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Michael Gray is preparing to hike the Pacific Crest Trail for MSFUSA and NMSS

RebelRiderMike

Michael Gray

Trail: Pacific Crest Trail     Goal: 2650 Miles
Dates: Mar 15 2018 - Oct 15 2018
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Journal
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On Social Media, Fear Mongering, and "Experts"

Home - Mile 0 - Jan 15th, 2018

Social media has been both instrumental and detrimental for my preparations. On the one hand, there are loads of helpful people out there who have answered questions, and pointed me to extremely useful websites. (Like this one!) On the other hand, there are also loads of people out there who have been sarcastic, unhelpful, and downright mean.
I've gotten to the point of simply blocking anyone who says "Google it" in answer to my questions. I even had one lady chew me out for "exploding" her Facebook wall with all my dumb questions. (I only asked one at that point.)
Another behavior that concerns me is fear mongering. People will pass on rumors of awful things that they heard, without confirmation. "The Sierras will kill you!" "The desert will kill you!" "Strangers will kill you!" Sigh. A little research will pretty much disprove thous statements, and the risks behind them can be highly mitigated through a little preparation and mindfulness.
Self-proclaimed "experts" are no help either. According to them, there is only one way to do things. Guess what it is. Go on, guess. That's right, its their way. Make any statement on the internet anywhere. Inevitably there will be someone who disagrees simply because its not their way. Many of these folks are "armchair experts" meaning that they've never actually done what ever it is their arguing about. They just think they know better. Well thanks man. I didn't ask your advice, and I don't need or want it. And you're completely wrong about it. But you sure showed me!
By the way, this is from a male perspective. I've watched women get subjected to this same stuff, but worse! Throw in also, the sexism, macho attitudes, and judgements... from both men AND women. Seriously, women telling other women they can't do something because their women. That's nuts. And sad. Sad nuts. Like and upside-down cashew.
The internet is a toxic place full of toxic people. But it is also a place where decent folk can get together to share information, experience, and encouragement. I urge you to be one of the decent folk! Be someone who, when they post, people will be glad you did. Don't be "that guy" who ruins things for everyone else. Criticism can be offered diplomatically, and politely with very little effort.
Let's go out there and build each other up! :)

RebelRiderMike

Home - Mile 0 - Jan 15th, 2018

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