It rings in my head over and over again. An unstoppable force based purely in repetition on the verge of complete and utter annoyance. The "Please, thank you" episode of Yo Gabba Gabba is one of my son's favorites. Perhaps it's the characters themselves, the way they sing-talk, or their wacky dancing. Whatever it is, he goes nuts for it. While no one wants their kid to rely on television, the show pushes a positive message about manners and respect, and I love that. The back and forth that takes place in this particular episode ends with the characters chanting, "Pleeease. Thank you! Pleeease. Thank you! Magic, magic, magic..." It seems so simple, yet this skit show/sing-along seems to be going against everything I currently see on a daily basis. The social media blitz that we've all experienced over the past few years is nothing short of amazing. Never has there been such a massive influx of platforms, users, and of course by-products like memes and web-specific lingo.
With this new frontier we've experienced a major revamp in the way that we interact with one another. The computer monitor, or as I like to refer to it, "the iron shield," acts like a safety fence, allowing people to say whatever they want, whenever they want, without hesitation or fear of repercussion. The current generation, whether they want the responsibility or not, has a direct effect on the next generation's outlook, behavior, and social interaction. History books in 10 years (if they even exist at that time) will no doubt touch on this social media phenomenon and all of its positive and negative attributes. Think about that for a moment. We're actually making history right this second with lazy social media browsing and "likes." All of this got me to thinking about the lack of basic manners that fester within the Honda community, especially lately. Maybe some of our brethren could stand to watch that Gabba episode and take in some of the basics that seem to have been forgotten or ignored. I wouldn't recommend watching it 20 or 30 times like myself, but at least once in an attempt to instill some of the classic manners that their parents apparently failed to touch on.
Making A Statement
"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Sure, many of us were taught this age-old adage by our parents or maybe even our grandparents, but let's be honest, the majority of us never really stick to that train of thought. Some offer their opinions with a bit of constructive criticism. Others tend to simply bash any- and everything that shows up before them. Nothing wrong with that, some people simply don't shed a positive light on anything, and that's fine, but basic manners seem to be completely discarded these days. Rather than, "I don't really like those wheels, I like the original version," you see, "F*** those stupid piece of s*** wheels, get some real wheels you f***ing poser!" Two similar statements put forth in entirely different ways. The first is one you might hear in person, maybe at a car event. The latter being the norm currently found online only, with that handy iron shield acting as a buffer zone.
Somewhere along the line, things got really nasty among the Honda enthusiast community. The idea of camaraderie was simply no longer tolerated, and everyone seemed to be at each other's throats. Some were jaded, already having mentally checked out of the Honda world but sticking around on the forums to instigate drama and other related nonsense. Others, perhaps vying for a top spot, whether it be on the track, at a show, or an attempt at some sort of Internet fame adopted a "screw you" mentality, and things have never quite been the same, at least in the cyber world. Perhaps victims of oversaturation, numb to all things Honda-related, many people aren't very impressed anymore. The ones who are impressed are labeled "fan boys" or "nut huggers" because they praise a certain style or a particular build. Silly when you think about the fact that enthusiasts showing genuine enthusiasm for the very hobby they're involved in are faulted for doing so.
How Do We Get Back?
The truth is, I don't know. The fast-food drive-through-style social media sites like Facebook have been an important tool for relating to HT readers, tracking down freelancers and car owners, and reaching those who seem to be allergic to their emails. However, it has also been a complete nightmare dealing with the armchair experts, anti-Honda crowd, and the devoted complainers. I'm probably taking things too far or too personally, but when I see what's happening now, I can't help but think back to seven or eight years ago when everyone was so excited to share their builds, talk about the aspirations for their project, or offer some words of advice to the newcomers in order to keep things on the up-and-up. I even remember people using "please" and "thank you" like real human beings. As complex as things have become, there was a time when things were quite simple. With any luck, we'll get at least a taste of that previous-generation mentality at some point. Who knows, we might even see a "please, thank you" here and there.