Chris Aldrich – our resident Saltwater Geek of Saltwater Smarts – was kind enough to allow me to chew his ear off for a bit and pick his brain as he seemed quite the informative source of information on just how Social Media effects the industry. He didn’t disappoint. Allow me to enlighten you all to his thoughts. I’m pretty sure we all do the Facebook. If you don’t, you at the very least have an inkling as to what it is and it’s purpose. Honestly, a lot of that purpose is pure blow-hardy debauchery, but I must say there is a beneficial side to it if you use it correctly. Throughout my virtual meanderings I’ve happened upon a few venues, mainly groups, of collective individuals whom all share an interest in the hobby. Some of these are great, really. Informative, respectful people who genuinely want to help you through your reefing adventures. Others are rather detrimental. Mean spirited folks hiding behind the security and anonymity of a computer screen spewing misleading or flat out false information. “Sure, you can keep 3 tangs, a trigger, a few clowns and a snowflake eel in a 30 gallon, so long as your parameters are on point, who cares?”. Then you have the geniuses who crawl out of the woodwork, “ID please?”. A species they didn’t bother to identify themselves before throwing it into their tank (no acclimation either) and asking a bunch of random strangers on the internet what the hell it is. Does no one have the capacity of common sense anymore? Is that a lost art? Anyway, moving right along – what effect does this all really have? What do you need to know about Social Media and your reef tank? Let’s hear Chris out.
“In regards to my most recent post about the current threat to our hobby, using social media to get the message out is a great way to get it in front many hobbyists quickly (through various Facebook groups, etc).However, social media can also perpetuate the misinformation that is already floating around online. I see it daily in said groups.They are almost like a forum community on steroids, the modern day chat room. We’ve always seen those “ID this” and “I just bought this fish – what is it and how do I take care of it” posts on forums, but that amount I see daily on social media far surpasses that. Of course it’s probably because these days so many folks dwell in the virtual space and Facebook gives even more immediate satisfaction and feedback (good and bad) than even a forum or comments section of a blog.Is that good or bad for the hobby? I think that answer could go both ways.”
Bottom line, the internet is an infinite tool at your fingertips. I suggest you tread lightly and be selective about how you use it. Hint: seek out reliable sources (like reefs.com) where you know and trust the people to put in the proper research and dedication to making sure you’re best informed. We want to save the hobby, not sabotage it. We’re always here with sound advice and an open mind. I plan on keeping up with this topic so keep checking in and offer up your thoughts!