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PRODUCT NEWS: Climbing's Top 50 Instagrammers 

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 UKC Gear 30 Mar 2022

'Social Media' gets a bit of a bad press. Maligned by most people who claim either not to be bothered, to not understand it, or just pleading a mixture of ambivalence and mirth. Yet whatever most of us say publicly, privately at least it would seem the case that a lot of us do actually like using it, and not just as voyeurs. User numbers are still growing rapidly and it's hard to have any climbing related conversation with peers before someone mentions something they've recently seen on Instagram.

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 Valkyrie1968 30 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

Can't wait to see the replies to this from the UKC cognoscenti - truly a group of tech-savvy, forward-thinking climbers. It is very interesting that the Top 50 list contains both actually good outdoor/comp climbers and the blogging, 'relatable meme'-type accounts, but good that there are far more of the former than the latter.

In fairness I find pretty much everything about Climbers Crag distasteful, starting with the lack of possessive apostrophe in the name and extending to the formulaic, bizarrely capitalised clickbait video titles ("EXTREME Tag On A Climbing Wall (BLINDFOLDED)"), but this seems to be the way climbing media is going these days.

 TMM 30 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

I am sure that this is really relevant to some people but I find it completely alien to the sport/hobby/past time/activity I am involved in.

To go back to the opening line in the feature, in my opinion social media doesn't get enough of a bad press. We are not evolved to interact like this.

Posting twice a day to maintain status and engagement for some form of validation has to have a price to pay.  I would be worried about your soul being eroded!

Remember, if you're not paying for it, you're probably the product.

Ps, well aware that I risk falling into the 'old man shouts at cloud' category!

Post edited at 11:34
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 The Pylon King 30 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

Excellent article.

Now then, where did I put my crow bar?

In reply to UKC Gear:

God, as if there wasn't enough to be depressed about in the world today. Reading this, I could feel the will to live slowly draining away. How far we done fall.

3
 derryclimbs 30 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

eh c'mon, what about my 86 followers????

however I did randomly click on the drewclimbswalls link and was pleasantly surprised to not see a toned, golden tanned, popeye armed, climbing god ripping apart an 8b+, but a down-to-earth, dare I say 'fat-bloke' encouraging that climbing is for all. 

 mike123 30 Mar 2022
In reply to derryclimbs: very dull lunch time here , Co worker is sulking , the labourer whose “colourful” life normally provides ample craic has nipped off to get fags as his vape is broken and I’m reduced to reading this , the majority of which is completely incomprehensible to me  . <Emits large audible  Sigh > 

 David Bowler 30 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

"it's hard to have any climbing related conversation with Peers before someone mentions something they've recently seen on Instagram."

I don't talk to many Lords but most of them are not into climbing or Instagram.

 mike123 30 Mar 2022
In reply to David Bowler:

Lord Bonnigton of Caldbeck Hall ? 

 David Bowler 30 Mar 2022
In reply to mike123:

Only 2500 followers so obviously not well known!

In reply to Valkyrie1968:

> Can't wait to see the replies to this from the UKC cognoscenti - truly a group of tech-savvy, forward-thinking climbers. It is very interesting that the Top 50 list contains both actually good outdoor/comp climbers and the blogging, 'relatable meme'-type accounts, but good that there are far more of the former than the latter.

> In fairness I find pretty much everything about Climbers Crag distasteful, starting with the lack of possessive apostrophe in the name and extending to the formulaic, bizarrely capitalised clickbait video titles ("EXTREME Tag On A Climbing Wall (BLINDFOLDED)"), but this seems to be the way climbing media is going these days.

Where these two paragraphs written by two different people? You start off calling out UKC users for not being tech savvy or forward thinking before turning into Victor Meldrew in the second paragraph!

Post edited at 13:33
In reply to UKC Gear:

Interesting stuff but I can’t help wondering if Joseph Diaz is Climbers Crag’s highest paying customer. 

 David Bowler 30 Mar 2022
In reply to Tyler:

The whole article is an advert for something so possibly you have hit on the reason.

In reply to David Bowler:

I mean anyone who begins with zero followers is going to have a faster percentage rate of growth than someone who already has 500,000. 

2
 Andy Moles 30 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

The 'game'...what exactly is the game? Try to get as many followers and engagement as possible, presumably, in order to...what? Get free stuff? Sell products? Is that the bottom line? Is it to inject an ever stronger dose of good feels for getting attention?

Viewing this whole gaming of the attention economy from a broad sociological perspective, you have to wonder what the f**k we're all doing.

