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Indentifying Attitudes Through Newsgroups Messages

Cruising in Newsgroups


Here will take you to the Instructions of this report assignment

1. Introduction:

Getting to know more about Newsgroups

Here you will be taken to do a search on Newsgroups

I have been subscribed to one of the Newsgroups since I have been taking this class. At first I did not know what was going on but soon after that I became one of the members of the Newsgroup that I'm in. There are people that have interests in common and been through the same experiences as me. I found that it is really good to communicate openly and anonymously with other people who you never met so you don't feel intimidated or afraid to share your feelings or opinions. There are always people who agree with you and listen to what you have to say. There is one important thing that I have learned from the Newsgroup and that is to set a boundary for myself, to ignore some of these aggressive, "flaming" people. They are trouble makers so I don't have to get my feelings influenced by them. One of the things I found really good for myself is that I am not afraid of being judged by people in the newsgroups so I feel free to say what I think.

There are about 10 different Newsgroups that I have visited. All of these are related to Aggressive Drivers topic. These Newsgroups are: "misc.transport.urba"; "ba.transportation"; "ba.bicycles"; rec.autos.driving"; "alt.culture.hawaii"; "phl.transportation"; "alt.gossip.royalty"; "alt.jobs"; "rec.motorcycles"; "alt.autos.sport.nhra"

Re: Don't fuel the fire(alt.autos.sport.nhra) is the group I found quite interesting.

After reading a bunch of messages in these Newsgroups, my general impression of the Newsgroups is that it is a different way of communication. You can be aware of things that are going on around you just by reading messages from the Newsgroups. I think it is a good experience for me. I have got to know how people treat others and behave in certain ways that I have never heard before. Sometimes I was shocked while I was reading through those messages. Here in the Newsgroups World, some people are very scarcastic, aggressive, flaming and can cause a lot of troubles by hurting the feelings of others but if you know how to deal with them like just ignoring them you will be fine. Besides those negative things about Newsgroups, I think it is very rewarding and comfortable that you have people who share a lot of things in common with you. Those who can see what you see, etc...

2. How Newsgroups are Described in the Generational Curriculum

More Opinions About Newsgroups

1) Kristin Evert's Report1, G5
Kristin's report is about how Newsgroups are interesting to her. I have the same experience with Newsgroups as her. At first, we both did not know what was going on in the Newsgroups and as we came along, we all found that it is cool to share a lot of things in common with others in Newsgroups. Kristin also noticed about flaming. I'm like her. We had never tried flaming yet and this is not what I would do in Newsgroup either.

2) Kendra Morgan's Report1, G5
Kendra's report about Newsgroups is clear cut and contains good information. She always tell us about some common activities or behaviors that she has usually experienced in Newsgroup, for example flaming. I agree with Kendra that Newsgroups is a cool way of communication. She had subscribed to Newsgroup through PINE, which is what I also did. She told us about her experiences which I found useful for the readers. She focused on what we should and shouldn't do in Newsgroups.

3) Dan Tanioka's Report1, G5
Like other students, Dan has also found that there are so many Newsgroups that it is impossible to explore all of them. He likes flaming because he wants to use harsh language sometimes. He likes Newsgroups because people in his Newsgroups were nice, welcomed him and answered all his questions.

Wanna hear what I think about Newsgroups?

By observing others' thoughts about Newsgroups, I agree with almost everything they think about Newsgroups. I have been a member of this Newsgroup for 2 months and I have been checking the messages every other day. I found it is very useful for me because when I am depressed I write and post my messages and there are always people who care and reply to me, or I can just go to the Newsgroups and read people's messages and find it is helpful to release my stress because I can feel that I am not alone. I feel like my problems are nothing compare to others'. I can see myself as a my Newsgroup lifetime participant because it has been helping me with many ways. It gives me a sense of belonging, a sense of having a support group. It makes me feel that people in my Newsgroup care and understand me more than anyone else. And I also think about participating in one of the books that will be published by the request of one of the members in the Newsgroup that I am currently in.

3. Attitudes and Newsgroups

My Interpretations of People's Attitudes

There are different attitudes in the Newsgroups that I had encountered:

1*Flaming Attitude: is when the person want to create a war. He/she uses harsh, obscene language or say things to make others feel really mad, hurt. It is a way of insult others, I would say.

I think flaming makes some people feel good about themselves because they have low self-esteem but want to hide it and take it out on others. They do the flaming to see that they have the power to drive others crazy. I think this type of attitude is not good in a society since it would create conflicts and hostilities to one another

Wanna read an example of flaming?

