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Social Bashing Takes to the Streets

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Aug 5, 2011

Social bashing started with what I call “hate sites” way back in the mid 1990′s where someone launched a website for the sole purpose of taking their frustrations out on a politician or business. Rarely did you see anyone go out of their way to make a hate site to go after a specific person for anything other than politics or poor customer service in business.

Hate sites are still around today of course, but bashing of anyone and everyone we come into contact with seems to be the craze these days.

Take this new website called Driver-Ratings.com where you can find a license plate in your state of someone who’s already been reported as a good or bad driver and then add your comments. Or, you can add a license plate of a car you saw on the road with a driver driving poorly and tell the world what you saw.

Now, I’m the first guy to yell at someone (with the windows rolled up so they can’t hear me) when they’re driving exactly 7 miles under the speed limit while in the left or middle lane.

…Or when someone pulls out of a parking lot and goes across 3 lanes of traffic to make a left turn and doesn’t even pay attention that there might be oncoming traffic (me! for example).

…Or people who start slowing down as they approach a stop light…and the light is still green!

…Or the cell phone user who’s too busy fighting with her boyfriend on the phone to realize the left turn signal has just turned green.

Of course the list could go on and on. My first point is that as much as I might yell at bad drivers, eventually I’m going to do something un-perfect on the road too and those same people will be giving me the finger and shaking their fists like I’m the world’s lowest of seed. And, then those same people will follow me right into the church parking lot on Sunday morning and wish me a “good morning.”

My second, and more important point, is that I really can’t see why we have to bash people personally on the Internet now for their bad driving habits. Heck, it’s just a free for all. You can make any comment you want related to anyone’s license plate. That just doesn’t seem right.

But that’s what the world seems to want, right? We apparently long for scouring the roadways to look for those bad drivers so that we can go to this website (and I’m sure many others coming) and secretly post a license plate and whine about bad drivers as if any of us are that much better. You and I made Amazon what it is today based on our brutal book ratings. You and I built up Angie’s List by looking for those less-than-pristine provided services so that we could bash their business online.

Do you really want to be that kind of person? I sure don’t. I’ll keep my negative reviews to myself when it comes to social bashing of unsuspecting common folk.

At least I say that for now. Who knows? Maybe someday we’ll start rating each other in the positive by how many negative reviews we have online. Could you see the spam message? “For just $99/month, we’ll GUARANTEE 75 bad ratings about YOU! Impress your friends…Increase your business! Buy now and get 25 additional bad reviews today only!!”

Are you worried about social bashing? Has it already happened to you? Should it even be allowed?

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