Nearly every time I log onto Facebook I end up regretting it. It isn't because I'm jealous about what my friends are eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's not down to the thirty identical photos of the same baby, all taken from the same angle. And I can't even blame the ridiculous amount of company call-outs and cheesy hashtags that people seem to feel they need to use anytime they do anything. Newsflash: your @fiveten shoes might be great, but they sure as hell didn't make it #thebestdamnrideever. Nope, what gets me is how so many of us seem to feel the need to tell the world that we've gone for a ride in the first place. I know that I sound like the fun police, and that there's really no harm in letting your friends know that you had an #epic #day #on #the #bike, but it's gotten to the point where I'm starting to wonder if it counts as a ride if you don't tell everyone about it. What makes me grumble even more, though, is that I'm just as guilty as anyone else, with a quick scroll through my own Facepage revealing a 50/50 mix of both "Look at me, I'm riding a bike!" photos and links to Vimeo videos that somewhere between one and three of my friends click on. Hey, at least there aren't pictures of every meal that I've eaten in the last four years.
Why is it that we feel the need to tell everyone that we've gone for a ride? Is it to let them know the trail conditions? Maybe we just want our friends to know that we returned home safely and had a great day? Or maybe, just maybe, we want everyone to know that the ride had 9,000ft of climbing. In the rain. And you were on your singlespeed. And you were being chased by wolves the entire time. And that you ate tacos at Miguel's afterwards. Colour me a hypocrite because I'd sure as hell share that story as well, but part of me wonders why. After all, isn't getting chased by wolves for 70km enough of a rush that you shouldn't feel the need to get a bunch of e-hugs from online acquaintances? All this got me thinking about how often we use social media outlets to tell our friends and sorta-friends that we've been out on our bike.