Treasure hunting Internet forums
Many of us who metal detect, and have internet connections, often read the posts or post our own comments on the forums. On the forums the hunters can ask questions, post pictures of their finds, or sell equipment. For myself I recall the history of many of these forums and also the flame wars that resulted.
There were two notable instances when many people involved themselves in pointed comments at other posters that resulted in long threads of comments. Strangely enough they often get started with a single comment that just explodes and sucks everyone into the sinkhole of over reacting and posting terrible things about others. It always seems to happen in January or February when most everyone is sick of snow and cold winter and they desperately read of anyone posts that is still hunting but they have a very thin veneer of tact and are very easily drawn into heated debates that settle nothing and only provide deeper hateful feelings toward many others that post on these forums.
The forums on the other hand are the prime source of information but you might have to sift through many comments to really get at the truth. It seems that there are two groups that generally camp there. There are the demanding newbies that somehow believe that everyone owes them something and many just demand answers about detectors or hunting sites and are quick to insult anyone who might be using the forum for anything else. The other group is more or less the ones that have a history of posting for years there and may have made many good friends on the forums.
The newbies are generally provided with good answers, that is unless you have another newbie trying to answer questions that he(or she) may know nothing about. It seems that many just desire attention and many desire respect and it is important for the new forum people to sort them out quickly. Very often a knowledgeable and valuable answer is lost in a flurry of wrong answers. In my estimation the forum does not exist only for the use of the demanding newbie. It is also used by good friends to chat back and forth which has often caused great concern by newbies who only want answers to their questions and give absolutely nothing of value to the forums. It would be good advise, I think, for someone who is new to the forum to introduce themselves and involve themselves in the general flow of the forum and they will learn quick enough what they need to know.
In all forums there are posters(contributors) and lurkers who never post but read the forums only. This has been the case more and more in the last year or so. The forums are for all hunters and anyone that has anything to contribute or would like to ask for help. If you are a lurker then I suggest that you bravely step up to the plate and take a swing at the ball sometimes. Most who are new don’t need to act like they are veterans but just post their feelings and involve themselves in the conversation. That way you will get to know the others and become part of the forum.
The forums have been one of the main reasons that I have stayed with treasure hunting. I learn so much about new equipment, locations to hunt, and hunting techniques. You can benefit much by becoming part of one or many. Learn how to post pictures of your finds and you will enjoy it very much as others comment on your finds and you will discover an extended family that expands your life a bit. You also can help folks who may need it from time to time and no, the forum is not only topic oriented but a place to pass on information and learn from others. Friendships should not be banned and only metal detector messages allowed because this would make the forums so boring that no one would care to post! Information comes with a price and you should repay by posting and helping others too.
I have another article on how to post pictures but most of us do it using a scanner or digital camera. Scanners are at give away prices now and very cheap.
One word more about the flame wars. It should be noted that boasting that your brand of beeper is better than another is only a foolish statement, and in fact they are all tools used for treasure recovery. Sure some of them are pretty useless but let everyone find that out for themselves. Would you boast that your pliers are better than someone’s screwdriver? Don’t insult someone because they have a cheap detector, you may find out that they have found far more treasures than you have using it. Not only that but the heart of a detectorist is in learning his or her machine and using it to its best. Many users of high end detectors just don’t know anything about them and constantly complain or trade machines because the never took the time to learn the machine. Flame wars are easy to start. It is rather bad to see that the simple comment that you posted last night has 240 posts after it in the morning and they are all cursing out you are someone else. Many will say, take it off the forum and email the other guy, but don’t do that. If you find a personality conflict with someone that you cannot tolerate then just try to resolve it with them privately or move to another forum. Do not let your emotions run wild as an animal and use curse words on the forums. The people who do this always loose in the end. Very often they are ashamed and then leave the forum and regret their actions but often it is too late by that time. To involve yourself in a mud fight is to wind up looking pretty dirty to the rest of us and it is not worth it. Runaway emotions do not belong on a forum. Runaway emotions mean that you are out of control of yourself and it is the hallmark of a flawed personality. Avoid these comments and you will be better for it.
Now and then nearly everyone will have a bad day. You never know if they got fired or the spouse is leaving them. Try to understand and not be quick to condemn others if they sound a bit out of tune sometimes. I can say for myself that I had some very bad days when my world was upside down and my comments reflected that. I would love to erase them of course but it is always too late. Just consider people and their struggles and be a bit more forgiving of out of place comments.
Now you know the ups and downs of forum life. You can make it a better place or a worse place the choice it up to you. You can set a fine example an as you learn you can help the new hunters and in doing so you can become much appreciated by many of the forum users. I might add that there is a BIG difference in good natured teasing of old friends and trying to start a fight with someone. I love to tease my good friends and that has often been misunderstood by someone new to the forum but if you are teasing try to let the others know by using a smiley face 🙂 or some phrase to tag the comments as a tease. I generally preface my remarks like that with “Gee Whiz” and they are only good natured ribbing. Everyone is too up tight these days and need to relax a bit with your friends on the forums. They may be more family to you sometimes than your own family.