Social media (SM) has shafted us in quite a lot of ways... I think in the beginning, when these platforms were starting out it was a handy tool to stay in touch with family, friends and maybe find old friends. However, it's taken us down a somewhat sinister path.
My hypocrisy obviously knows no bounds, as I regularly post on SM, but despite the positives it has also exposed an element of untrained, unqualified and inexperienced SM bushcraft influencers that have enjoyed big successes and amassed large followings based on slick images and editing. This outshines the conventional more old school folk in the outdoor community, that potentially have a lifetime of skills, but go largely unnoticed because they don't have a professional SM presence. That being said, the old school generally doesn't really appear to notice or be that bothered, because mostly we're quite simply busy outdoors, have established work patterns and haven't got time for fancy outdoor photography amongst other things ;)
What have we come to though, if a picture of a knife is guaranteed a ton of likes, compared to a naturally handcrafted product that has been crafted with immense skill getting half a dozen?
The fault lies with the masses to be fair and you must consider that SM influencers aren't to blame and 9 times out of 10 are good folk. Actually I like to see folks get outdoors, enjoying what they do etc. The more the merrier I'd say, it's a healthy way to spend our time.
The fact remains though, that there is something wrong when an SM bushcraft influencer with not that much experience is getting showered with brands and support, just because of fancy insta photography, regurgitated inspirational/motivational quotes and a large following.
There are actually influencers that have accumulated followers over years without even crafting a singled item or demonstrating any skill! Now if there isn't something off with that, I must be off my head. Again, of course there are lots of valid and solid influencers out there, but, we just need to do a tad of critical thinking to weed out the limelight, attention seeking charlatans.
Is my line of thought negative or even jealous? I don't think so, as this is the nifty trick of the bogus bushcrafter (BB) to avoid criticism and call-outs, addressing a negative a comment or criticism as jealousy. Obviously their followers will also protect, as they are like a fan base protecting their false idol. This puts the BB in a great position.
This is massively evident in bushcraft groups on SM as they mostly will have no call out rules. Setup by a single or multiple admins that can't be challenged, that's like a country with one political party, basically no opposition and any challenge can get censored. This is a massive wrong. Granted, folks want to stamp out online abuse and trolling, but healthy challenges and debate are necessary. Remember some BB will depict themselves as having amassed a ton of experience, even though having never lead an expedition, not demonstrated any usage of skills or knowledge and these self proclamations are dangerous and misleading.
I've never been that keen on the wider bushcraft community, mainly because I'm somewhat anti-social, withdrawn, toxic and a bitter old git veteran. That being said I still have my small circle of friends, contacts and colleagues in this vocation. The reason I'm adding this to this little writeup/rant is quite simple (I'm not excluding myself) is Bushcrafters, especially BB's see themselves as some sort of guardians of nature and preach about low impact etc. The problem with it that is, it's a massive hypocrisy, why? I'd say it's fairly obvious, look at the huge consumption within the outdoor community. Look at the knives, gear, travel and clothing that is consumed in abundance, all the kit bought, even though not needed and the BB's promoting more and more. The high end brands that are overpriced despite being manufactured for a pittance in China...
Of course it's hard to by stuff that isn't produced in China and locally sourced gear is dearer too. But it's about a conscious effort to maybe buy less, buy local and only buy something if needed.
This is just food for thought, not to be taken too seriously, which is how I like all my write-ups to be like and hopefully this resonates with some folk.
Most importantly always remember it's all about a bit of "craic in the bush"