bacari

WATCH FORUMS ARE FOR THE SOCIALLY ASTUTE

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How many of us walk around major cities and see the new zombie culture? You know, thousands of people with their heads bowed over their smartphones, tablets, notebook computers, mp3 players, or even their smart watches. We spend hours in front of computer screens, at work and home, scouring the internet. If we want to schedule a meeting or even a date, we add it to the other person’s calendar. If we have a question, we send a text. We use apps to buy movie tickets, check the weather, and to organize our wine collections.


So, we have been overrun with anecdotal information, viewpoints and recent studies that suggest social media is destroying our social skills and is a bastion for the socially challenged. And when we think of some of today’s “young people,” we may even lean toward agreement.


I’m in my 40’s and in my limited experience the opposite is true – particularly when it comes to watch forums like this one – International Watch League. Watch forums are for the socially astute and when you have a convergence of these types brought on by a passion for watches, you can end up with -Watch Buddies.

Now, I’m not a Facebooker. I do not twit or tweet. That just doesn’t seem like something a grown man would do. I can’t wrap my conservatively conventional mind around Instagram. I mean what ever happened to Western Union and Moneygram? I have no desire to be linked in so I won’t join Linkedin. Pinterest I struggle to understand. I just know I have no interest in pins or pens. I love watches.

So, years ago I limped onto the internet to see if it could enhance my watch loving experience. I typed something watch related into Yahoo or Google (probably Google) and it led me to a phenomenal site – a watch forum –watchuseek.com. I hung out there for years and I still hang out there. It became my home away from home so to speak.

For years I got to know internet personalities; great online personalities with great user names and avatars. Of course, on the internet you can be whoever you want to be so I had to always keep that in mind as I interacted with these characters.

After a few years I began attending watch events like Watchtime’s Inside Basel and local get-togethers (GTG’s) organized via our online community, usually by a strange character whose user name was drickster.

I met drickster in person and learned his name is Dan. I met novedl, Doboji, Gary123, lactardjosh, mchent, Docvail, and a host of other people I once only knew by their user names and avatars. Now, I consider these people my friends. My wife calls them my Watch Buddies.

Now, in addition to Marc, my best friend of 30 years, I have a group of friends who all share my passion for watches. And I have many associates who I have gotten to know online but just haven’t met them in person – 90 percent of the people on IWL are counted in that group. People like RayMac, GinGin, Geoffbot, Brad, and most of this community.

So, from my vantage point, when you gather a group of people online who love watches and who are just good people, sometimes you can make social magic. That lets me know that the internet is not a bad place when it comes to social progression – at least not on watch forums.

Below is a picture of me and some of my Watch Buddies in a swank restaurant in New York City. We were there attending WatchTime's Inside Basel event...

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Updated Nov 14, 2014 at 10:01 PM by bacari

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Comments

  1. josh's Avatar
    Great post Bacari.
    I straddle both sides of the fence. I've got my face buried into my phone (usually reading watch forums or looking at watches on Instagram), but I've got my eye on the wrists around me.

    It's great to have regular conversation, consider you and some of the others you mentioned as my friends (instead of a "watch friend"), and learn about some of the idiosyncrasies that go beyond watch collecting.

    I'm still sorry I couldn't make IBG with you guys this year. Hopefully next year.
  2. bacari's Avatar
    Agreed Josh. We are definitely friends and you are lucky you didn't join us on this trip. Troy has very expensive eating habits and I went broke just allowing him to pick the restaurants for one day! So, I'll see you the next time around but someone else gets to pick the eats!
  3. drickster's Avatar
    My wife calls you guys "the boys" and chuckles ruefully when we are talking....

    I started GTGs because I knew no one who was interested in watches. Now I count you guys among my best friends. Thank you!
  4. pacomt's Avatar
    Great blog entry Bacari,

    I share the same feelings you do. I don't facebook, tweet and even though I have been getting pressure to be on LinkedIn I have resisted. I have found the watch forums to be a great experience!
  5. M. Montaigne's Avatar
    #oldpeopleproblems
  6. jsw41's Avatar
    Thanks for this, Bacari, my sentiments exactly. There are few places in the Ottawa Valley to indulge in this hobby. The internet and Google are where I can see some fabulous watches, and IWL is a great place to here about them from folks like yourself.

    John
  7. Hayseed Brown's Avatar
    I enjoyed this article. You may not do Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, but you superseded all of those activities in contemporariness, because you are now a BLOGGER. Well done though.
  8. is that my watch's Avatar
    yep say's it all really

    thanks ismy
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