Hobby or Community? I choose Hobby.
by, 04-08-2012 at 07:02 PM (994 Views)
This hobby has been quite an experience for me. To be honest, everything was much simpler and I was much happier before I introduced the human element to my model horse collection.
When I started recollecting in April of 2011 (I stopped in 2006 since I couldn't afford it anymore) I did not interact with anyone within the hobby. I bought horses off of Ebay, paid the order and received the horse. Eventually I made my way to Model Horse Sales Pages and began buying from hobbyists. I will say it was kind of fun. Each time I purchased a horse I was making a new friend. I wanted those transactions to last forever! I was so happy to talk to a collector about a common interest. When the transaction would end and I would receive the horse there was always a bite of sadness, because I knew it would just be me again until I made my next purchase.
Eventually, I looked on Facebook and found a Model Horse Group. It was wonderful! It was so nice to be able to talk to like minded hobbyists who enjoyed the same things I enjoyed. Talking about what horses we were getting, congratulating each other on our new models... it was great! But as soon as the human element was introduced things did slowly start to go downhill. There was hints of jealousy, general rudeness to each other, disrespect, and a lot of insensitive remarks.
Rather than backing off and falling back to the core of my hobby (just collecting) I probed further and got more involved with the community. The people got uglier, even less respectful, and eventually just intolerable. So I sat there and asked myself "What's this about? Why am I collecting these models? What makes me happy?" and the answer to all of this is the horses. Showing the horses. Photographing the horses. The human aspect was not the answer to [I]any[/I] of those questions.
I'm one of those rare hobbyists who would prefer the silent company of her models as opposed to subjecting herself to a community that has shown her that new people are more often than not unwelcome. People will say one thing but their actions often contradict it. They welcome you, yet they criticize you. They say you're among friends, but they treat you with a lack of respect. They understand you're a human with feelings but choose to treat you as though you're nothing but text. Speaking of course of online communications, whether on Message Boards, Facebook, or Yahoo groups.
So, in the end, what do you choose? Are you in this for the models or for the community that has spawned from it? I personally prefer the models... and for the few nice people I met I'm eternally grateful. They're what keep me coming back, and they're why I try to see good in the model horse community. Anyone outside of that group I keep at arms length, and I'm glad to do so. I refuse to let any hobbyist ruin my hobby for me. The more people I meet, the more of a chance I'll get sucked into a clique or become a part of someone's drama. Sure, horse shows aren't as fun for me without friends but with a helpful Fiance and a great show string I still end up having an absolute blast. In fact, I think I have a pretty unique experience. Every show is like a mini vacation with my Fiance focused around something we both enjoy.
Maybe one day I'll enjoy the community aspect. But until then, I'm having a blast with the plastic horses... and so long as I'm happy that means I'm doing the right thing.