This Whole Experiment Sounds Rather Desperate and Sad

GoPro Social media reality

Stop posting your Instagram photos to Facebook, there I said it.  But for real why on earth does an entire generation feel the need to inflate our egos constantly?  This whole experiment sounds rather desperate and sad.

In September of 2017, The Atlantic Magazine ran an article titled: Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? The short answer to that question is yes, but how and why?

Turn on, tune in, drop out

Whatever happened to being present, or living in the moment?  All one has to do is attend a concert these days and it becomes apparent that the majority of the fans in attendance are more interested in capturing that particular moment to share, instead of actually living it out in real time.

Smartphone Concert Video or Photo

Attention spans are short, when shooting video or taking photos on your smartphone ask yourself; will it be that much different than the persons standing next to me? Better yet who are you planning to share said it with?

The subconscious mind takes over each time we capture an image or video as we already have an idea of what audience will interact with that media.  For instance, if I post a rad snowboard shot to my Facebook feed: Ryan will most likely “Like it” If I rant about the President: Jay would most likely give a “Thumbs up” or “Thumbs down” and so forth.


I have never had a personal Instagram account. Nor will I. Most likely this has to do with not owning a smart phone.  That being said we did try and setup an Instagram account for the Mountain Weekly News a few years back (thanks Soren).

After a fun day in the mountains testing gear I would come home and upload a photo to via my desktop.  That was that.  And it got boring quickly.  I could never find the time to sit and scroll through other peoples “rad” photos, it just made me want to get outside.

So we canceled our Instagram account.

A few years later the peanut gallery came a calling.  First was D-Day snowboards, next was Rome Snowboards.  Both of which flat out refused to work with me and the Mountain Weekly News due to our lack of an Instagram presence.

This is all starting to get really silly and with that comes the real ugly side.

Imagine if a brand had said the same thing a decade ago about Myspace? Or perhaps you apply for a job only to be turned down based on the number of Facebook friends you have.

What if you’re not getting enough likes or shares or comments?  Does that effect your mood?  As a business owner it’s frustrating, as a human it can be soul crushing. Lets dig deeper for a second, when you post something on your social channels how long is it before you expect some sort of recognition? Do you log back in to check?

Personally every time I post to Facebook, it’s assumed that everyone will love my content, maybe you feel the same way too.  More often than not, that balloon gets deflated really quickly, as there’s a lot of other rad people, doing well rad things too.. And I’m not even on Instagram!

Eventually, people will get woke.

iPhone X

Most likely you either A. already own an iPhone X or perhaps are looking to purchase one.   With a 12MP camera built in it’s a powerful little tool, but for what?  Do you constantly feel the need to update everyone to what you’re doing? Or do you take photos for your own amusement, to go through later?

Maybe you plan to tether the $999 camera to your wrist and capture all your radness in the mountains? Will you be streaming in real time?  Heck GoPro and Twitter teamed up to create Periscope, which allows live streaming from your GoPro camera to an iPhone.  When I first heard about this I cringed, it made me want to throw up on the spot.  This is just what we need, a bunch of people out living in the moment, focusing on sharing the moment instead of living it.

At the end of the day we all need to remember to unplug from time to time.  Maybe next time you’re pulling your camera out to capture some amazing moment or experience try this instead:  Take a couple deep breaths,  suck up all that life has to offer, implant that memory deep into your brain and then go out and make another memory for you, not the interweb..

Mike Hardaker Teton Pass Avi Bowl

oh and stop taking yourself so damn seriously.  Happy New Years

Ever considered Turning off Your Facebook Before Your Birthday?

Today I turned 36 years old and for once the normal bee sting of a birthday seems to be far less painful than ever before, in fact it’s one of the best birthday’s simply for the fact that the people that I really care about know how to reach me Facebook or not. Some of the valuable lessons I learned from removing my birthday from Facebook are listed below:

Most of us were born before social media

Jump into a time machine, rewind to the 1980’s and guess what on birthdays, special occasions and holidays we actually used to reach out to people in person, via the phone or even by *gasp a pen and piece of paper. Sure giving someone a “Happy Birthday Bro” message seems like you care but it’s about the same as hitting the like button. When I see a birthday on Facebook, guess what If I have your number, well you will actually get a call. Thanks Johnie Rice, appreciate the call today, and you will be getting a similar one in a few days too.

Instead of looking at your iPhone or a computer you have time to enjoy your birthday

Today I had a great meeting with some clients (who not only had a gift for me but cake and coffee too…), went to a crushing Physical Therapy appointment and even a run with my dog. And the day is only half way done. Instead of looking at FB or a phone numerous times to see “who cares” on my birthday, I actually went out and did fun stuff! I once had an ex-girlfriend that couldn’t believe I didn’t call her on her birthday, guess what it’s because we broke up and I don’t actually care…

Are your Facebook friends really your closest friends?

A good portion of my friends have either A. Never signed up for Facebook (Holtine and Bamberg) or B. Bailed on Facebook in a royal fashion (or to hide from the law) I will leave there names out. But again, we were all really connected before Facebook. Don’t be fooled if anything our connections to each other are less than they ever have been in our history. A FB “happy birthday” message has about the same weight as a text message! However thanks Marcus for somehow knowing it was my FB birthday even without a notification, Hanz too..

All kidding aside, give it a try sometime. Maybe your ego will like it maybe it won’t. If you find yourself bummed that you get zero messages you can always try again next year or better yet find some real friends. Or if you are like me you just may forget that you hid your birthday from Facebook, in which case the sinking feeling of thinking you have no friends, or know one that cares just may come into your wheel house until you start laughing at the irony of this entire social media birthday hoopla.

P.S. To my cousin Kay, yes today is my birthday. Way to read between the lines. Hopefully my little sister will read this article or????

Much love everyone!!


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About the Author

Mike Hardaker
Mike Hardaker grew up surfing and snowboarding in Orange County and followed his love of surfing to Hawaii before eventually moving to the mountains to concentrate on snowboarding. When not on a board, Mike worked for Snowboarder and later oversaw TGR's online publication. He went on to found Mountain Weekly News where he is still CEO and Editor in Chief. Mike spends most of his time splitboarding in the winter months and backpacking throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in the summer.

2 Comments on "This Whole Experiment Sounds Rather Desperate and Sad"

  1. Great write up Mike. Ah the pressure – photos or it didn’t happen! Smart phones and Facebook are the crack cocaine of technology – they cause a massive release of dopamine in the same way sex, food and drugs can.

    This year I’ve resolved to put the phone in a basket at the house when I’m done with work. real life is more important, plus it’s fun to talk like Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs, “put the phone in the basket!”

    • “Smart phones and Facebook are the crack cocaine of technology ” spot on James, appreciate the comment. When I took 6 months off Facebook it was refreshing, I had lots of extra time on my hands go figure. What on earth did people do 10 years ago when they had extra time on their hands? The colors, the sounds, all of it like you said are dopamine heavy.

      The thing is, the fact that you know of this and run a basket at home (clever) and there are stories on these topics as of late, eventually even against the will of companies like apple, the people in our generation or that have our same beliefs will eventually wake up. Heck I don’t use Fluoride in my toothpaste.

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