I often feel I should learn to do social media better to promote my guiding and instructing, but I can't quite bring myself. I blame my upbringing, where blowing your own trumpet was held in contempt. Now it's entirely normal, and everyone's their own big promoter.

What I mainly could do with is advice on how to think of this stuff in a way that doesn't act as an emetic

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In reply to Andy Moles:

> The 'game'...what exactly is the game? Try to get as many followers and engagement as possible, presumably, in order to...what? 

In order to be able to make a living as a professional climber, it's right there in the article!

I do follow a lot of these accounts, some good content on there.

Climbers Crag's own content is utterly execrable though, I'd block it if I could, the worst kind of clickbait trash.

 Andy Moles 30 Mar 2022
In reply to midgen:

> In order to be able to make a living as a professional climber, it's right there in the article!

True, though you might argue that if that involves posting twice a day, you're not so much a professional climber as a content provider/influencer whose subject happens to be climbing. That bit's the work!

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 TMM 30 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

Clickbait article! Life imitating art.

In reply to Andy Moles:

> What I mainly could do with is advice on how to think of this stuff in a way that doesn't act as an emetic 

Sounds like you need some consultancy from Climbers Crags

 felt 30 Mar 2022
In reply to Valkyrie1968:

> Can't wait to see the replies to this from the UKC cognoscenti - truly a group of tech-savvy, forward-thinking climbers.

It would have meant as much to me had it been written in cuneiform.

 gooberman-hill 30 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

Yeah but what have they ever done on grit?

4
In reply to UKC Gear:

Not sure if you pay by the word or how that all works Did the 'grammers chip in and pay you? Either way, for the sake of feedback I didn't read past the headline. Not sure you've read the room well at all. If it's the former you might have wasted your cash. 

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 jimtitt 30 Mar 2022
In reply to felt:

> It would have meant as much to me had it been written in cuneiform.

Being the wrong generation by a long way I asked my tech-savvy teenage sons (one of whom is studying computer something for BMW and codes games on the side). They both said Insta is for old losers like Donald Trump.

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In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

It says in block capitals, PRESS RELEASE. Before suggesting UKC aren't reading the room, you perhaps should more carefully read the title! (I presume the agency paid UKC to publicize their ranking.)

 Marek 30 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

"... and it's hard to have any climbing related conversation with peers before someone mentions something they've recently seen on Instagram."

Perhaps I've lived in some technology backwater*, but I don't know of anyone in my circle of (past) work colleagues, family, friends or climbing partners who uses - or indeed has ever used - Instagram.

* I used to be the CTO of a technology startup.

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 bouldery bits 30 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

4. He used Collaborator functionality with other key climbing accounts to leverage extended Reach.

He's a self facilitating media node! 

 remus Global Crag Moderator 30 Mar 2022
In reply to Marek:

> "... and it's hard to have any climbing related conversation with peers before someone mentions something they've recently seen on Instagram."

> Perhaps I've lived in some technology backwater*, but I don't know of anyone in my circle of (past) work colleagues, family, friends or climbing partners who uses - or indeed has ever used - Instagram.

> * I used to be the CTO of a technology startup.

Apparently instagram had 30 million users in the UK in 2020, so even if you aren't using it plenty of people obviously are.

1
 David Bowler 30 Mar 2022
In reply to remus:

 30 million accounts in the UK.

1
 Sean Kelly 30 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

Am I bothered!!!

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 Valkyrie1968 30 Mar 2022
In reply to Tyler:

There's a difference between distaste for technology and distaste for meaningless drivel - more specifically, I suspect that given the average UKC poster is not an active Instagram user (likely because the average UKC poster is in an older demographic) there's a dislike of anything related to Instagram and content posted on there among most people that post on here, and that's irrespective of who has created that content.

My argument is that Instagram is on paper a fantastic platform that has the capacity to host meaningful knowledge and media, but that isn't the reality because 99% of its user base are vapid morons and the Instagram algorithm is designed such that that sort of thing floats to the top - hence the unfavourable impression we have of it. What we see with Climbers Crag is that ethos applied to climbing, in terms of lowest-common denominator garbage. What's particularly fascinating, however, is that the list that they've compiled is mostly that 1% of Instagram accounts that actually do produce meaningful content. 

It's a little bit like how UKC is, on paper, a fantastic resource and community, but the fact that the majority of posters are middle-aged punters with too much time on their hands means that the site is better known for its 200-reply dumpster-fire threads on safe belaying than the incredible database of routes and information on them... 

