The Toxic Culture Of Ham Radio Social Media

Where do i even start. What the fuck is wrong with some people. I mean seriously, why are do so many hams have the social skills of a potato, are narcissists, sociopaths, experts on everything, the arbiters of what is and is not “REAL” ham radio and or are just down right total fuckwits.
I know I am not alone in this position, although my take on it is much more blue collar than pretend to be holy because I just do not care what a bunch of whiney cunts think about the language I use on my blog where I am the judge of what is allowed and not.

Ultimately, if you do not like what i post about, or the language that I use, just fuck off already because no one is asking you to read my blog. You see, what you self indulged and entitled man children don’t understand is that my blog is not about you, its not even for you, its nothing more than a record of what I am doing, its a diary if you will, not an encyclopedia of me telling you how to do anything. I am not here to be your teacher and I am not asking you fuckwit experts to help me, I am just keeping a record of what I am doing and nothing more.

So what got me so fired up this time 🙂 HAHA, well its been building for sometime. People who I know and respect have been getting hammered online from total fuckwits who think they are the king of ham radio and one particular email i received that was abusing me for posting to much about gardening and not about ham radio. Well, sorry you poor cunt, but I do not live my life for your entertainment, I live it for my own enjoyment and currently my garden brings me much more joy than dealing with fuckwits like you.

For some time I have been removing myself from all ham radio social media and in the few places I still read, I have been posting less and less and taking much less interest in what is going on. Ultimately, I really do not have anything to say about ham radio that I have not said plenty of times before, so I am saying nothing. Ham radio social media is not about persuasion or consensus, it is about team A yelling at team B and doing a performance for your tribe to show them how woke you are. The whole WIA vrs RASA wars were nothing more than this and for quite sometime I was involved in it, until i realized what was actually happening and told them both to fuck off. I am just not interested.

The ultimate awakening came about a month ago as to just how toxic ham radio online is. I made a post in a gardening group, nothing fancy just a very typical post that i would have made in a ham radio group, a picture and a few words about what I was doing and the ultimate goal. That post got like 600 likes and 50 odd comments that were all positive and encouraging. Now lets contrast that to the last post I made in a ham radio group with 2 times the members. 10 likes and 5 comments which were all internet experts who have never posted anything they have done trying to tell me I am doing it all wrong and showing people how they are experts at ham radio.

The difference is chalk and cheese. Now I do not post for the likes, but, ultimately where are you going to spend your time and effort. In a place where your contribution is appreciated or are you going to throw pearls to swine where your contribution is not appreciated? The choice is simple yeah? Much like Cheers, you want to go where everyone knows your name or shows you are appreciated or welcome.

Ultimately if you post in a ham group or forum about a baofeng or something stupid that allows people to argue, those posts gather 100’s of comments because every cunt can have an opinion even when they have no idea what they are talking about they will make it all about them. But if you post cool and interesting they say and do nothing because you have not given them the opportunity to make it about them or do a dance for their tribe to show they are woke or anti woke. This is why 50 years after the fact you still have code and no code debates, because those who did the code test have to show others that they are the kings of ham radio because they had it tougher.

So to wrap this up and keep it under 1000 words 🙂 my reply to anyone who emails me some stupid shit telling me to be their black fella and dance for them is pretty much the same. Go eat a dick, you are not you when you are hungry and once you are full, go fuck yourself with a retractable baton.

And if this post leaves you feeling triggered, cry me a river noddy, no one gives two fucks what irrelevant arseholes like you think.


13 thoughts on “The Toxic Culture Of Ham Radio Social Media

  1. It is, unfortunately, a sign of our times. Though there are more respectful venues/groups (as you noted), societal interactions these days leave a lot to be desired, and I agree with everything you just posted.

    Though I don’t comment a lot, since I came upon your blog (completely by happenstance) I have enjoyed seeing all of the posts I have seen. Many of them have lead me to search for and learn about things that I otherwise wouldn’t have. I am very similar in feelings related to all of this, the more remoteness of your new home, etc. so I get it. It is very frustrating at times. And I too wonder, is wrong with people that they do this?

    Anyway, thanks for blogging, even if it’s not for “us”, and I hope you continue to do so!

    1. Thanks Mark. I have some theories on why but no way to test or validate them. I think ham radio and political discussions online attract the same kinds of people, those who are marginalized or irrelevant and they seek validation by bringing others down. Something a mate of mine said to me today was: “they failed at life so they police people who they do not even know because it makes them feel important” and i think that is kind of right. Ham radio is the one thing they were good at, its what made them unique and important and now any monkey with $20 can get a call sign, that cheapens the hobby for them and reduces the value of their hard earned skills.

      Almost all the debates around ham radio can be reduced to that one common denominator. FT8 is bad it made dxcc easy, newbie licenses are bad it made getting one easy, dont give newbies XYZ privilages i had to do a code test, etc etc etc its all about the importance of how this makes them look not as good as they think they are.

      And hey, I enjoy blogging even if its just posting a picture, so the chance of me stopping is slim to none, its just that I dont want people telling me what to do more of this and less of that because that is what they want. I do this because i want to, not because I need an audience or am building my brand like many of the youtube stars are. Anything that starts to look like work sucks all the fun of it out for me. Its why i do not sell kits or things like that because then i have a certain responsibility to others and that becomes a job.

      I will get back to more ham radio stuff, i just keep getting side tracked and have not finished the reno of the back room I was meant to have done months ago HAHAHA.

