I think by now you all know that I am pretty much an old school/old fart when it comes to this pastime. The funny thing is I could never understand my parents similar, seemingly outdated views of things when I was growing up. Now I do.
They were merely reliving what was probably the best years of their lives and relating it to anything that came later. In their minds they had been there, done that and were just trying to share it with someone who would listen.
In my case I can’t put a time frame on things but I think my reluctance to go along to get along with all the hoopla today started with the increasing popularity of social media, especially whenever it pertained to my beloved pastime. Social media was and still is a vehicle to instantaneously throw out information, both good and bad, to millions via the click of a mouse. A medium, ideally, where people could come together to share, assist and unite. Unfortunately it also became a place where people could lie and exaggerate to their heart’s content and I am not just talking about archaeologists but detectorists as well. The need to back up your bullshit wasn’t and isn’t necessary anymore. Once it’s out there millions are more than happy to run with it.
Then came shows like American Digger, Dig Fellas, Dig Wars and Diggers, making the metal detecting pastime an instant favorite way to get rich, despite the fact that most of the storylines were over-the-top, geared to keep you watching and wondering what the big payoff was going to be. Everybody in the country wanted to be a “digger” a “treasure hunter” and retire a millionaire. I so wanted these shows to succeed, but all they did was lure hundreds, if not thousands, into the pastime and of course Go Pro’s profits soared because every tekkie now wanted to be a TV star.
While all this was going on the manufacturers decided it was a great time to introduce a more sophisticated and more expensive product, resulting in detectors priced in the two thousand dollar range, all promising greater depth and more finds to put you on easy street. With this increased depth of course you also needed to own a pinpointer, priced at between $150 and $200. Suddenly this ever so simple pastime was becoming one that required a small fortune and a college degree, that is if you believed all the hype. I didn’t and I suddenly became my parents overnight.
I have often wondered whether or not I would find this hobby as fascinating if I were just starting out today and I honestly don’t think I would. Too costly, too much competition, too many areas being placed off-limits and too much emphasis on making things more complicated than they should be. I am positive YOU would call it progress. I prefer to call it overkill and heavy drama. Metal detecting to me is a fun pastime and no matter how much spin anyone puts on it the odds of making a living swinging a coil are nil and next to none.
I wonder at times how we ever came together back in the 70’s & 80’s and accomplished what we did without social media. Organized trips to the UK, the formation of a World Council, a better than average record when it came to fighting city hall, and all thanks to Ma Bell and the US Post Office. No PC’s, iPhones or iPads. Think about that and then think about where we are today…..are we really any better off?
Not too long ago someone called me a curmudgeon and perhaps I am, but I prefer to call myself a down-to-earth “realist””….
A FEW INTERESTING TIDBITS
Possible Shipwreck Found On Jersey Shore
UK Man, Finds $156,000 In Roman Gold Coins On First Time Using Metal
The UK’s Detectorist Show to Return in 2015
I never see the glass as half empty because I always drink straight from the bottle….