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does this messageboard have a new direction? and 'triggering'

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
thought this would be the best place to post this:

i would like to see an open discussion about the whole 'triggering' issue. as far as i know thesite leaders have spoken about it in the past. maybe im being ignorent by not knowing exactly where thesite stands on this issue but it does really seem as though this messageboard has changed direction to a forum that provides mostly support re. mental health.
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I thought you weren't allowed to post triggering things anywhere on the boards, that was my impression anyway.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My take on it:
    Anything about self harm/mental health has to go in the health and well being forum... and the title should clearly state what the thread is about/have a trigger warning.
    For example "Please help" isn't the best title. It'd be better to have either "please help *triggering*" or "Please help-self harm"
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I know we've had this debate lots before.

    I think that anything with lots of details / gorey / woah too much info shouldn't be posted at all - as that's likely to make uncomfortable reading for a lot of people, and it's just not necessary, or fair.

    I use the *triggering* in title thing when I've made a thread and it mentions self-harm and suicide. Because whilst I disagree with the triggering idea (I wouldn't ever post anything if I thought it would actually 'trigger' someone), I don't think my thread is necessarily the best place for someone who feels similar. Does that make sense?
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    This kind of thing didn't use to be necessary in the past. Which means something has changed, and I've made a list of what that could be (feel free to add possibilities):
    • TheSite has become a lot more sensitive to "troubled" people's feelings (rightly or wrongly, depending on view)
    • A bigger percentage of TheSite's users is "troubled" people than in the past
    • The people here now are a lot more sensitive than they used to be in the past
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I know we've had this debate lots before.

    I think that anything with lots of details / gorey / woah too much info shouldn't be posted at all - as that's likely to make uncomfortable reading for a lot of people, and it's just not necessary, or fair.

    I use the *triggering* in title thing when I've made a thread and it mentions self-harm and suicide. Because whilst I disagree with the triggering idea (I wouldn't ever post anything if I thought it would actually 'trigger' someone), I don't think my thread is necessarily the best place for someone who feels similar. Does that make sense?

    Yeah I think I agree with you. It seems that this community has developed its own thoughtful culture which is definitely, definitely not a bad thing but it does seem to sometimes be wrongly assumed that everyone coming to this forum is aware of this, especially if theyve only been on other maybe unmoderated forums in the past.

    Also agree with Yorghos. Things have definitely changed and the focus does seem to be more on support to people feeling vulnerable. Which again is in no way a bad thing but I'm not so sure that focus would be clear to new members joining the community and even whether it's something that needs to be made clear to new members and old members.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Personally I'm really not a fan of the putting 'triggering' in the thread title thing. I know why people do it, but can't help but feeling it sometimes sets off a 'who can make themselves sound the most miserable' game.

    It does feel like the balance has shifted - and I'm not convinced it's a good thing. The fun stuff, and the good news on the community side of things is now all buried in the 'Good News' thread. The trouble is that in itself gets tied up in mental health stuff, so a lot of it gets lost. It also feels like you don't get a good understanding of what's going on for people because it jumps all over the place.

    The latest 'unpopular opinions' thread has great potential. If we could get some of those split off into debate topcis, we'd start to get a bit more obvious variety on the boards.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That said, maybe it's just because I'm old/happy.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've really enjoyed the 'unpopular opinions' thread too
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This kind of thing didn't use to be necessary in the past. Which means something has changed, and I've made a list of what that could be (feel free to add possibilities):
    • TheSite has become a lot more sensitive to "troubled" people's feelings (rightly or wrongly, depending on view)
    • A bigger percentage of TheSite's users is "troubled" people than in the past
    • The people here now are a lot more sensitive than they used to be in the past

    I also think there are a lot more vulnerable young members now than in the past. I remember joining when I was 12, and I was by far the youngest for quite a while. Now there are a fair few number of 13+'s, and I think some are possibly more sensitive to triggers than older members.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yea I would say thesite is first and foremost a support forum now whereas before it was a general forum with lots of support stuff added on. Probably >50% of the daily users will be affected by things that the *triggering* tag could cover whereas before it would probably be <20% and 'My willy is too big for a condom lol' were the order of the day before.