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In reply to midgen:

>..... Climbers Crag's.....

Oh for the love of God! 

In reply to Wide_Mouth_Frog:

It did pain me to write that....but that's their name.

 Lhod 30 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

What absolute f***ing drivel

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 Hooo 30 Mar 2022
In reply to Marek:

"... and it's hard to have any climbing related conversation with peers before someone mentions something they've recently seen on Instagram."

I know people who use Instagram, but I have literally never had a climbing related conversation in which it was mentioned, not once. It's like there's a whole other world of climbers out there that you and I have never crossed paths with.

 The Pylon King 30 Mar 2022
In reply to Hooo:

Instagram is some weird brainwashing internet cult where you are not allowed to critise anything posted.

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 Graham Booth 30 Mar 2022
In reply to The Pylon King:

Sometimes posting a reel twice a day? Jesus what a life 

In reply to The Pylon King:

> Instagram is some weird brainwashing internet cult where you are not allowed to critise anything posted.

Says the man who has been registered on UKC nearly as long as I have! 😆 I remember the magazines (for the younger readers they were climbing periodicals printed on paper that you bought from a shop!) having sneering comments in them about people arguing on Rocktalk on 'the net' and never actually going climbing.

Can we just accept that the medium changes even if the message doesn't that much?

In reply to Hooo:

> I know people who use Instagram, but I have literally never had a climbing related conversation in which it was mentioned, not once.

Here you go to then - a new experience... I've just seen on Instagram that Franco Cookson has just repeated another E10 - Hold Fast, Hold True (E10 7a), which is pretty cool. Dave MacLeod is in the Lakes for another go at Lexicon as well! Could be a strong start to the trad year...

In reply to bouldery bits:

Trashbat.crags!

 Si dH 30 Mar 2022
In reply to TobyA:

I use Instagram to follow quite a few climbing accounts, it's a really good medium for climbing photos and videos that can provide lots of inspiration. I don't use it for anything else. It 'fits' climbing far better than other social media outlets for me. I agree with some of the sentiments about this particular thread / article though.

Post edited at 23:55
 alx 31 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

Wait no Rawk Tawk IG?

 Hooo 31 Mar 2022
In reply to TobyA:

Well I may be being a bit pedantic here, but I wouldn't class this a climbing conversation in which Instagram was mentioned. I'd describe it as a conversation about Instagram in which climbing was mentioned

1
 galpinos 31 Mar 2022
In reply to Si dH:

Same here, I use Instagram as a climbing news/winter conditions aggregator via my selection of accounts I follow. I get news/conditions and inspiration.

I've also started following a few photography accounts that provide me with inspiration too.

If I click on the "search tab", however, there de dragons! It seems to be a page of reels of parkour indoor problems and scantily clad women in front of a piece of rock.

In reply to galpinos:

> Same here, I use Instagram as a climbing news/winter conditions aggregator via my selection of accounts I follow. I get news/conditions and inspiration.

Very much the same. Also for seeing what old climbing friends in Finland are up to

> I've also started following a few photography accounts that provide me with inspiration too.

Cycling for me!

> If I click on the "search tab", however, there de dragons! It seems to be a page of reels of parkour indoor problems and scantily clad women in front of a piece of rock.

Yep, weird isn't it? Although I follow enough ice climbing accounts to get less scantily clad folk in winter at least, and a lot more people swinging Nomics.

Loads of teenagers seem to use Insta essentially as a messaging app, which I can't really get my head around. Not sure why use it over Snapchat or WhatsApp etc.

 galpinos 31 Mar 2022
In reply to TobyA:

> Yep, weird isn't it? Although I follow enough ice climbing accounts to get less scantily clad folk in winter at least, and a lot more people swinging Nomics.

The algorithms are comedy at times, not just on the advertising you things you've just bought. On the scantily clad women front, having been looking for pyjamas for my wife for Christmas, and being a middle aged man, this has started pushing a lot of lingerie adverts at me.

Conversely, I set up a pinterest to try to work out how we were going to sort/decorate our house when we moved in a couple of years ago and I was bombarded with "hipster wedding" adverts for dresses, bouquet's etc so I obviously have the interior design taste of a 30 odd year old women about to get married.

 olddirtydoggy 31 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

Perhaps it depends on how a viewer uses posts on social media.

A good mate of mine loves to watch vids of Ondra powerscreaming his way up 9b's and a lot of that other stuff most of us find a bit dull. I'm happy for him but I'd suggest that the stuff he watches is way past what he'll ever do himself so he watches it for pure entertainment, good for him.

