There’s always a difference between the purpose people think their actions and statements serve, and their actual service. Usually, being vassals to their own culture, in the main most people are mostly unaware of the cultural reasons for their own cogitations, oblivious to the influences of the shepherd dogs guiding them into well-defined corrals of thought.
Which is to say that “trigger warnings” mostly serve as a way to police heretical thoughts in a group, and also in a much larger sense are designed (and I use “designed” advisedly, as there was no designer) to reduce potential communitarian world-altering efforts to atomized, individualistic bits of trauma, like processionary caterpillars circling until they starve, sapped thereby of all power and political efficacy.
Thoughts above were inspired by this, though lately I’ve been pondering cultural shifts, their frequent undetected celerity and then the subsequent denial of the previous state of existence by many.
Not sure how that relates to trigger warnings, but it does. I am still thinking about it.
Another thought about trigger warnings. Similar to how the euphemism treadmill works, the most likely long-term effect of such warnings is for the signifier itself to come to stand in the mind of the warned as the thing signified. In other words, the trigger warning itself will trigger by its association with the trauma the re-living of the traumatic episode, thus nullifying any possible benefit.
That is alas just how human minds work.