I'm showing my age probably because the word "Trigger-Warning" is kinda new to me. I finally sat down last night and orientated myself to the phrase, and did some reading.
For a guy from Alabama or with a military background....one might think it's a sticker on a gun which just notes that the trigger might cause a round to be fired. But in this case? Trigger-warning basically means that you are about to discuss something which will cause distress among the people in the audience.
It's like you are going to bring up some hunting experience where you shot a rabbit, and the listener starts to enjoy the first part of the hunt, and then you get to the point where you fire the round and kill the rabbit, which disturbs the listener greatly and they start to freak out.
So, this trigger thing is most attaching itself to college campuses and classrooms. After a fair amount of reading, my humble feeling is that a number of kids have lived fairly sheltered lives up until age 18. They got reality does in shot-glasses and at eighteen....can handle a marginal amount of big-time reality. If you started to talk up WW II, the death of dinosaurs, American Indians, or life in the depression era....some of these kids would freak out because that's way too much reality to handle.
How did we get this way? My guess is over the past dozen years....young people just lived in a closet....never reading a newspaper....never watching the news....playing away at World-of-Warcraft....talking on the Kardashians with the buddies....watching Japanese cartoons, and the deepest conversation that they ever had by age eighteen concerned some episode of Amish Mafia.
Professors? I get the impression that they are standing there in a daze and can't believe they've some naive characters sitting in the room....who'd go berserk if you explained the Civil War or POW camps in the Vietnam War. It's almost like a phobia.....an irrational fear of reality.
You almost need a boot-camp deal for two weeks upon entering college now. Give these kids a maximum dose of reality in the world.
Where things will go? Imagine a thousand kids at some university who fret and worry daily about trigger-warning episodes, and trying to make it through four years? Then, they go and get hired by Mr Jones at some business operation who really sets upon them, and dumps a ton of reality upon them the first week or two. If you think this is crazy now.....just wait till they reach the first job....it'll go turbo.