By contrast, I use Youtube vids and trip reports to research personal trips and venues, especially abroad. I've found places like Gola island, which I doubt are places that would show up on most of these top 50 influencers. The real gold for us are the content put up by film makers like Bald Eagle productions which show a bunch of mates plodding up a VS on a sea stack . I'd say the amateur content just put up for the pure fun of it provides more value personally than this culture described in the article.

We must find this stuff facinating to a point as the chatter on the thread has been quite engaging. I've never heard of climbers crag, not on Instagram and I've no idea what 'reels' and 'carousels' are in this context. Am I missing out?

 henwardian 31 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

Wow, way to COMPLETELY miss the issue!

The problem with social media isn't that people "can't be bothered" or "don't understand" it, it's that it is fundamentally terrible for your mental health and instagram is one of the worst offenders in this regard. Depression, anorexia, self-harm, anxiety, suicide.... the list goes on, maybe you should research how damaging the product you are punting is next time before pushing it like you are selling cigarettes or Guinness in the 1920s. 

There is good and interesting stuff on UKC forums but, lets make no bones about it; I read a lot of s**** on the UKC forums and generally it washes over me like so much water in the shower. But congratulations to you; by posting this thinly-veiled advert for a harmful product under the guise of "news" without any health warning whatsoever, you have actually made me angry. Well done.

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In reply to henwardian:

For the majority of people, it's just another medium. If I could swap the BBC 1 6 o'clock news for a climbing news programme on that would be grand, but in lieu of that, a quick peruse of what's been going on in the world of climbing on Instagram is interesting and inspiring in equal measure.

I agree that for people that are prone to emotional hyperbolic reactions to social media content, it could trigger negative reactions and they'd be best staying away....but to say it's 'fundamentally harmful' is nonsense.

Post edited at 11:54
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 henwardian 31 Mar 2022
In reply to TobyA:

> It says in block capitals, PRESS RELEASE. Before suggesting UKC aren't reading the room, you perhaps should more carefully read the title! (I presume the agency paid UKC to publicize their ranking.)

In the thread title is does. In the article in question it says "product news" clearly at 2 points at the top of the article and the only indication that it is in actual fact just an advert is tiny, faint grey writing in italics which takes over 30 words to say, in the most confusing way possible, "this is an advert". A true masterclass in the art of delivering advertising content masquerading as news without your audience realising it.

3
 henwardian 31 Mar 2022
In reply to TobyA:

> Yep, weird isn't it? Although I follow enough ice climbing accounts to get less scantily clad folk in winter at least, and a lot more people swinging Nomics.

Would you follow me if my account contained only scantily clad people swinging Nomics?

 henwardian 31 Mar 2022
In reply to midgen:

> I agree that for people that are prone to emotional hyperbolic reactions to social media content, it could trigger negative reactions and they'd be best staying away....but to say it's 'fundamentally harmful' is nonsense.

I disagree. Just because something doesn't lead to negative effects in every person does not mean that it isn't fundamentally harmful. Plenty of people drink alcohol but only a small percentage suffer from significant negative effects in the long term, this doesn't alter the fact that alcohol is fundamentally harmful.

It might help to do a bit of googling and read some articles about studies that have been done on social media.

1
In reply to henwardian:

> I disagree. Just because something doesn't lead to negative effects in every person does not mean that it isn't fundamentally harmful. Plenty of people drink alcohol but only a small percentage suffer from significant negative effects in the long term, this doesn't alter the fact that alcohol is fundamentally harmful.

> It might help to do a bit of googling and read some articles about studies that have been done on social media.

Yet here you are, posting on social media.

My instagram feed is exclusively climbing related, and without a shadow of doubt a more positive and wholesome source of content than UKC!

4
 Andy Moles 31 Mar 2022
In reply to midgen:

>  to say it's 'fundamentally harmful' is nonsense.

The Social Dilemma is worth a watch.

Here's an article about a study into the harm to teenage girls in particular:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/11/facebooks-dangerous-experiment-teen-girls/620767/

And one about the ways in which social media is damaging more generally:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/11/the-binge-breaker/501122/

Edited because I accidentally linked the same thing twice.

Post edited at 12:26
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 Andy Moles 31 Mar 2022
In reply to midgen:

> Yet here you are, posting on social media.

> My instagram feed is exclusively climbing related, and without a shadow of doubt a more positive and wholesome source of content than UKC!

