Facebook and Metal Detecting – 2

5th April 2016 — 23 Comments

Untitled 4Almost a year ago on the memorable but inauspicious date of the 13th April 2015, I told you that after resisting for eleven years, I had eventually joined the ‘popular’ social networking site known as Facebook. As I said at the time, it was Martha Lane-Fox who had cajoled, caressed and, (metaphorically) beaten me into submission. You can read about it HERE. Although I suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia, the date didn’t worry me too much, as the13th fell on a Monday that year. It’s now time to report back.

I wanted to know what Facebook had to offer in way of the hobby, but I confess that, after a year, I still don’t know what it is all about. I’ve noticed that people who really hate the site use derogatory names such as ‘Faceache’ and others that I won’t mention here. I could, but I’d prefer to keep my blog relatively clean!

I’m told that one of the advantages of FB is that people are keen to join because it’s one of the best mediums for communication. It’s free and, for all the lonely people out there, EVERYBODY wants to be your friend. Well, it seems that way!

So keen in fact that Mark Zuckerberg, the young founder, is worth an estimated £40 billion! Puts it into some kind of perspective when you learn that the average footballer picks up £600,000 per week and the retired pensioner manages on about £2880 per year plus any other measly income they may have. Then there are those on the breadline.

Last time I reported that it was easy to join metal detecting groups. Some I signed up to inadvertently and others just added me anyway. It seems as though there are hundred from which to choose. I have been persuaded to register and accept as ‘friends’ people with unpronounceable names and languages I couldn’t read. Do I accept, because I don’t wish to offend? It’s a dilemma!

I receive messages every day that I really don’t want urging me to wish somebody I don’t know, a Happy Birthday. I still get a vaguely guilty feeling when I don’t respond. Then there are the people who are always ‘updating their status’, but I can’t tell how. Unless it’s yet another picture of their dog … as if I’d be interested. Is this promise of
an update just to bore the pants off me – like the ‘selfie’ pictures of themselves cavorting with real friends? What is this narcissistic urge to send me ‘new’ photographs that look remarkably like all the others?


Some things I still don’t fully understand like the other day when I received a ‘poke’. A poke? What can that mean? All I can say is that it sounds rude. And what about ‘tagged’?

Facebook is an easy way to share feelings and to share what’s going on in your general life. If you are lucky, somebody you don’t know will respond and share your achievements or sorrows. An advantage is that I have re-connected with friends that I had known years ago from detecting forums, so that has been useful. In a couple of cases I have asked them if they would contact me another way, say by email of Skype.

My preferred metal detecting forum has an FB page to which I don’t contribute, but occasionally frequent, because things happen on there that don’t appear on the forum. That is because ‘one can easily post pictures’, I am told. These pictures of coins and artefacts are usually taken with a mobile phone on the palm of the hand with the subject blurred and unrecognisable. The background of the palm can take up 90% of the picture. Why bother? People do bother of course because they invariably get fulsome, but misplaced praise from other members of the group. Some people reading this will no doubt groan at me repeating myself. Alas, it’s what old men do.

Repetition is one of the most basic learning techniques. Knowing when huge amounts of repetition are needed is what often makes the difference between learning and forgetting and learning and remembering.

It is clear to me that the runaway success of FB fulfils a yearning to communicate in new and unfamiliar ways. But it’s not for me. I don’t understand the yearning … but at the back of my mind is a feeling that, because of my ineptitude, I am missing out in some way. I shall continue to maintain a presence on there. Every time I post a blog, it is automatically sent to FB, but that’s as far as I go!


One of my major concerns is to do with privacy. Due to ignorance and lack of understanding I think that people make many mistakes. Consider the information you share on Facebook – is it perhaps too personal, whether in video, pictures or text? Remember that after the details are placed online you lose all control.

The following is one thing I have noticed since joining FB – and it could be coincidental – is that it’s ‘free’ for a reason. I happened to buy something online and ever since have noticed that every detecting site I visit, I see adverts for the same or similar products. FB gathers all it can finding out about me and my habits. Google is the same.

Do you think I’m becoming paranoid?

What is a Cookie? – Click and Find Out!


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23 responses to Facebook and Metal Detecting – 2

  1. I wondered if we would see a post on Communication and Facebook soon. I sent a message yesterday to John commenting on communication with other detectorists.

    I commented that a person we know in America had just found a watch, another in England was out of hospital and had found a hammered coin. A third in Scotland had found a nice silver cross and before the markings had even had time to be checked, people all over the world had seen it. Most would know I am a Mod on the Australian Metal detecting and Relic Hunting Forum and also run the Facebook page for The Bendigo Prospecting club here in Australia. My first personal contact with Facebook was only about four years ago. My daughter typed my name into search and who should pop up but an ex club member using my name and details with his picture in the profile. It takes all types they say.

