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How has the internet affected diving? Good/bad or both?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Eric Sedletzky, May 4, 2019.

  1. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    Prompting an abstract discussion.
    Think back before the advent of the internet and the subsequent overload of information both great and not so good.
    Examine the difference between how it used to be when people had to meet in person to discuss the finer points of our sport at dive club meetings or on the beach. There were more dive magazines then. Now all but a few mags left these days, but now we theoretically have virtually any and all information at our finger tips while we walk the dog or sit on the couch.
    Has the internet lead to more isolation or has it opened up your life to more and better diving, or both?
    markmud, The Chairman and Joneill like this.
  2. Snoweman

    Snoweman Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    While I am old enough to remember a time before the internet, I have only been diving for seven years. I would say they the amount of information has greatly increased, as well as the ease of finding it. Travel is so much easier between flights, places to stay and reviews of dive shops.

    Now, dive shops..., it will be interested to read their take on it.
  3. naick

    naick Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Belgium
    I started diving 18-19 years ago. For me the internet has been a great source and big improvement to the old days. I started off when diving was still very macho and you had to be a tough cookie to go diving. A lot of disinformation, bad advice, chest-thumping idiots, etc.
    It has improved the information around and very sensible people sharing their experience.
    Schwob, Esprise Me, markmud and 3 others like this.
  4. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
    Identifying animals and plant found underwater is so much easier now. I have a lot of I.D. books but they either don't have what I'm looking for or it is difficult to find.
    I use Google Earth to find many new dive sites. I'd be pretty limited if not for GE.
    Being able to research gear without having to trust a magazine article paid for by the manufacturer is also a huge advantage.
    Dive travel is much easier as well. You can look at a resort's website, check reviews, watch videos and look at photos before signing up.
    Finding buddies is easier when you have thousands to choose from rather than just the members of your local club.
    Sharing information, photos and videos are much easier.
    My favorite though is being able to check out swell models and live cameras before leaving for a dive site. I've driven to a site, only to turn around after seeing big surf too many times.
  5. Saboteur

    Saboteur Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Earth
    Agree with Snoweman... there is huge amount of information available. I've learned so much just from reading this board and on other sites. You just have to filter things you read and consider all of the viewpoints.
  6. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai, UAE
    When I first started diving there was no internet. I relied on being a member of a couple of BSAC clubs in Saudi Arabia to initially go diving but that so gave way to a camaraderie of non-agency affiliated divers based in Jeddah for 6 of the 7 years I was based in that city.

    When I moved to Dubai I only knew 2 people who dived there and due to work travel it took me several years to get into the dive scene that is mainly based on the east coast of UAE, despite the presence of several BSAC clubs in Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which I was no longer interested in.

    Back in these days I was also buying "photo stuff" via advertisements in various scuba magazines or anytime I passed through Singapore on dive trips to Malaysia and Indonesia from a couple of shops, one of which still exists (Sea&Sea run by Andrew Yeo at the Adelphi on Coleman Street).

    Again dive trips were booked over the use of letters, phone calls and faxes.

    The internet has changed all of that, and ScubaBoard has allowed divers from all over the globe come together and exchange ideas dive spots etc.

    Has that been a good thing?

    In some ways yes, but perhaps some dive spots are not so secret anymore, and maybe too busy such as Liberty Wreck at Tulamben in Bali.

    On the other hand I can send a WhatsApp message to Andrew Yeo in Singapore, get the price of a new strobe, transfer funds via my bank to his account online and 3 days later a brand new strobe arrives at my office.

    I've met many people on SB and dived with a few of them in Australia, USA, Philippines and UAE as well as social meetings when they have passed through Dubai or when when I've been back in Scotland and more recently in Singapore.

    So yes, it has been good for me :D
  7. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    I think the internet has ripped the whole world information structure wide open, not just in diving. It’s all out there, the good the bad and the ugly. Take what you want from it, use it how you will, but the genie can’t be stuffed back in the bottle.
    If it wasn’t for the internet I would have never met all the people I know. These aren’t just virtual friends, these are flesh and blood friends that I’ve dived with and hung out with. I think one of the biggest things in the nuts and bolts area is gear de-mything and the collapse of the gear tunnel; the once strangle hold placed upon the consumer by a very narrow and controlling industry.
    More people than ever are working on their own gear, more people than ever researching and buying alternative gear that the establishment refuses to acknowledge as being legit.
    It’s all right here in the palm of my hand on my iPhone as I sip my coffee outside on a beautiful morning.
    I’ve met some turds too from the internet. I used to put on a huge dive campout and party up on the North Coast of CA. I’ve had a few less than compatible people invite themselves on occasion.
    But overall, I’m going to say that the benefits have been over 90% positive. It can be as positive as you want to make it or as bad as you want to perceive it.
    My face is in my phone right now. Some say that’s bad, some say it’s a necessary evil.
    Colliam7, The Chairman and Saboteur like this.
  8. MargaritaMike

    MargaritaMike Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: On a non-divable lake in SE Texas
    I learned to dive before the internet existed, however I was on the front end of it's development which was exciting. I don't recognize it from where we started. In the old days, finding a new exciting dive location, often happened by accident. If you picked up the right magazine and saw the right ad, or happened to be talking to someone who you happened to be on a dive with, or as in my case I stayed at Villa Torre Blanca and the owner new some dive ops. Today, it's on the internet. I'm a safer diver due to information available through the internet. I have a better choice of gear due to the internet. I have a better choice of locations, places to stay, and dive ops. The closest dive shop is about 40 miles away, so I don't get the "hang out with a bunch of folks to exchange ideas and info". All in all, the internet has been a tremendous boon to diving for me. I feel that I am a better, safer, and better equipped diver because of the internet.

    Thanks @Eric Sedletzky for asking the question.

    Cheers -
  9. Johnoly

    Johnoly Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Diving is safer now.

    People are reading the Scuba Board Accidents and Incidents section and saying " I don't want to end up like that person"
    MrBigfins, markmud and The Chairman like this.
  10. Ministryofgiraffes

    Ministryofgiraffes Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto
    I’d agree with that. I used to dive as a teenager in Saudi Arabia in the early 90s from friend’s boats. It’s a miracle I didn’t end up dead. If I had the internet I can only imagine that I would have likely taken less risks as I would have known they were actually risks..

    I interested to hear of any valid negatives other than ‘there are now too many people diving where I want to dive’
    The Chairman likes this.

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