“What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence… the question is what can you make people believe you have done”
So said Sherlock Holmes in his debut novel A Study In Scarlet, about 120 years before social media proved him right. Now every day is ‘the best day ever’, and if you’re not hashtagging #justanotherdayattheoffice on a pow day, you’re blowing it.
Which is the first point of contention we have with the little time-killer known as Instagram – assuming everyone else’s day sucked in comparison to the two turns you made without falling over after catching #firstlifts at 12.30pm and before heading to the nearest slopeside bar to bop along to crap jazz-infused house music all afternoon.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re as guilty as anyone else at whiling away precious pub time scrolling through other people’s good times on our generic fruit/robot-based devices, but something mystical and special has been lost along the way to this point.
Once we bombed around at maximum velocity, racing to be the first on the next lift. Now we lug around shit selfie sticks, pose like twats on the chair and awkwardly ask the shittest rider in the group if they don’t mind ‘getting a slo-mo on this’ rather than hitting it. N.B. if you’re always the one filming, that’s you.
“Yeah, now, well, the thing about the old days: they the old days”
– Slim Charles, The Wire
But we’re here now. 2017. A man named after a fart lives in the White House and precious few powder days we still get due to global-warming are becoming just another chance to collect likes on the ‘Gram. Seriously, if it’s March and you’re posting ‘winter is finally here’, why the fuck are you doing it mid-run. Like, when you could be riding.
For those who can make it to the bottom of a run without whipping a god-damn iPad out, you’d be surprised how many can find something bad to say about it, given they were choking on freshies not a mere two minutes ago. “The snow was kinda heavy,” “the bottom was too tracked” and “I can’t be bothered to hike that again” – all things heard on a chair this winter. Get fucked, it’s a mountain, and unless your name is Terje or you work for an investment bank you’re not riding Baldface anytime soon. Enjoy what you’re lucky enough to get from Europe’s meagre resort pickings or grab a splitboard and hit the skin track, Jack.
Yup, just like Tumblrgrambook made every teenage girl think that thigh gaps were the natural order of things, the stupid internet has made us believe every powder run should be top-to-bottomless perfection, instead of the relentless joy of being hit in the face by branches and core-shotting a brand-new €500 board on its maiden voyage.
Traditional snowboard photography in magazines may have also played a part in this – full disclosure. A bit less picky about making sure riders land their shit than their skateboarding brethren (after all, they just lugged a backpack up a hill for four hours and rinsed twelve rolls of film on the same bail – they’re gonna want to be able to still get their food stamps from the day), selling the snowboarding dream has always been about polishing turds to some extent, but these days it’s literally bombarding you from when your alarm goes off to when you fall asleep still scrolling down the feed.
Not that it stops us being complete addicts ourselves, but we’ll at least try and enjoy the real moments on the days we’re lucky enough to get them.