Ah For the Good Ole days…

No doubt I am playing right field when it comes to treasure hunting today, in particular its presence and narrative on social media. Understand now the mere fact of aging plays a part as does the inherent need to say “y’all don’t know what you are talking about” and/or “when I started out”…. Previous updates will verify that I am diabolically opposed to all things new and experimental and that includes owners manuals longer than four pages. You see if they weren’t needed for me to find good things early on they sure aren’t now.  So there, we’ve gotten that out-of-the-way.  Now let me go on…

The term ‘social media’ is really an oxymoron. Socializing is getting together, in person, face to face, bad breath to bad breath, rubbing elbows and enjoying all things ‘touchable’ (and I mean finds). Online we’re all friends, pals and buddies, or at least we are until someone contradicts or insults you and then all hell breaks loose. Online you can also be king of the hill, garner hundreds of previously ‘unknown’ friends (thousands if you happen to be a gal) and go to bed thinking you are the next coming of Mel Fisher.

Social media’s also been a big reason metal detecting clubs are falling by the wayside. These groups, once the backbone of our hobby, struggle month to month to stay together. Used to be club meetings were something to look forward to… a time to share and learn. Today all that’s accomplished on a laptop, by a tekkie wearing jockey shorts and holding a can of Bud Lite.

The other day I came across the following FMDAC photo taken in Tulsa, Oklahoma back in the late 80’s. Note the number of clubs at the top of the display. The number of clubs in the Federation today? SIX!

I love social media…really. It’s a great way to get answers, touch base with old friends and a quick way to get a message out. Just ask the manufacturers! I do however miss the interpersonal aspect, the back and forth over a cup of coffee. On social media you can say anything and whose to question? Post a photo and whose to say it’s yours? Everyday I see things that make me laugh and shake my head, but hey in cyberspace it’s always open season when it comes to bullshit.

There are a number of very good detecting websites out there but they don’t attract a lot of viewers because they don’t have forums or lean heavily on videos, or photos. They’re good because they’re well written, updated on a regular basis and offer useful and informative material. The majority of diggers however are on Facebook or a forum doing a show and tell and working hard to become king of the hill.

Okay, that’s all the ranting I have in me today. It’s raining like hell here but y’all have a great weekend and get out there and find good stuff. Just remember not to post the same photo of that half-dollar you shared fives times before because if you do “I’ll kick your ass Al” will be on your case.

Stay tuned….Q & A interviews with Chicago Ron and Jim Fielding coming soon




Filed under Metal Detecting

12 responses to “Ah For the Good Ole days…

  1. Well, our club seems to be doing pretty well, as far as attendance, as well as several other clubs I know of nearby in Tampa and Daytona. We have actually 3 club media sites; our regular club website, our almost-public Facebook page and a member’s only Facebook page. We started the second FB page, so we could discuss private club business without the general public looking over our shoulders, because the original one had so many people who were NOT club members, we’d find people showing up at permission hunts we’d never met before, or a good park site we discussed would end up with more metal detectorist’s than flies on a rotten orange, with the plethora of unfilled holes to match.

    As an example, the original FB site had a guy post how easy it is to dupe a real estate professional into showing you a bank-owned house, then when the agent leaves, hunt the property! Another person posted as how, once he got the permission to hunt a private property, he’d sneak away as soon as he found some silver coin or jewelry, to make sure the homeowner didn’t share in the find! With this kind of stuff being promoted on social media, I’m surprised as hell we can still be seen out in public with a metal detector and not get arrested!

    It’s gotten so bad out there, we have members reporting certain popular sites are getting as cratered as the moon, with full-time, day in and day out metal detecting, to the point of getting thrown out of these sites because of the damage left behind. Social media has it’s place, but sometimes it is being used as a site-finder, so you have to be careful what you say, or show. A lot of folks forget that your cell-phone camera is linked to your GPS and leaves your geographic coordinate data in the photographs metadata. Someone with an extraction application can target exactly where you were when you dug that walking liberty last weekend.

    I enjoy social media as well, but treat it with care, as it can create problems for you and your sites if you are not careful. Good post, Dick!

    • Jim that’s pretty heavy stuff and not kosher at all. Amazing.

      Happy that your club is doing so well and I might ask you to share some of your secrets in your forthcoming Q & A session.

  2. BigTony

    Dick, I feel that Social Media is what it is……nuff said.

    But Social Gathering is another thing entirely and what you and I have fond memories of, or about it.Those were the days when you went to a Federation Hunt or even a local club hunt and folks from all over came, handshakes were warm and smiles were too numerous to count.

    Social Media is a new addition to Webster’s dictionary and rightly so because it has it’s own meaning – using electronic devices to inter act or something like that long user manual that no one can really understand.

    • Well said Tony. I know I need to step back and I need to think before I tap on the keyboard. I tend to repeat myself and I apologize for doing that. I just sit down and start writing (okay ranting).

      It’s hard for me to grasp that despite having all this technology in our hands we have no interest in joining forces, but that too is another topic I tend to go on and on about. Somehow we were able to do it years ago via word of mouth, phone and the US mail. Today it’s every man for himself, and it going to slowly kill our pastime. Guess what you and I experienced was just plain ole “sociability”.

  3. Bob Sickler

    I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that social media and most forms of digital communication will eventually irrevocably damage this recreation and our world… If they haven’t already. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve had to take evasive driving maneuvers to avoid someone who thinks texting while driving is their divine obsessive right. Why do we need to know everything about everyone 24/7?

    I personally don’t own a cell phone because I like talking to people face-to-face and hear their “clear” voice on a land line. Furthermore, in my opinion cell phones don’t yet work well enough to warrant the price of the device and the services paid. It’s bad enough we have to endure the annoyance of abusive telemarketing on any phone. I will admit, email and even discussion formats such as this can be entertaining, informative and stimulating, but only when they are not abused. I’m not advocating becoming a total recluse, I’m pleading for ALL people to just use the conveniences of modern society safely and responsibly.

    I’m in agreement Dick… It is sad to see the disintegration of social interaction as we once knew it, especially within our own realm of metal detecting.

    • Don’t think you are going out on a limb at all Bob. Online selling has already killed off hundreds of brick and mortar stores. Places where you could walk in, browse, see a product, and try it before you buy it. No one wants to do that anymore. They may come back again but I won’t be around to see it.

    • Bob Sickler

      I also wanted to add that every morning I get up and hear more frequent news about terror bombings, vehicle slaughters, knifings, hacking of private and financial data, on and on… It seems to me cell phone and internet communications by perpetrators are the vehicle by which these events are planned and executed… If people can hack into election campaigns and power grids, why can’t network providers, both internet and cell, identify these perpetrators in advance and shut them down and keep them down? Again, today’s technology has made it way to easy to do bad things to good people worldwide. Time to use the technology to fight back.

  4. BigTony

    Hey maybe you just had another good idea by just typing it in your reply?

    Maybe using social media, clubs can set up a time and interact with members using skype? It wouldn’t be as good as being at the meeting but it might help if you can’t make the meeting at least you could hear what is going on that month.

    • Not the same….IMO.

      • We actually tried to broadcast our club meetings live via a live-streaming app. It turned out to be a lot of trouble, both technically and club attendance wise. The more we streamed the meetings, the less people showed up. We stopped doing it it after a few meetings as we could see it was going to be detrimental to the reason we have a club in the first place.

      • Yup I think anytime you make it easy for people sit on their butt it will work against you. This coming from a guy who sits on his butt quite a bit.

  5. BigTony

    Yeah you are right, it’s not the same and it isn’t as friendly to meet folks. Like you said it will be worse before it gets better.

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