Subject: Re: Recognizing Good Drivers?
From: Scott Borders
Date: 1997/10/06
Message-Id: <34391354.59518A53@bhmi.com>
Newsgroups: rec.autos.driving
But on a road that's otherwise
empty, why is it so difficult to change lanes instead of
riding my ass?

2*"Annoying" Attitude: There are some people who can get annoyed very easily by anyone's actions or behaviors that they think irritating to them.

Annoying person:

Subject: Re: angry car drivers
From: Lawrence Foard
Date: 1997/09/20
Message-Id: <34240E2D.3BFF109B@vwis.com>
Newsgroups: ba.transportation
Sometimes I get annoyed at the more aggressive insane people wandering around. Then I look our in the street at 1000 psychopaths armed with lethal weapons and decide maybe a few agressive insane people wandering around isn't so bad after all. If one of them takes a swing at me I might get a bruise, if one of the 1000 nut cases in the street hits me I might die...

I think this type of attitude would lead to a "stink eye" behavior and it would be very easy to start a fight, or this person can do things to the other to show that he is annoyed.

3*Hostility Attitude: Some people are very hostile to other drivers on the streets. I also think some people in the newsgroups, perhaps because they have problems at home, have displaced their anger and take it out in the newsgroups or when they are driving.

Hostility can lead to bad situations. Many of the accidents and deaths occurred because of the hostility of people toward others. It creates very unpleasant and tragic results. It would be a much more pleasant world to live if we were not influenced by this kind of behavior. Hostility is a learned behavior, and a behavior created by society.

4*Good Judgement Attitude: There are people who are really good at controlling their anger. They try to ignore the attitude or behavior of the other driver or person in the Newsgroup and make themselves flexible and forgiving. These people try to avoid the flame as much as possible.

It is a good attitude to be able to control yourself and try to avoid making yourself mad because of the situation.

This is a good example for a Good Judgement Attitude:

Subject: Re: Road Rage, Don't fuel the fire From: Bill
Date: 1997/09/14
Message-Id: <341BE713.2360@flash.net>
Newsgroups: alt.autos.sport.nhra,alt.autos.rodcustom,
Tom Huckelberry wrote:
> I couldn't have said this any better !!! "Don't fuel the fire people > !!!! Look at the reasons we have aggressive drivers and road rage. People > lack courtesy on the road, don't do the same thing to people on the road > that would set you off.

Or another example:

...As for aggressive drivers, awarness and a little more law
enforcement could change the situation dramatically.

5*Sympathy Attitude: There are people who show that they agree with others in the group by showing their sympathy or empathy in their replies.

This kind of attitude is highly accepted and welcomed by everyone. Everyone wants to be understood and be considerate of others. Everyone wants to have someone feel sympathy and understand what they have experienced.

6*Unemotional Attitude:There are people who are not aware of others' feelings or personal space. They think they are the only one on the street or in newsgroup who can do whatever they want to do. For example, there are those who never want anyone to cut in front of them and never want to give way for others.

Sometimes people can be very unfeeling towards others. This may be because of the way they were brought up or what learned from people surrounding them.

7*Angry Attitude: There are people who can't control their anger and become very rude. They use obscene, harsh language on others.

An Example of an Angry Driver:

Subject: Re: angry car drivers
From: invalid@homo-sapiens.org (Brian Mueller)
Date: 1997/09/21
Message-Id: <34256586.9705356@nntp.ix.netcom.com>
Jennifer Brooks wrote:
His reaction was outrageous! He said, "Fuck you, lady!" and his arm muscles bunched up and he started to open his car door. Like he was going to hit me for saying this. I walked away while he shouted after me, "Have a fucking great day"

8*Revenge Attitude: People seek revenge when they feel that another person has violated them.

This is a good example of a revenge attitude:

Subject: Re: "What's your problem buddy?"
From: "Paul Tarlow"
Date: 1997/09/26
Message-Id: <01bcca2f$090f42c0$ed6360cf@zygerbox>
Newsgroups: rec.motorcycles So the lesson here is that if some cager is an asshole then be a bigger asshole right back. I feel bad for the next biker he runs over in anger because he's pissed at you.

I think these attitudes above reflect how the individuals were brought up and the influence our society has on them. Also the behaviors are influenced by their thoughts and beliefs. I think in order to change the attitudes, the environmental factors should be changed.

