I’m not saying Internet watch humor sucks. That opinion belongs to Ariel Adams, the man who founded ablogtowatch.com. Mr. Adams just published a poison pen piece entitled What We Can Learn from Watch Enthusiast Humor on Instagram. Turns out we can learn that Internet watch humor is bad for diversity . . .
At its worst, Instagram watch collector humor is crude and mean-spirited. Much published watch humor focuses on attacking brands and product models whose designs and prices are not personally to the liking of the poster.
This can have the effect of shaming people into purchasing “safe,” albeit unoriginal, watches and preventing more expressive and individualistic choices that help make the watch collecting hobby well-rounded for a global assortment of tastes and lifestyles.
There’s not a lot of data on the relationship between “mean-spirited” Instagram watch humor and consumer behavior. None, in fact. But we can understand why Mr. Adams wants to lambast humorists who skewer watch brands in general, horological holy cows in specific.
Internet watch humor is against watchmakers’ commercial interests, and the watchmakers’ interests and Mr. Adams’ are perfectly aligned (as witnessed by the site’s endless sponsored posts). Not to mention the fact that Mr. Adams’ Swiss, German and Japanese enablers aren’t exactly famous for their sense of humor.
Pay no attention to the Internet watch humor behind that curtain! If Mr. Adams had his way, newbie watch enthusiasts would avoid Internet watch humor’s deleterious effects via a five-year, self-imposed quarantine. I kid you not.
During a recent speech and in some interviews, I made the statement that people just getting into timepieces might want to avoid looking at watches on Instagram for the first three to five years of their journey as a collector.
Only after that might they be well-equipped enough with knowledge and experience to navigate the world of opinions and pictures on the popular Facebook-owned social media platform.
Speeches and interviews! Mr. Adams clearly revels in his standing within the watch community. A status that rests on the bedrock of self-censorship – and condescending elitism. Newbies can’t handle the truth! They can’t even understand it!
It is probably for the better that only mature watch lovers (after they have purchased a number of watches over a three- to five-year period of time) participate in the watch collecting community on Instagram because much of the best humor and satire on the platform is very “inside baseball,” insofar that most novices would not get the joke.
What better way to learn the truth about watches than to read “inside baseball” jokes about brands, models and the biz? Does Mr. Adams seriously believe that people can’t figure that shit out?
Instagram watch humor is everything ABTW is not: sharp, unafraid and funny. An editorial perspective that the obsequious founder of A Blog to Watch can’t acknowledge, recommend or provide. No wonder Mr. Adams hates it. By the same token, he must love us, right?
I love this notion, and I’ve heard it elsewhere, that people make some conscientious decision to start collecting watches. As if there was some moment of crystallization where they decided this would be their new path in life, their identity, the vacuum for discretionary funds. “Starting today, I am a watch collector!”
He seems somewhat self-aware though: “…it does the very necessary job of helping consumers to not only question propagandist content unwittingly presented to them…” Whoops!
“Thank you to Jason Sarkoyan for assistance in selecting Instagram posts for this article.” Wait, he couldn’t even meme farm for his own article? How much actual exposure does he have? I have none BTW.
The memes in Mr. Adams’ post were carefully chosen to be as inoffensive as possible. Of course.