I guess I am no better if I decide to complain about those who seem to make a habit of complaining about the state of ham radio on what seems like a regular basis. I do understand that the Internet is NOT ham radio. Forums, such as those that support our wonderful hobby are public, where ideas and opinions are expressed and exchanged, not always agreed upon. Much like the sphere that encompasses ham radio, individual interests in what draws them to the hobby vary.

Complaints dealing with complainers makes me no better than the next, I know. Much like our hobby if you don’t favor one aspect of the hobby, for example contesting or Emcomm, then you choose not to participate in it. But the Internet, as I eluded to earlier is not ham radio. There are many amateurs I have come in contact with via the Internet who are experienced, very knowledgeable and one I hold in high respect.

Much like any community, the voices of the few usually end up being heard, more so than the masses who are relatively well behaved. Maybe it’s these voices that should heed an old adage, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it.” Of course that is easier said than done in a public forum. I do agree there are many questions that come up time and time again. For example, the newly licensed Technician who posts, “What first rig should I get?” I do understand responding to the same question over and over can cause some frustration, but should it?

I came to the Internet in search of resources for ham radio and I have found many sites that support my radio hobby. Not all information on the Internet is “good information.” Even coming from forums, information posted in variety of thread can be misinformation or provide no information at all. If you are around forums long enough the same cast seem to cast a negative light upon the hobby. If that is the case, then I do take my own advice and don’t even bother with the thread.

Going strictly by forum activity you would think the hobby of amateur radio is coming to an end. Licensing seems to be given away as opposed to earned, there is no CW requirement, Emcomm is ruining the hobby and young people seem to have other interests these days. I make ham radio enjoyable for one person, myself. I don’t need to worry about things that are out of my control or I have no interest in. I control what I can and continue to enjoy the hobby. Hopefully this trend will continue to many years to come, even if change is necessary.

Forum Goers

I guess it goes without saying, on the Internet you can be anything or anyone you want to be. Behind an alias/screen name you can take on an entirely new persona. I should know after spend 10+ years going by “Oswald” while being involved with a development team creating an online FPS. I am sure my online persona contrasts my who I am in real life.

After spending a decade or so with online activity such as IRC [Internet Relay Chat], ICQ, MSN, as well as the worst offender, forums I have come to the realization people are all the same, regardless of the genre, activity or hobby that brings them together.

Online gaming has a negative connotation attached to it to begin with. Game associated deaths usually make the headlines, just ask Rockstar or id Software. It has happened in the past, but that is a story for another day. Gaming seems to be associated with kids, usually of the immature type. But my generation grew up with some of the first consoles and PC video games, so it is not surprising those “kids” are 30-somethings now.

I thought amateur radio was a cut above when it came to the individuals involved, at least that is how I always pictured with. Then again, I was living vicariously though my father in the 70’s and early 80’s when he was heavily involved. Everyone I met was cordial and there seemed to be a commeradie that I rarely saw growing up. Even sports teams I was on there was always competition and tempers flaring.

Forums seem to be the work of the devil, regardless of what it is centered around. It was for the game I was involved with and is also seen in amateur radio, as well as the resotration of my Mercury Cougar. The harsh reality is people are assholes! There are those who seem to think the forum is their “bitch box” and use it as such.

Gamers feel they are usually owed something or know better than those behind the game. Amateur radio seem some “troll” topics as well radio modification, band usage and of course those amateurs who are “know code” or “no code” hams. The commonality is the activity of the individual behind these rants. While their percentage is in the minority they usually cause the most headaches and trouble.

These people definitely ruin the enjoyment and “fun factor” for those involved in a community. Yeah, I already hear some of you saying, “So what? You don’t like it, don’t read it or move onto something more substantial.” You are right, but the fact remains I have lost a bit of respect for those who attempt to ruin that enjoyment. It usually is uncalled for and not necessary, but try convincing those individuals. You can’t.