Again, just because it isn't harmful to everyone, which is almost certainly true, does not mean it isn't harmful. If you're lucky enough that Instagram is only a positive in your life, good for you.

The fact that this discourse is happening on social media does not undermine Henward's point. If anything the fact that we recognise social media is harmful and can't resist using it anyway points to how addictive it is, which is a large part of the issue.

1
 Iamgregp 31 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

Despite the fact that this is paid for Press Release, I actually thought this was a really interesting article.  I really enjoyed a look behind the curtain of how digital agencies quantify this stuff, and what the metrics are.

Like it or not, Social Media is here to stay and it's a major factor in how brands promote themselves, so it's no surprise that an agency exists that specialises in this area.  It was only a matter of time until a climber working at a digital agency had the vision to link their work and their passion, so fair play to them for taking that step.

Final though of the day for all the people moaning about social media here.... Internet forums are a form of social media.  You're moaning on social media about another form of social media.  It's just that the form of social media you're using to complain about social media is a form of social media that's a bit older.

4
In reply to Andy Moles:

> The fact that this discourse is happening on social media does not undermine Henward's point. If anything the fact that we recognise social media is harmful and can't resist using it anyway points to how addictive it is, which is a large part of the issue.

There is an important difference between potentially harmful and fundamentally harmful. Much like any other medium, social media has the capability to inspire, entertain, inform, connect and delight people, and by and large does for most people, most of the time. 

To try and argue that 'social media = harmful' is grossly reductive, and isn't offering any useful criticism. Unless the aim is simply to vent, which is likely I suppose.

1
In reply to UKC Gear:

Thank you guys, this is brilliant.

No, not the veiled advert - I didn't get beyond the forum post because I think Instagram is akin to a large pile of steaming poo in the exact centre of Robin Hood's cave, surrounded by a stone circle of mini steaming poos, and so I wasn't sure I wanted to hear about the fifty most prolific phantom turders in the climbing world.

What is brilliant is the resultant forum thread. I never thought I'd live to see this day. UKC has been united.

 Andy Moles 31 Mar 2022
In reply to midgen:

> Much like any other medium, social media has the capability to inspire, entertain, inform, connect and delight people, and by and large does for most people, most of the time

Where's your evidence for this?

> To try and argue that 'social media = harmful' is grossly reductive

No it's not. There's a lot to be said for drinking alcohol, but it's still true to say that alcohol causes harm. You're essentially quibbling over the use of the word 'fundamental'. Whether it's possible for social media to integrate with culture in a way that's truly harmless is a moot point (I doubt it), but the way it exists now, it causes harm.

As for useful criticism, start with those Atlantic articles.

Post edited at 13:14
2
In reply to Andy Moles:

Are you a subscriber to the Atlantic? If not I wonder how you found the articles?

I don't hugely disagree with you about the plentiful negatives of social media - but look at societies where governments have managed to control or limit internet access, Russia and state controlled TV as the information source for the majority of the population would be the obvious current example - is that situation obviously better?

I'm sure you are aware of the past moral panics over Bibles translated into local languages, Victorian women accessing "penny dreadfuls", comic books and detective stories read by kids in 30s to 50s, video nasties in the 70s and 80s, the rise of the internet and the first blogs in the 90s and 2000s. It feels a bit Canute-esque railing against the next incoming tide. Better we try to equip young people with the critical tools to filter for themselves what they will inevitably find from media of all sorts - old and new. 

Anyway, Franco. E10! And no one yet arriving to say he used the wrong holds? Or the right holds in the wrong order? Or the right holds but his arms are too long? Perhaps I should go and check "the other channel" before saying no one...

1
In reply to UKC Gear:

Very depressing.

If I'm remembering correctly, the history of Climbers Crag is quite interesting...

Before I quit social media for good a few years ago I remember being part of a big facebook group called  something like 'Climbing - training, advice' etc. They got pretty large and started promoting things and running competitions and talks / events etc. Then they changed their name to Climbers crag and suddenly became much more media 'savvy' with different social channels and breaking into youtube etc. Quit group because it became super cringey and click-baity.

What I remember most was thinking the admins of the group who posted most often all had similar profile photos on fb, standing in a white shirt and tie with neat hair, often holding a book. Realised then that there seemed to be a load of admins that were Mormons on Missions travelling through Europe / US / South America etc, and were super into their climbing. Nothing wrong with that of course, just felt kinda random that such a large climbing training / advice group was spearheaded by Mormons on missions!

