Have you taken look at the news, social media, or just about anything else in recent weeks? You’ll probably see that the stuff going on in the world can be pretty depressing. Is the world a darker and scarier place today than it was in the past? I’m not sure. But the constantly connected nature of life today can really make it feel that way at times.
It’s not just the news that makes us feel depressed and uneasy, but how it seems impossible to get away from it all. Regardless of what your political/cultural views are, it’s impossible to go on the internet or social media and not be overwhelmed with propaganda memes and videos, bitter arguments and a whole lot self-righteous fluff from all sides – regardless of whether you’ve asked for it or not. Throw in the fact that we are in an election year here in the States and it’s even worse.
What does all this have to do with cars you ask? Well, unfortunately a lot of the same stuff can be said for the automotive hobby these days. While the car hobby should be seen as an enjoyable escape from the crappy stuff going on out there, more and more it feels like the negativity you find in the online car community drags our hobby right down there toward the other bad stuff in this world. Is that how we want it? Aren’t we better than that? For all the good that the internet and social media have done for the car hobby, the negative side effects are impossible to ignore.
Do you hate ‘stance’? Do you hate V8 engines? Do you hate wide-body kits? Do you feel that people are ‘ruining’ the cars you hold sacred by attaching certain parts to them? Do you hate cars that aren’t built exactly the way you would build them? I’m really sorry about that.
I completely get it. With anything you are passionate about, there are going to be strong feelings one way or the other. I certainly have plenty of opinions about the automotive scene myself, but rather than focusing on the stuff I don’t like and preaching about how bad I think it is, I simply move on to the stuff that I do like. Turns out the car hobby is a lot more enjoyable that way.
The vast majority of people on my social media networks are there because of cars, and they come from all over the world. Naturally, I have many Japanese car enthusiasts in my circle, and there’s something I’ve noticed about their tendencies when it comes to the online side of the car hobby. It’s something we might be able to learn from.
These days it feels like everyone posting memes of cars crashing, ‘shaking their heads’ at modifications they don’t like and going on long-winded tirades about how cars should or shouldn’t be built. The Japanese? Not so much. Nearly all of their car-related posts are documenting their own experiences in the hobby or sharing cars that inspire them.
That’s not to say they don’t have their own unique tastes and opinions. Naturally, I’d assume the ones that spend their weekends trying to shave lap times at the track aren’t too interested in the stance and car show scene, but I’ve never heard them talking about how dumb and pointless it is. Because that would be a waste of time with no benefit to them.
Many of us take inspiration from the way the Japanese build their cars, but maybe we should take some more inspiration from the way they act? That’s something that can be done regardless of what kind of car you drive, where you live, or how much money you have. Maybe, just maybe, that attitude could be the secret to their success.
Will a quick piece like this change anything? I doubt it. The wave of short attention spans, anger and entitlement might be too strong to overcome. But that shouldn’t stop us from trying to be a little more positive and level-headed when it comes to the hobby that we all love.
Why not save the bitterness and negativity for other parts of life and make car culture fun again?