Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Road rage and Internet anonymity

I have noticed some similarities between anonymous posters on blog sites and people who exhibit aggressive behaviour while driving. For whatever reason, it seems these people act in ways they typically wouldnt if they were face to face with you. I think the reasoning behind it is similar to that of drivers in that they have this protective shield around them. How many times have we watched people swerve, give the finger, roll down their window and swear at their fellow highway travellers. Most times its based on some small infraction that may or may not have even been intentional. I think we should all try to remember, like beginner drivers, not all bloggers have the same skills. I question whether these individuals would act this way if they left their real names when posting or if they were walking behind you instead of driving. I think the answer for most is pretty obvious.


Gucci Mama said...

Very true. Well said.

Redlefty said...



If only I had made this comment anonymous, it would have been perfect. Damn you internet cookies!

mac said...

They've done studies on road rage as it applies to bumperstickers. It seems the more stickers on a car, the more apt the operator of the car is to have road rage. It doesn't seem to matter whether the stickers are cute bunny hugging save the planet stickers or violent "F-off and die raghead" stickers. The mere act of personalizing the car is the factor. It seems car personalizers are more territorial.

From Newsweek magazine....

Now that I have dispensed my totally useless study on you, I will have to agree.
Internet tough guys abound. Anonymity is their bastion from recourse.

Of course, mac is my REAL name. That's right, my entire name consists of three letters, one syllable of pure awesomeness and tough as nails baddassery ;-)

Luke said...

agreed. i think i'm going to give up my own anon identity, mainly because i'm finding that i don't much like the person posting stuff even though that person is me.

forweg said...

The internet is a precious, disgusting key to understanding the true nature of humanity. It alone justifies misanthropy

Yohami said...


Steve Kahn said...

I have had exactly the same thoughts about posting comments and driving, so you must be correct. I don't have a blogger account, but what the heck:

1. I am not insulting you.
2. I assume no one is going to bother me or post at my blog.

My name is Steve Kahn. My blog is collapse of

DaisyDeadhead said...

Mac, I have all these lefty bumper stickers and I live in those most conservative county in the USA (according to Rick Santorum) and people would yell, scream, tailgate me, give me the finger, etc... so I stuck a rosary in my car and ... the cross seems to stop them. But I get much more directed at me, than I would ever direct at someone else!

I think it depends on how much the stickers correspond with where you live... i.e. a liberal in a liberal area or a conservative in a conservative area, seems more likely to be pissed off since they have a cheering section.

The rosary has had a nice effect on me, and has had the added bargain of calming me down, so there is that. (Blessed Mother and me, go back a long way)

But I am SO tired of internet nastiness... I have long noticed that anonymous people with no ongoing internet presence (they may use the same name on many different blogs, but no way to find out WHO they really are) are the ones who consistently ratchet up the hostility in any given thread, regardless of their politics or position; left and right, feminist and anti-feminist alike. Some threads, the trolls have totally colonized, they are busy trying to impress each other with their trollness.

Those of us who are accountable for our words do not have the luxury of being so casually cruel.

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