Thursday, July 15, 2021

Social Media commentary

 If you subscribe to Facebook, there is a wealth of Amateur Radio gold to be found. Some of the groups that I belong to include the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt (of course!), Magnetic Loop Antennas, I Love QRP, 4SQP, Begali Keys, Ham Radio 2.0, DIY Magnetic Loops and a plethora of others. I have gotten some really good ideas, tips - "hints and kinks" as it were, from these pages. 

The good far outweighs the bad. But every now and then .......................................... !!!

One of my pet peeves is when someone feels the need to bring up a story where they, as a newbie, felt they were somehow slighted by a veteran of the hobby. I had my share of those experiences as a Novice and a new General back in the late 70s and early 80s. We all went through that. If I want to go down Memory Lane far enough, I can tell you the times I was made to feel about an inch tall on the local 2 Meter repeater. But I'd have to think really hard about the specifics, because for the most part, I've forgotten the particulars and moved on.

This probably has to do with my upbringing. Both my Mom and Dad's families were huge by today's standards. I was the youngest of all the grandchildren. For some reason, my uncles (on both sides) took delight in harmlessly teasing me, at times. It was not a constant thing and I remember great times and wonderful memories with them all, but there were times, as a very young kid, it was not so much fun. I was too young to realize it was just kidding, and I felt hurt. I remember complaining about it to my Mom once. She gave me invaluable advice. "When you can show them it won't bother you, it will stop." And, true to her words, her wisdom proved spot on.

Flash forward to now. Someone had posted on how he didn't have the most deluxe experience as a new Ham. He had gone to a club meeting (his first one, I guess) and someone asked him what class license he held. When he answered "Technician", the older club member responded "Well, we all have to start somewhere." He stated that at that point he was almost ready to leave the hobby.

Seriously? You're kidding right? I almost fell out of my chair when I read that.

Look, I can understand his reaction to a point. We all want to be accepted and we're all proud of our accomplishments. We want to be recognized and welcomed - heck, that why we join clubs and organizations in the first place - for fellowship and camaraderie. But Amateur Radio, like all groups, is a microcosm of our society at large. You're going to have your gems and your going to have your bad apples. You can't let the bad apples get to you. "Illegitimi non Carborundum" as the old saying goes.

But as an aside, the street goes both ways. Many times, when a newbie feels slighted, instead of sucking it up and moving on - they will retaliate using terms such as "Old Fart", "Geezer", "Curmudgeon" and the like. There's no need for that, from either side.

The point of this post is to remind everyone that Amateur Radio is a huge tent, and there's room for everyone. While there's a time and place for good natured teasing and kidding - maybe it's a good idea to refrain from that until you get to know the person better.  Treating each other with respect and avoiding epithets is always a good idea. For Pete's sake, if you don't know how to react - at least be civil! But if you run into someone who desperately feels the need to be a real ...... , remember my Mom's advice. It's timeless.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

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