  2. Facebook attracts all types of people and to a degree those who don’t know the first thing about history and artefacts and some who see it as a possible financial benefit by finding and selling what they find.
    There are some though who have a rounded, if not a specialist knowledge of identifying finds and others who are experts in there own sphere of understanding. Often they are not egotists but desire to support and encourage those with lesser skills. I agree John that there is a surfeit of groups and more seemingly others being added almost weekly. Personally I like to help and support facebook groups and am often being asked to identify or at least to attempt to identify finds for others knowing that in the world of detecting we all had to start somewhere.
    Facebook is a communication tool and also an aid to community. You will, like any system have those who seem to relish causing controversy, but most are keen to expand their own knowledge and respect the assistance of those who know more than they do. I have exited a few groups because of the narcissistic attitudes of some, but generally speaking I see them as a positive rather than a negative influence in the advancement of the detecting fraternity!

  3. Well said John… it confuses me too and you have perfectly described my experiences.

    Paranoid? …. doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you, as they say.

  4. You are paranoid you old fart…..

    • You have a lovely turn of phrase, Ricardo!

      • Of course you don’t give out personal information that might come back to haunt you. On the other hand the only people who “might” care about what you share are probably your friends, and I have found a lot of very good ones since signing on to Facebook. Real or imagined….It’s just my take.

  5. I give this blog a big blue thumbs up and a POKE.

  6. Has it been a year ? 🙂 Looks like I wrote a book on your blog a year ago. I think facebook gives the detectorist a place to participate in the hobby where they have more control. If it’s their page they can control all the content and if it isn’t their page they can still control their content.

    You don’t have to put up with the drama, pot stirring, attacks etc that you would see on a detecting forum. Those were the good old days. Now it ain’t no fun telling someone their find sucks, they should have not asked for permission they didn’t need or that they’re an idiot for taking that shovel to the park. They just delete the comment and there is no drama. It really sucks.

    The forums haven’t figured out yet that they have to be more inclusive and quit pandering to to the siisys that can’t just stay off a thread rather than complain. The forums are trying to find that certain group of people they think will be best for the forum.

    Detectorists are too broad of a group to find a group within that will make any social media site a success, A detectorist needs to earn their stripes on social media by being exposed to and tolerating ( or fighting with ) those that are different than them. Yes sir, azzholes like me are what’s missing and causing people to spend their time on facebook. 🙂

  7. Hear Hear John, like you I joined Facebook as a way of keeping in touch with prevailing trends in the detecting world but cannot get my septuagenarian head around certain aspects of it. It seems to me that many members believe they are taking part in some kind of race to accrue the largest amount of “friends” most of whom they will have no further contact with. Having said that I have seen some wonderful finds posted most of which will not appear in the detecting magazines. Sadly as a fully paid up member of the “old farts club” I despair at the poor use of grammar & awful spelling contained in many of the posts

  8. I like it. It lets me keep up to date with family and friends and keep in touch with detecting forums that I don’t have time to visit.

  9. I, as you well know John, don’t visit FB accept on my birthday to say thanks to the friends that say happy birthday, and these are my real friends as I only add those I know personally. In that I sympathise with you its the forum for me through and through lol.

  10. Far from being paranoid John you are just being realistic .I echo your thoughts about facebook .Some need it ,some do not
    Best wishes

  11. Well for a start I opened an account on facebook many many years ago, I had not been a member for very long before I was poking my nose in exchanging patter with a few sea fishing friends from various parts of the UK when a “Trollip” from Russia latched on to me through my username (None Sexual Version) with a half clad photograph of herself and a web site connection and me being nosie got well and truly walloped with a downloaded virus and dialer which was being used to access porn sites. Luckily a good friend of mine realised that my phone account was getting hammered whilst my computer was switched on and he debugged and swept my computer clean of all of the rubbish, needless to say I bought a secure Fire Wall and Virus Checker and ever after gave Facecrap a wide berth.
    When writing anything on facebook it is being viewed by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

  12. Wow has it been a year already!
    Your fb post was the first I read.

  13. Good Read John
    glad I’m not the only one adapting to Facebook world

  14. Dear John,

    Can you help me. I am in the process of writing a book about metal detecting. I am struggling to get a HR picture of the Lenborough Hoard. I see you have some on your website.Would you be prepared to allow me to use one or even sell me one?



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