*That said, I don't have any hard evidence that this was the definitely the case, just what I remember from a few years back - might be wrong*

 Andy Moles 31 Mar 2022
In reply to TobyA:

I'll come clean, I only skimmed those Atlantic articles to check they were on point, having read/listened to/watched Jonathan Haidt and Tristan Harris on the topic in various other places. They just came up near the top of the search listings.

I don't know that our own status quo vs. state controlled media isn't painting a more monochrome picture than the real spectrum of possibilities to do things better that exist, but I totally take your point about adapting to deal with changes in culture instead of just railing against them. Perhaps a balance of the two?

1
 The Pylon King 31 Mar 2022
In reply to TobyA:

> Says the man who has been registered on UKC nearly as long as I have! 😆 I remember the magazines (for the younger readers they were climbing periodicals printed on paper that you bought from a shop!) having sneering comments in them about people arguing on Rocktalk on 'the net' and never actually going climbing.

> Can we just accept that the medium changes even if the message doesn't that much?

Nowt wrong with the internet and forums etc where you can argue or take the piss or whatever. Instagram is some weird thing where you can only post up positive (often fake positive) BS and not criticise or be rude. A cult.

5
 henwardian 31 Mar 2022
In reply to midgen:

> To try and argue that 'social media = harmful' is grossly reductive, and isn't offering any useful criticism. Unless the aim is simply to vent, which is likely I suppose.

It's a fair point that I lumped all social media together in my original post and I should have been more specific about my criticisms being levelled mainly at Instagram (I'm sure there are others that are just as bad but the article was about Instagram and that was what I was posting about).

I humbly suggest that I offered plenty of useful criticism when I gave a list of examples of negative mental health effects linked to the use of social media. I assume "he's just venting" and "[no] useful criticism" are just your ways of minimising my point and ensuring that you don't have to seriously consider the other side of the argument.

I'll make this my last post on this subject though, as others have pointed out, ranting on internet forums isn't likely to do me any good.

1
 ExiledScot 31 Mar 2022
In reply to midgen:

Facebooks own research found that its own platforms were damaging to teens mental health. That's not potentially, but actually. 

I find that insta, Snapchat, tiktok etc.. have zero impact on me, I don't have them. I'm not interested in what folk I've never met have climbed, my friends I chat in the flesh, but not in Petes Eats if I can help it.

 Si dH 31 Mar 2022
In reply to henwardian:

> I disagree. Just because something doesn't lead to negative effects in every person does not mean that it isn't fundamentally harmful. Plenty of people drink alcohol but only a small percentage suffer from significant negative effects in the long term, this doesn't alter the fact that alcohol is fundamentally harmful.

> It might help to do a bit of googling and read some articles about studies that have been done on social media.

I agree with what Midgen and TobyA said.

All types of social media can be harmful if they aren't used in the right way, and I include internet forums in that. The point of signing up to Instagram for me was actually as a release from all the negative news, barrage of over-strong opinions on Facebook and on internet forums, and an addiction to what you might call 'doom scrolling' through 2019 and 2020. A completely new account on a new app gave me a completely fresh start where I could just look at climbing content and forget the rest for a few minutes. I still use it that way now. It's much better for my mental health than UKC. These things are what you make of them - you just need to go in with the right attitude and some caution about how you use them.

Post edited at 15:26
1
In reply to The Pylon King:

> Nowt wrong with the internet and forums etc where you can argue or take the piss or whatever. Instagram is some weird thing where you can only post up positive (often fake positive) BS and not criticise or be rude. A cult.

Well go to Twitter then. I’m a 50+ year old crumudgeon but even I’d struggle to make the case that what social media needs more of is criticism and rudeness. 

Post edited at 15:38
In reply to UKC Gear:

Tell you what I flipping love seeing ordinary punters like me on Instagram, sharing the psyche and getting things done. Except the overchalkers, litterers and newcomers effortlessly better than me. I've blocked them.

In reply to Shani:

> The TopGearification of climbing continues. 

What does this mean?

1
In reply to The Pylon King:

You can post whatever you want on your Instagram. I have had arguments on Instagram - I met a real proud Nazi in the comments of Andy Kirkpatrick's posts, and Andy had a very low opinion of me questioning his alt-righty stuff, but he never deleted my comments or blocked me.

On a much less controversial level, Dave MacLeod is forever engaging in lengthy debates on his posts - it's the vegans often it seems he upsets!

But basically if it's a way to look at pictures of folk climbing, what's the need to get into fights?

