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Social media shaming is on ‘the edge of bullying’

Dr Tania Signal
Dr Tania Signal

TANIA Signal says there are two sides to every story, especially when it comes to road rage.

The associate professor says Rockhampton is seeing a rise in things like road rage, which was concerning.

Dr Signal believes there are several problems causing the issue.

She said road rage was one of the few times where women were seen to behave just as aggressively as men.

"Normally women were less likely to engage in physical aggression ... you're in a car you're safe so you find that women drive faster, tailgate or yell out things from the window," she said. "This is one incident where there is equal rage."

The CQUniversity lecturer explained people almost see their car as an extension of themselves and therefore took incidents in car parks personally.

"A car is almost an extension of ourselves and when we see someone do something wrong or take a park you wanted, then you would yell or give the finger," Dr Signal said.

"But now you get the camera out and put it on Facebook and you're somewhat anonymous and that way you don't have to confront someone."

Dr Signal said the problem with naming and shaming on Facebook was people were not realising the affect it could have.

"The problem is a photo is a snapshot in time, you don't know what happened before or what the circumstances are," she said.

"There might be a photo of a car parked over the line when the other car was actually the problem."

The lecturer said Facebook pages like "Rocky's worst drivers" were a form of cheap entertainment, but when people posted to Facebook they usually posted number plates with it.

"The owner of that car can be traced down quite easily…it's stepping into the edge of bullying," Dr Signal said.

Dr Signal said increased road rage could possibly be put down to two things.

"One, we are becoming more accepted of violence generally," she said.

"In video games, TV shows…it's often shown as a successful way of getting things done.

"We are all living very fast lives, so there are a lot of pressures people bring with them when they hop into the car and it's hard to remember you're not the only one on the road.

"Everybody's dealing with their own stuff and we have to all just calm down."

Topics:  bullying, cquniversity, facebook, road rage, social media



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