But eroding our abilities as adults to deal with our phobias and fears by simply removing everything from our lives that seems remotely fear-inducing is doing to us what we do to our kids, making us all more helpless and dependent on society to keep us safe. In my opinion, a safer world is not made by making everyone equally unable to deal with stress, fear and the unexpected. Safety comes from knowing our neighbors, building communities of interconnected people who support each other as a community, and from each of us developing our own skills, knowledge and coping strategies so that we can have inner strength and resources with which to support each other.