      1. Hi Rob,

        I agree with you and your friend. There are quite a lot of people who feel poorly about themselves and think they have to tear down others to keep themselves elevated. Also others think that they are the keepers of some magic, and if other people find the magic they’re not special. Still others think they have to make it their way or it’s not right and it makes them feel diminished and less important because that’s what they know and to differ from that lessens them. It states to them that they don’t know as much as they think they do, and so they feel smaller. They don’t understand that there are different perspectives on things and it is ok. It is sad, but it is often a part of human nature.

        I have always enjoyed helping others to learn so I am happy to help and give advice when wanted, but I don’t know enough to criticize anyone and wouldn’t be so rude as to do that in the first place. In fact, when I see something that “isn’t right” but still works, I’m intrigued and it drives me to learn more about it. I’d be inclined to ask questions to try to understand what is happening instead.

        I’ve had my license for over 20 years now and it still fascinates me that someone can talk across the globe with two radios and very low power. For the new digital dx modes, it’s even more amazing to me, so I love it that I and everyone else can use it. Not been into just talking on the radio, I’m a huge tech nerd so it’s all about the tech and learning for me, but if I can get someone else to see and grasp the magic too then I’m all for that, even if all they want to do is talk on the radio with others. That’s a part of it also, and everyone using amateur radio, in their own way, is what will keep it going.

        Unfortunately being helpful and respectful is not everyone, but I do think it probably is a lot. Most everyone I encounter in Ham radio in real life has been very nice, helpful, and respectful (though sometimes a bit odd). I wish that were more universal in all respects, not just Ham radio. The world might be a better place if it were.

        I honestly have not turned on my radio for more than a few months now, too much going on. My wife and I are still working on our own renovation and bathrooms are next (fun…not!). So I get that part too LOL!

        Looking forward to your future posts!

        1. You bring up a good point. Its not hams on the radio that I have a problem with. On the radio everyone, for the most part acts like decent human beings. I avoid rag chewers for various reasons, but Contests, DX, WWFF, SOTA, IOTA type guys etc etc, those on the radio doing something really dont give a rats about anything other making the contact and moving on to the next person.

          Its just social media and the internet brings out the ugly in so many people. In person most people are nice because they dont want a punch in the face.

          1. “In person most people are nice because they dont want a punch in the face.”

            This is certainly a profound truth that can’t be overlooked.

        1. HAHAHA, yeah there are quite a few small men and misogynists in ham radio. I have a wife and 4 daughters, lets just say I am well and truly trained in dont be a dickhead to women.

  2. Thanks for the posts of birds and plants! I certainly read/view those as they come up on my feed reader. Many people seem to forget that social media is general purpose, not a paid topic-specific TV production…

  3. Rob,

    Outstanding rant! With all that it could do to bring us closer together, social media seems to do more to tear us down. Other than a few niche forums like Zed, I avoid it. Not because I am wise, but because it a vacuum. At the risk of sounding like the elitist hams you are talking about, I used to love 300 baud hobby bulletin boards, back when PCs were a geeks only club, and a part of me empathizes with hams who see newcomers like me as a dilution of their stock. But it would be ludicrous to complain or tell others how to behave. If a hobby that we enjoy evolves, for better or worse, we can ride with it, or we can spend our time pissing into the wind. Nobody cares either way. Personally, I try to ignore, or at least forgive the assholes, although that is easier said than done sometimes. But it keeps my blood pressure down, and I don’t have to refill my Xanax script as often since learning to shrug. 🙂

    Stay safe and have phun, and here is hoping that you keep posting.

    Your post made me think of this quote from the brilliant American television show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia:

    “Now social media will come down on you with the fury of a middle aged man who has accomplished nothing.” – Dennis Reynolds

    1. HAHA “the fury of a middle aged man who has accomplished nothing” it always seems those making the most noise are rather dissatisfied with their own lives or have achieved nothing of value. I might not be wealthy or have made my mark on society, but I look around me, my wife, kids, grandkids are my greatest achievements and I am content with that being my legacy. I do not need to win at ham radio to have value.

      1. Couldn’t agree more. I am middle class, and perfectly content. I have no debt, we are well on our way to retirement, and our kids graduated and paid their school loans long ago. I have nothing to prove and nothing I can brag about (except that I am pretty good at the videogame Defender, but as far as I know, that doesn’t carry as much social clout as it did in 1982. To date, I have been offered no knighthood). But I have never stepped on anyone to get ahead, or put a knife in anyone’s back, either. Life is too short to spend it trying to judge others by their lawn or by the year of car they drive. Once upon a time, people were pre-judged by their religion, their skin pigmentation or by who and how they find love (and sadly they still are, but things are slowly getting better, I think). In our ham hobby, it seems to be about the protocols, modulation type and antenna configuration that we use. And we use the same kind of venom as the inquisitors to judge one another! I plan to store foodstuffs in my attic, in case tiki torch carrying ham Gestapo track my FT-8 signals. God help my family, if they find out that I am still learning Morse.

        Frederick Nietzsche once said something along the lines of “God is dead, but his shadow will live for a thousand years.” He wasn’t simply condemning organized religion though, he was lamenting the molasses speed of social change. He understood that humanity no longer needs to look to superstition for answers, but that most people will continue to do so for a very long time. We are a herd animal, and so many of us will do anything to smell like the rest of the pack. I might be completely wrong, but I *think* this is, and has always been, humanity’s Achilles heel.

        Please keep posting. Please keep giving zero fucks about the pack. 93/93,


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