4. Is there a Moral Crisis in Driving Attitudes?

More Knowledge About Driving Attitudes

Congressional Testimony of Dr. Driving

In the Congressional Testimony of Dr. James about Road Rage, his research showed that our behaviors are affected by our own thoughts. He gave the evidence that we all have aggressive behaviors but we are not aware of it.

Dr. James did research on the causes of aggressive driving and behavioral techniques. Dr. James' view is different from many people who view aggressive driving as an anti-social emotion. His view is that aggressive driving is a cultural problem and not an individual mental problem. (---> I totally agree with him here)

Dr. James described how children can be influenced and exposed to the aggressive behaviors of their parents and adults when they are in the car. So his proposal to a solution for this is: NEW DRIVER'S ED (this is the second proposal out of the 3 that Dr. James proposed), this organization needs to start from kindergaten to 12 grade. The method consist of the children how to practice self-witnessing behind the wheel, how to behave in an appropriate way, and how to use their inner power techniques and manage their emotions in traffic.

The first proposal is: QDCs or Quality Driving Circles. QDC is a small group of drivers who meet together and express their feelings and discuss their driving situations. The goal is to influence and learn from each other.

The third proposal is: CARR or Children Against Road Rage. This is a new proposal and is going to be the first organization with the purpose of protecting the children from violence and abuse at home, school or on the streets.

Dr. James shows the picture of road rage's causes which relate and influence one another: more cars--->more traffic--->more frustration--->more stress--->more anger--->more hostility--->more violence. And his solutions are: more and better roads, better cars, better laws, better enforcement, and better public education campaigns.

I think that aggressive driving is a problem for the society and we all should be aware of it. All the research and evidence that have been made are available to us so we need to use them as valuable resources to improve the traditional attitude about aggressive driving. We all should recognize road rage as a problem and take it seriously. The morality and attitude are the important things that should be taught to everyone and it should start from the young generation. Below is an example of the question moral:

...It isn't just on the road, peoply lack "courtesy" everywhere today. A lot of the current generation do not even know the concept of the word.

>Common sense is the key here.

Common sense isn't very common.

5. Conclusion:

My Thoughts About Newsgroups

a) Through Newsgroups, it is very common that we can see the attitudes expressed openly to the members of the groups. Newsgroups are a way for people to express their feelings and thoughts. We can picture how their behaviors would be in certain situations, by the way people express their attitudes and feelings. Sometimes people contradict themselves without being aware of their behaviors. For example, the message of someone who was telling a story of how she hates tailgaters and some driver tailgated her. That made her really mad, and then she ended up slowing down and tailgated him back. This is an example of cognitive dissonance. In a society, there are lots of prejudices. Prejudice is an unfair judgment which can lead to many conflicts. We learn prejudice through the society or our own parents, etc... For example, if a driver sees the other driver in a Lexus, he/she might think more highly of this driver and might be nicer to him by letting him cut in front, or it can be the other way around if the person does not like "rich people". From prejudice, flaming can occur more easily, too.

In Newsgroups, people can be prejudiced. For example they might not like certain individuals because of the last names or background of that individual (if the background was given). There fore, flaming against the individual might start as a motive behind this.

Newsgroups can affect people in other ways like Group Dynamics effect. People can feel better in a group discussion. They feel more open and confident to express their true feelings because they feel that there are others who are in the same situation as they are. They can get the support from the Newsgroups which they belong to. Newsgroups might help to change their attitudes. For example, if they feel they have a rage on the street because of certain drivers that drive them off the wall, by being able to express themselves with others in Newsgroup, their anger would be released and they would learn new ways to better deal with the situation from other members of the group.

Motivational Hierarchy is important for members in Newsgroups. If someone wants to say something that might contradict others, he/she can try to say it in a different way so it won't make the other member feel insulted or mad. Then it will have a better atmosphere instead of create flaming.

Socialization Process is a learned habit. In order to change the driver's aggressive behaviors, we have to change the process of training. We are all grown up, and have learned things like everyone else, so if we are trained and instructed the right way, then we won't behave aggressively to others.

b) For future generations, it is a good way to start from the beginning. Parents should be role models for kids. They should not do things that they don't want their kids to do. Teach children the alternative way of showing problems without aggressive actions.

For Newsgroups users, it's better to be nice to one another in order to make Newsgroups a good communication place for everyone. And don't ever use flaming on others even though some others do it. It is best to stop the problem and not let it continue.

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