Background: The reason for this post is that I have noticed that many people have a desire to make that which is pretty safe seem dangerous. It is very perplexing to me.
Despite holding a master's degree my psychology education is limited to 101, yet I am still curious about a trend I am seeing.
My neighborhood facebook page, which can be very helpful, is also scattered with posts from a subset of people who want to make the neighborhood seem dangerous. It is a bit large, 1300, homes and really very safe. There was some vehicle "break-ins", which was really change and loose items being taken from cars that were unlocked. My family locked our three cars and never had a problem. That is really the extend of the crime.
One person recently posted: "Large box truck pulling a trailer on Xxx Pkwy. No company name. Anyone expecting home builder maintenance?". The street in question services all the homes an an elementary school. About 5% of residents are actually on the facebook page. It is a public street, not gated. How would one reasonably expect this to get any "traction". Turns out it was a crew painting fire hydrants.
Another example: Guy posts a picture of a car stopped in front of his house. "What are you doing in front of my house at 1:12 pm. Be warned I will not be robbed." Again this was just after lunch on a side street, but still public. One person points out that the house across from him is for sale. They were probably checking it out. To my knowledge there have been no reported break ins, other then abandoned houses, in the last 8 years.
So why might people post seemingly excessive concerns regarding the danger in their neighbourhood?
It seems counterproductive as it would tend to drive down property values.
My thought is that this behavior fulfils a particular need, but perhaps I am thinking about it wrong.