 Andy Moles 31 Mar 2022
In reply to Si dH:

> These things are what you make of them - you just need to go in with the right attitude and some caution about how you use them.

As advice to an individual, I think you're absolutely right - find a way of engaging with these things that works for you, and if you can't, avoid them.

But it would be callous to dismiss the mental health problems that are exacerbated by social media as a failure by those people to deal with it. It's not an even playing field - these things are designed to hijack our attention and to be addictive, and they are constantly getting better at it. Some people are more vulnerable than others.

I take Toby's point about not playing Canute, but not every new thing has the same character, and I dislike the fatalism of accepting things however they are right now, as if the status quo is inevitable and couldn't possibly be better.

1

In reply to Shani:

> To be honest, not much when it concerns Instagram as i don't use it.

How do you know what it's like then?

Is Franco doing the first repeat (I think it's the first) of an E10 worthy of note? Should we wait until the end of the month to read about it in the one remaining climbing mag if we can find a copy to buy... Climber does still exist doesn't it? I think I saw them on sale in Outside Hathersage last time I was there...

3

In reply to Shani:

> I don't. I literally stated that in the sentence you responded to.

How do you know that it's contributing to the topgearification of climbing then (whatever that actually means)? 

> We're not talking about Franco though are we? 

I was when I was telling the other chap what I had seen on Instagram, now, yesterday. 

I'm not really trying to be argumentative, more just trying to work out why lots of people who say themselves they don't use Instagram, hold it in such low regard? It would be a bit like me criticising the Spanish climbing media, when - because I don't speak Spanish - I never read or otherwise engage with.

Post edited at 19:55
 Andy Moles 31 Mar 2022
In reply to TobyA:

> Is Franco doing the first repeat (I think it's the first) of an E10 worthy of note? 

Second. The first repeat was about as un-Instagram as they come, and only seeped onto the internet a few weeks afterwards. You have one guess.

In reply to Andy Moles:

My guess was going to be Iain Small, because it seems like when anything hard and dangerous gets a quiet repeat Mr Small is the likeliest candidate!

But I did a quick Google and see Iain's ascent noted. I take it neither Charlie Woodburn or Dave MacLeod have gone back for another go?

 biscuit 31 Mar 2022
In reply to dig26:

Is Tom R a Mormon?

I thought Climber’s’ crag’s’ was one of his spin offs?

As their front page shows two of their star customers to be lattice and crimpd I’d guess it will be.

Credit where it’s due - he’s got more fingers in more pies than I’ve got fingers…..

 Andy Moles 31 Mar 2022
In reply to TobyA:

No, your guess was quite right. It just wasn't much known about for a while.

In reply to Shani:

I don't think that Franco is mentioned in their top 50 but we've been discussing what Instagram is like generally for climbing, not just the people in the article - most of whom I've not heard of as it's not the type of climbing that interests me.

My Instagram is private so people can follow me only if I accept them. Then they get to see pictures of me in various Peak quarries as I proudly send another 6a of questionable stability and aesthetic value, pictures of snowy Wales, Lakes and very occasionally Scotland when I get to go winter climbing, grit classics (although being a punter rarely harder than VS!), the occasional mountain biking or 'wild camping' trips and pretty light on the canal as I cycle to work. It's pretty pointless to self promote as not that many people follow me!

But millions of people share photos with their friends family and relatively close networks of people who share their interests that way. If you just follow the people mentioned in this article I'm sure there is a lot of self promotion, but if it's of no interest, simply don't follow them. 

My biggest problem with it is it makes me jealous when I see great midweek ice conditions on the Ben, when I can't possibly get up there, or like currently my best mate who is ski touring in endless powder by the looks of it, up in Lyngen which is about my favourite place in the world. Although I still have Harpur Hill so can't complain. 🤨

In reply to biscuit:

Pretty sure he joined it after the change! But no don't think he's a Mormon anyway haha

In reply to Shani:

> I'm nearly 50 do I'm probably stuck in my ways.

So am I! I still listen to podcasts downloaded via a wire to my iPod, much to the amusement of the kids I teach.  

> Your best mate's account sounds like a good one to follow!

What?! Bottomless powder snow above the open fjords (with the odd whale in them) of Arctic Norway is better than my Harpur Hill 6a bum shots? Surely not!

 peppermill 01 Apr 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

Clicked on this article on 01/04 thinking it was UKC's best April Fool's effort since Sharpnose Point falling over a decade plus ago

*Checks date of article*

Eugh.