    I'm glad everyone is enjoying the unpopular opinions thread, lets get a bit more bloodlust going in there!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    one of the big changes that i've noticed in thesite is that it's become very cuddly-hand-holdy in a way that it never used to be. we've always been supportive but in a straight-talking sort of way. when i used to come to thesite it was because i knew i'd get an honest answer and that's what made it stand out from other websites. a lot of the time now if people are given an honest piece of advice they get upset that they've not been treated sensitively, even though they have, but equally they've been treated as an adult rather than patted on the head and told to carry on with whatever they are doing.

    equally, there still seems to be an issue with including new people, which has always been a bit of a problem. people are quick to kick off and insult people who make mistakes (as happened earlier today). that has consequences not just for that person who feels attacked, but for the hundreds of people who read the forum but feel unable to post incase they get it wrong. so when we are all so sensitive about being 'triggered' i think we need to consider that our responses to the trigger might actually be the part that does the most damage. i am very sensitive to triggering material, and have reported threads in the past that i thought needed to be checked out, but equally if the triggering issue becomes too much of a big deal there is a risk of putting people off saying anything at all. in the end if someone is going to self-harm they are going to self-harm, and the 'trigger' culture gives the impression that the original poster is responsible for the actions of whoever reads their thread, which i don't think is fair.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    omg hi wrote: »
    in the end if someone is going to self-harm they are going to self-harm, and the 'trigger' culture gives the impression that the original poster is responsible for the actions of whoever reads their thread, which i don't think is fair.

    i think this is spot on
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    in the end i don't want to be triggered, and i would hate to trigger someone else. but if i make the decision to read a thread (providing it's got an appropriate title) then it's my choice to do that and it's my responsibility to decide if I feel safe enough to read it.

    at the same time if someone posts asking for advice about a sensitive topic then i think they need to exercise a degree of thoughtfulness about what they are putting and not illustrate their point with too much graphic detail. and if people ask for advice then they need to accept it with some grace and not have a go at the people who have taken the time to try to help them, just because they don't like the answer.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree with most of what omg hi has said.

    I also think the culture of the internet has changed dramatically since "our day". Forums like this are mainstream (albeit in the forms of Facebook groups, Tumblr communities, whatever) and so people are going to those more public places to post their "lol - look at this", or "this is sooooo inspiring", or "What do you think about gay marriage?" posts and the forums that are anonymous will tend to be more laden with support issues.

    Does that make sense?

    (Incidentally, and totally unscientifically, I've taken to counting the "new posts" threads that are about mh specifically, and they rarely add up to more than a third of the total new posts.)
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Boards Champion
    omg hi wrote: »
    in the end i don't want to be triggered, and i would hate to trigger someone else. but if i make the decision to read a thread (providing it's got an appropriate title) then it's my choice to do that and it's my responsibility to decide if I feel safe enough to read it.

    Like piccolo - I agree. I think the term triggering is an odd one because everyone has unique triggers that can't be predicted. If the title says what's on the tin, then people can decide whether or not they're in the right place to read it. Nothing in the new self-harm guidance says the word *triggering* should be used on titles - at the moment if people are choosing to do that, then it's their call - not something TheSite prescribes either officially or otherwise.
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Boards Champion
    piccolo wrote: »
    I agree with most of what omg hi has said.

    I also think the culture of the internet has changed dramatically since "our day". Forums like this are mainstream (albeit in the forms of Facebook groups, Tumblr communities, whatever) and so people are going to those more public places to post their "lol - look at this", or "this is sooooo inspiring", or "What do you think about gay marriage?" posts and the forums that are anonymous will tend to be more laden with support issues.

    Does that make sense?

    (Incidentally, and totally unscientifically, I've taken to counting the "new posts" threads that are about mh specifically, and they rarely add up to more than a third of the total new posts.)

    These are both really strong evidence based points. :yes:

    Clementine - this is a great thread - it's appropriately placed and really well considered. Would love to hear more people's thoughts on the issues.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I read a good article on this topic a while ago that related to feminist blog writers being attacked by other feminists for not enough trigger warnings and/or even talking about triggering problems. Will dig it out later. But it basically came down to: everyone has different triggers and we can't be guaranteed of a trigger free society so being able to deal with that ourselves is part of overcoming the issues... Not that safe spaces shouldn't exist but rather that the whole world will not or cannot be a safe space.

    So that begs the question if the site is a safe space?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    So that begs the question if the site is a safe space?

    I don't think it can be. By that definition (the one I'm aware of the student and feminist movements using) safe space isn't where you can talk about issues. TheSite allows people to tackle them head-on. The two are anathema.

    It should, however, be safe from bullying, and safe from judgement.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    piccolo wrote: »
    I don't think it can be. By that definition (the one I'm aware of the student and feminist movements using) safe space isn't where you can talk about issues. TheSite allows people to tackle them head-on. The two are anathema.

    It should, however, be safe from bullying, and safe from judgement.

    I agree.... I mean mentioning no names people posting graphic descriptions or pictures in general threads should obviously be frowned upon. But if a topic talks about abuse or other issues I think readers should use their own judgement that it may well have triggers and if they feel happy confronting those by going in the thread.

    I remember plastering warnings all over a thread with a youtube video posted by a victim of abuse and getting the video removed as well as a slating about how such triggering material isn't appropriate (even behind warnings). My view was that if you opened a thread with WARNING in the title that well, you were warned... Since then I have been a lot more reserved with my posting in all honesty.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    **helen** wrote: »
    Clementine - this is a great thread - it's appropriately placed and really well considered. Would love to hear more people's thoughts on the issues.

