Cancelled Corner: Content warnings

CW: Hot take

Content warnings trigger me. We do not need to content warning everything! Content warnings on everything are making us unwilling to engage with terrifying situations that are currently unfolding around the world because we are worried that reading about it might trigger us; the reality is that the people we are reading about do not have a choice. 

I do believe in some situations a content warning is completely necessary; traumatic experiences are important to keep in mind and people need time to process their own experiences in order to engage with others. That is why the Australian Classification System exists. Contrary to popular belief, life does not need a classification system like the fictional things that appear on our screens. In fact, it would be very arrogant to assume that you “need” someone to put “cw: bombings” on an article about bombings in Syria. Why do you deserve a content warning here when people have literally died and you are sitting safely in your inner west bedroom, sharing articles which you probably haven’t even read? 

I also believe they do not work. Just ask yourself how many times you have not read an article or watched a video because there was a content warning above. Actually, they probably do distract us from the real purpose of the content and force us to find the moment or piece of information which is SO TRIGGERING that we can’t go on! Also, headlines usually give a pretty good idea of the road ahead? 

Which leads to my final position on content warnings: they are mostly redundant and only a way to signal that you are either too arrogant to realise that you getting triggered from reading about a situation that you probably have never experienced is weird and if you have experienced it, you probably wouldn’t put a content warning on it because you would understand it only gives people the opportunity to not engage with your pain and struggle. 

As a conclusion, here are just a few of the content warnings I’ve come into contact with: “cw: snake” “cw: self esteem” “tw: lesbian mention” “tw: children” and, my personal favourite, “cw: bit sad.” I think its cw: a bit sad that we’ve gotten to this point. 

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