1
 peppermill 01 Apr 2022

In reply to Shani:

> I get a bit more of how you are using Insta and can appreciate its value, so my antipathy is certainly not directed at you. It's more directed at the 'top end'.

> The self-promotion on SM as people try to make a living from it, rubs me up the wrong way. I'm nearly 50 do I'm probably stuck in my ways.

> Your best mate's account sounds like a good one to follow!

Not just you. I'm prime millennial douchebag age and I'm the same. 

I don't hate it, use it to keep in touch with friends and family but almost everyone I'm connected with I've actually met in person.

It's the thousands of "Followers" jazz that rubs me up the wrong way. I kind of get it for people at the top of their game who would probably be famous anyway (eg Honnold) and businesses promoting themselves but those without any real talent or skill just promoting nothing of substance? Wtf?

In reply to UKC Gear:

I've a feeling some people are conflating 'things I don't like about Instagram' with 'Instagram'. I mostly follow ordinary people, it's fun. Even for older people.

 Ramblin dave 01 Apr 2022
In reply to peppermill:

> It's the thousands of "Followers" jazz that rubs me up the wrong way. I kind of get it for people at the top of their game who would probably be famous anyway (eg Honnold) and businesses promoting themselves but those without any real talent or skill just promoting nothing of substance? Wtf?

I just looked it up and the first use of the phrase "famous for being famous" was Malcolm Muggeridge in 1967:
"In the past if someone was famous or notorious, it was for something—as a writer or an actor or a criminal; for some talent or distinction or abomination. Today one is famous for being famous. "

This isn't an Instagram thing, it's a people thing. Or at least a media thing.

 peppermill 01 Apr 2022
In reply to steveriley:

> I've a feeling some people are conflating 'things I don't like about Instagram' with 'Instagram'. I mostly follow ordinary people, it's fun. Even for older people.

Ah you're probably right. And me too. 

To quote one of my more eloquent friends on the topic of Instagram:

"Other than friends, family and people that want to sh*g you, nobody really cares about what you do"

Post edited at 13:20
1
In reply to galpinos:

> …having been looking for pyjamas for my wife for Christmas, and being a middle aged man, this has started pushing a lot of lingerie adverts at me.

Yeah, right 😉

 Nick Bullock 01 Apr 2022
In reply to Andy Moles:

> As advice to an individual, I think you're absolutely right - find a way of engaging with these things that works for you, and if you can't, avoid them.

> But it would be callous to dismiss the mental health problems that are exacerbated by social media as a failure by those people to deal with it. It's not an even playing field - these things are designed to hijack our attention and to be addictive, and they are constantly getting better at it. Some people are more vulnerable than others.

> I take Toby's point about not playing Canute, but not every new thing has the same character, and I dislike the fatalism of accepting things however they are right now, as if the status quo is inevitable and couldn't possibly be better.

The above by Andy, IMO, is spot on... Thanks for taking the time and posting it. 

 PaulJepson 01 Apr 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

I would love to know how this translates to income. 

In reply to Shani:

> I'd wager few if any people do two notable things a day for any length of time.

Maybe I need to start #ShitsOfInstagram

Though I imagine someone will have beaten me to it...

 Ger_the_gog 02 Apr 2022
In reply to UKC Gear:

I'll never fall for the social media shenanigans.

(Like this post if I should have porridge for breakfast, dislike if I should have marmalade on toast.)

1
In reply to UKC Gear:

I'm surprised/not surprised that nobody has commented with many positives around this press release. I recently started following the Climbers Crag Agency account to get some interesting insights into how to make my instagram reach more people, which ultimately results in more/better work for me. I've told a few friends/peers and had some really interesting conversations about it off the back of their posts. I use Instagram as my main way of marketing my business: it's free and it's creative and it's an interesting way of engaging with customers. My "product" is me, a sole trading, self-employed instructor and therefore a platform like Instagram works much better than advertising in the back of a magazine, for example. Reels over stills, engaging with comments and liking recent content relevant to my "product" has resulted in some really successful gains in the past three months. Not to be sniffed at. 

3
In reply to rachcrewe:

From your Instagram Rach, the 'Ben Nevis ice + big cheesy grins' content on my instagram feed has gone up a lot! I'm starting to think that Ben Nevis winter climbing isn't always quite as necessarily grim as in my mind.   

 Andy Moles 05 Apr 2022
In reply to rachcrewe:

Nobody said it wasn't effective.

Though it's definitely easier to make the most of it if you're fortunate enough to enjoy that kind of self promotion.


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