Recently I was asked on ATS if a certain word was a "trigger word" for me in an attempt to say I was being irrational. It seems to me this term is
being used more commonly than before. In fact, in my memory, prior to the last year or two, I've only heard the word used in reference to hypnosis.
Given the context I heard it used in, I was assuming it meant that a word was used that was so offensive it provoked an emotional, perhaps violent,
response. Apparently, I was somewhat mistaken. Apparently, the term itself can be quite prosaic, it is dependent upon the person hearing it.
According to the Urban Dictionary (urbandictionary.com) the term "Trigger Word" is defined as: A word that when you hear it gets your attention.
Link to definition
Here is the example it gives:
TextPerson 1(in a convo with someone else): The new episode of "RWBY" was sooo good, you should watch the show.
Person 3(sitting nearby texting): I love RWBY!!! When you brought up RWBY it caught my attention, it's one of my trigger words.
So in this
sense, a trigger word can cause a positive emotional reaction as well. I personally haven't seen it used that way, but I'm old and unhip.
So delving a bit deeper on the site, I found the following definition for the word "trigger":
A word used often by idiots on Tumblr to justify
their bitchy attitudes, most of whom don't know what a real traumatic experience is.
And the example given:
OMG STAHP SAYING THE WORD
"PINEAPPLE"...IT'S MY TRIGGER WORD YOU CIS-LOVING SCUMBAG!!!!!!! RAAAAAAAAAAPE!!!!!!
That seemed a lot closer to how I've been seeing the term used. So I went to Dictionary.com to see what they had to say:
a word that initiates a process or course of action
Correlating the last two definitions lead me back to my original understanding of the word, a word submitted to the subject during a hypnotic trance
that would cause a specific action upon being heard after the subject is removed from the trance. Not artfully worded, so a better definition:
post-hypnotic suggestion is a command you give to your subject which is intended to be triggered sometime after the trance, usually by a phrase you
say or by some other signal. It can also given to your subject in such a way that it automatically triggers either at a specific time or in certain
I consider myself a fairly mature adult. I alone am responsible for my own emotional reactions. Other than in fight/flight situations, where
animalistic instinct kicks in, I should not blame my actions upon the words of someone else. Innumerable are the times that I had corrected my
children as they were growing up that no one can make you mad without your choosing to be mad. I've taught my children not to give anyone else that
power over them.
Of course, we are emotional beings. There are times and circumstances that many of us lose our cool because someone has "pushed out buttons."
However, when I do let my Irish get up, I am the only one responsible for it. It is not a defense to anything I have said or done.
A caveat here: I am not a minority. I'm an educated, white, middle-aged, middle-class male. I do not pretend to put myself in anyone else's
shoes. Perhaps this entire post is just me not "checking my privilege".
Having said that, if the use of a word or a combination of words can force you to lose your cool and act irrationally, I suggest you are allowing
other people to control you. As the adage goes, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me."
So is the growing use of this word an acceptance by the general public, or at least some of the youngsters, that we will allow others to control us?
Or is it even more nefarious than that? Not sure of the etymology of the term, but it suggests a person is subject to his will being overridden by
use of hypnosis. It suggests mind control.
There are numerous exposés about various forms of mind control and the research into them, which I assume most ATS'ers are familiar with. Whether
it be MKUltra, the Tavistock institute, Monarch Mind Control, etc. etc., they all have certain things in common. One method of indoctrination of mind
control is appropriate in this discussion:
Brainwashing through Social influence: An individual is placed only among successful “converts”
to the abuser or cult, who profess the belief system of the group, while the person is isolated from family and previous support systems and
In my mind, given the current modes of communication, it isn't even necessary to isolate the person from family etc.. People are so electronically
insulated, set themselves into these electronic echo-chambers, and have been brainwashed for decades into believing a certain thing, that they are
controlled by that idea. Their friends and family believe as they do and the thought is never challenged. If/when they enter higher education,
instead of having their norms challenged, they are further inculcated into the mindset.
There are innumerable examples I could give relative to race, ethnic, or religious name calling. To avoid controversy, I won't use any of those. I
will give the example of a person who grew up in a white middle-class family in middle-America. The persons parents were union workers, or public
employees, or worked for a local business. They'd vote but weren't overly political. However, they love America. They stand and remove their hats
for the national anthem. In all ways they respect this great land and what it has provided to so many. Every one, or most everyone, in town agrees.
When someone challenges that a particular war the US is involved in might be unjust, they bristle with contempt. Everyone they know and care about
echoes the anger.
There are three paths the person can take as the war drags on, little to no progress is made, and the body bags keep coming home. The person can be
apathetic, chose to close off his/her mind to counter arguments and remain with the "America, love it or leave it" mentality, or challenge
him/herself to look deeper into the issue and see if he may've been wrong.
In a mind control situation there is no option. One sticks to the original belief and allows nothing in that disagrees. Is this occurring? Perhaps?
No one should call another a racial slur. However, if one is called a racial slur, can one choose to ignore it?
The fact that the term used to describe this situation is straight out of hypnotic suggestion/mind control is amazing to me. Are there college
professors using this term in a way that deems it acceptable. Are there politicians? Parents?
Was this term used as leakage from a mind control program? Can we say that people are not being hypnotized by their smartphones? Or is this the same
argument our parents made about tv?
More musing than theory. I look forward to any comments/additions.