By Mike Deming
As a person who is knocking on the door of fifty; that’s right the big 50, I have seen a lot. When I was a senior in high school, we were just getting our very first introduction into computers. Today, nearly everyone has a smart phone, which is more powerful than the very first computers. Knowledge is at your fingertips and with a quick Google search you can debunk just about any myth or at least have a fighting chance at a discussion. As a whole, I would consider it a very awesome tool and resource. However, I have developed a very serious pet peeve about what this has created. In my discussions with other outdoor professionals, they have shared the same distaste. It is the contrast between the doers and the talkers.
What do I mean by that? Before all of the social media was around, we all had friends and associates who we shared joint likes with. For those of us that liked to hunt and fish, we spent time in the woods hunting and fishing. Many of us were fortunate enough to have fathers or grandfather who taught us about the ways of the woods. This gave us a head start on those that hadn’t learned from other people’s mistakes. Instead of having our faces buried in a computer, we would spend countless hours hiking the woods and learning about the deer or elk and their habits. We would tie flies and learn about the hatches and the time of year which was best to yield a trophy trout. We truly became experts in our craft and regardless of how good you were, there was always someone better.
We enjoyed the experience of the outdoors and what we were doing. It was a wholesome and healthy way of life. Most of our idols were our fathers, uncles or grandfathers who had harvested some great trophies over the years which hung in the barn or on the back porch. They didn’t brag about it and taught us to act the same way when we had the good fortune of success.
The social media phenomenon of today is so much different. There are still a lot of doers out there and they are the ones still doing it. They are hunting and fishing extremely hard and becoming an expert at their hobby or possibly even career. They consistently harvest some of the very best animals and catch some of the biggest fish around. They might even have a Facebook, Instagram or other social media device to share their success with some of their friends. However, they are usually too busy doing and learning to spend much time telling the world how great they are on these social media vehicles.
This brings me to my pet peeve – the “Talkers”. These are the folks who spend more time talking about the outdoors than actually doing it. They spend more time taking selfies than they do actually learning about the outdoors. They are usually the ones reposting all sorts of other doers’ photos instead of ones they actually participated in. I flip on the television and see people with their own shows, who only a year ago were just learning to hunt. I’ve seen books for sale on how to hunt elk written by people who have never harvested an elk. These talkers are using the social media resource to hijack our younger generation and along the way are actually getting them to believe they are doers.
Do yourself a favor and become a doer. Do as Sportsman’s Warehouse says and “Take it Outside”. The only way to become a doer is to actually do it. Pass on the skills of being an outdoorsman or woman to that next generation and take back the idolization of these dreaded talkers.