Jon Weaver returns with more musings from his experience of contemporary pro snowboarding. This week it's a very 21st century addiction that's in his Oakley-clad headlamps...
An addiction. It can take your time, your money, your friends, and all without you noticing as you crave even more for the sweet taste of the forbidden fruit. Through our lives many of us will have run into someone who we think is taking things a little too far – maybe someone on a season who was drinking that wine with breakfast which struck you as a little “too" early to start things, although Chalets and Hotels are notorious for their all day drinking sessions on a changeovear day.
It could be that friend who smoked the herb a little too much at Uni, and didn’t make it to lectures. Or, for that matter, didn’t make it up before the sun went down that day, or even the smoker who just chain smoked a little too much for it to be healthy. I always remember a guy in Tignes who when hiking backcountry would chainsmoke, leading him to the name of the Sherpa. It could even be the editorial office for whom October becomes not only the start of the glaciers but more importantly the most cherished of all drinking seasons.
It can happen easily and without us realizing and quite often it can take a good friend to slap some sense into you, or what the Americans slightly over zealously call an 'Intervention', before we realize the error of our ways. Normally when there is just one person with a problem then it is easily spotted. A few people and getting that group to stop is tough. Imagine thousands, even millions of people, all addicted to the same thing. Hard to stop, right…?
So what am I talking about here? Our passion and addiction for snow? No this isn’t the Daily Mail Ski and Snowboard magazine. Grow up, we already read that crap 100 times before, and even though Snowboard magazine editors [some, not all, Jonathan! - Ed] use it every Autumn for their opening paragraphs, if your reading this your already in way past that.
I am talking about... Wait for it... Breath deep... Facebook. Yes, that’s right. You probably have it open in a window behind this one right? Your probably chatting to someone about what bad editorial this is as you read it.
It's crazy though. Facebook has quickly transformed so many facets of life, from the way we communicate, to the way we flirt, stay in touch, and watch perversely at friends – or even better, enemies. Now for all 30 somethings, we have had to learn about technology and even email (we didn’t have emails before we were 20 kids, think about that) and so Facebook has been just another thing we caught onto late, if at all.
On the road with a quiver of Pro Snowboarders back in the day if they checked in for an event and there wasn’t a bar, there would have been hell breaking loose. Ah. I remember watching fondly from a distance, The alcohol problems, serial womanisers, out late, causing havoc everywhere they went, I remember the late 90s pro snowboarders as real superstars, and all the baggage and rumours that came with it.
Now fast forward to 2011. If the Pro Snowboarder is to check into a hotel and there isn’t wireless, then seriously all hell is breaking loose and London Bridge is falling down. The first thing they need to do is update their status about where they are, how bad the journey was unless they got a free upgrade, and then set about trying to undress anyone within a keyboard's contact.
It's not just the quick update at checkin. The week descends into a constant barrage of “Yep, I just need 5 more minutes" as you look down and see them chatting away to some young lady they just met online. I mean to that generation it's perfectly normal. Did you know that many online specialists agree that in just 5 years we wont have emails anymore, and people will just use Facebook. If you look to the younger generation now 70% of those around 16 years old don’t have email addresses already and instead rely on facebook mail.
Now I am not trying to shout down with Facebook from the rooftops – I use it as much as the next man – but I do wonder what western society would be like without it today. Think in your own personal terms. What's the first site you go on, after onboardmag.com and the-goodlife.co.uk of course? Most probably it's Facebook. How many hours would you say you spend on it a day? At least one I'd imagine. So just think collectively what could be achieved if an entire nation cut down there intake of this sweetly blue-themed toxic addictition? What did people do during seasons back in the day before the internet? Send letters, call each other and actually go out and meet girls in bars, and whilst maybe you had fewer friends back then, maybe you had more actual friends.
Anyways enough ranting from an over 30 year old who has to battle against Facebook for team riders' attention on a daily basis, you're probably bored of reading already and that chat you have open in the other window looks much more alluring, and there is more chance of getting her to write something sleazy to you than me. I am going to write a blog, and yep, post it on Facebook, to see how many of my friends will actually interrupt an online flirting session to read a blog. Heaven forbid what would happen if you tried to get someone to read a print article.