    Thanks helen :)

    Bit wary about my wording in this thread because I really wouldnt want to put anyone off seeking advice on this messageboard. I'm definitely not complaining about the support aspect of this messageboard but it would be interesting to discuss with others how they view the messageboard now and whether a consensus needs to be reached. Especially around threads regarding self harm and things that could potentially 'trigger' other members.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think in the "for help" boards one could reasonably expect to see subjects and comments that could trigger relapses or difficult thoughts and feelings.

    In anything goes I think it should be a safe space, in the way Piccolo refers to it, where we all pretend we don't have problems worse than the bus being late.

    In P&D, I think it should reasonably be expected that some gentility will disappear. Not flamming, but not kid gloves either.
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Boards Champion
    Especially around threads regarding self harm and things that could potentially 'trigger' other members.

    There has been a consensus around that specifically though - it's essentially the guidance that's in the health & wellbeing board as a sticky... unless I'm missing the point?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree with all the points raised. It's a great thread.

    I think if people write *triggering* in the title, then that's okay then it means that people can read it or not read it, depending on the individual. I think that as long as people are not graphic in what they say and post on the boards, then people wont be triggered. I post about s/h but I don't set out to trigger others and I hope I don't.

    But then on the other hand, triggers could vary from person to person, what one person could be triggered by another person may not.

    I think maybe when somebody feels really low, they may not know the exact words to describe how they are feeling without wording things in a triggering way. I have felt like that in the past before, when writing posts.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    **helen** wrote: »
    There has been a consensus around that specifically though - it's essentially the guidance that's in the health & wellbeing board as a sticky... unless I'm missing the point?

    Yeah I did read that thread and found the guidance helpful on some levels however in another thread I found myself blindly telling a member that a cartoon image of a man holding a gun to his head was 'triggering'. I think like omg_hi suggests by doing that we could be in danger of being hyper sensitive and even shifting the blame/responsability for another member's actions onto a complete stranger.

    Without wanting to offend members that may have identified the image I'm mentioning as 'triggering', I'm more of the opinion now that it was a cartoon picture being used to convey emotion. I didn't find it explicit and I think examples of similar imagery can be found on album covers, film posters etc. I get that it's probably an impossible task to manage but I do think it's worth questioning what seems to be a mass disapproval of anything which could 'trigger' someone else.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Part of it is probably because we've learnt more about mental health issues as a community. If you'd asked me what my "triggers" were when I was a teenager and still self-harming, I would have punched you in your stupid face.

    Now we understand that there are triggers for coping behaviours, that it's different for everyone, and it can vary with quantity, or the quality (by which I mean how it was presented), or whether the trigger was a surprise.

    The thing about sticking a trigger warning on, is it gives users the chance to use their own self-awareness to know when they're not in the place to risk it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Maybe I just don't like the word 'triggering'. It does seem to be bandied around this community an awful lot and suggests a shift or responsability to a complete stranger which I'm really not comfortable with.

    However, maybe I'm ignorent as I don't remember finding posts on here 'triggering' (tempting me to SH) during my dark spell. I did and still do find some threads upsetting to read because of the content but I think if you go into a thread titled 'Help' or 'I feel so sad' then there is an expectation it's not going to be a feel good post.

    We're pretty fortunate on this messageboard because of the amount of careful moderation that goes on and it just seems a bit of a strange diversion to read a desperate sounding stand alone thread or even just a post and immediately make the call of 'Triggering!' as if it's a game of snap. I was wondering if there is a function that allows users to see when a modrator has viewed or is involved in a thread. That way it could reassure other users that the thread has been checked for 'triggering' (my understanding of triggering is something that is explicit descriptions of self harming) content and they can make the decision whether to view a thread that may not have been checked by a moderator yet.

    But I do think there are threads on here that will be naturally upsetting and perhaps resonate with another's situation, make them think back to an unpleasant memory but that isn't anyone's fault. It's just life.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I did and still do find some threads upsetting to read because of the content but I think if you go into a thread titled 'Help' or 'I feel so sad' then there is an expectation it's not going to be a feel good post.

    I think a thread title needs to be more than just "help" for example. I find reading about certain things (such as abuse) very distressing, and although I wouldn't say it "triggers" me I would like to be told in the thread title if the thread is going to be about abuse... purely because, in some states of mind I know I can really help with support about it, and in some states of mind reading about it will leave me in a total mess.

    Edit: Obviously I'm not just saying threads about abuse should say in the title, I think it should be made clear in every title what the thread is going to be about.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    yeah I see what you mean. point taken :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    yeah I see what you mean. point taken :)

    :)
    I also think that if people did make their thread titles clearer, there wouldn't need to be a trigger warning. As others have said, trigger warnings are quite hard to regulate, so I think clear thread titles are the way forward :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Would def prefer that to the word 'triggering' which doesn't really mean all that much.
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