I Dive On The Internet - The Scuba Forum

The internet rocks, and I firmly believe anyone reading this feels the same, otherwise you wouldn’t be here; you’d be reading a [cue foreign accent], how you say, 'printed' version of some sort.

I have heard of such, [cue foreign accent] how you say, 'magazines,' but haven’t picked one up in a while as most of my reading is done online.



So, whilst in the middle of one of my lengthy Google scuba searches into madness; which often leads to watching bizarre youtube videos of a man dressed up as a unicorn, I discovered some divers love scuba on the internet, and others hate it.

I often ponder how useful the World Wide Web really is for scuba diving, and the obvious resource is the internet forum. Forums are magnificent for both information and entertainment, however, as with in water scuba, ‘internet diving’ requires the same preparation and knowledge before giant striding in.


Take heed, scuba forums are dangerous places. 



I sway back and forward on forums in general. I have been a member of many internet forums or, chat rooms, on various topics; I have concluded they are all the same. Forums contain a certain calibre of personalities; scuba forums are no different.

So I have prepared a list of typical users on scuba forums to protect “noobies” after they sign up.



Mr Real life: A helpful person by nature who has 1000’s of dives, an open mind, and most probably a high level of instructor training. Their knowledge is invaluable, but they don’t post too often as they actually go diving. Mr Real Life also becomes shunned as they genuinely know more than everyone else. Most advice goes unnoticed or ignored.




Mr Reads A Lot: This guy knows pretty much everything Mr Real Life does, but he has accrued such knowledge by reading his posts, but doesn’t dive that much. He can quote plenty of learned experiences and reviews, but nothing he has experienced himself. The knowledge is usually sound, but he will be ousted as not having the actual dive knowledge and be shunned accordingly. Posts go unnoticed once he is exposed.




Mr Knows Better: This guy’s does a reasonable amount of diving and knows more than everyone else. Or so he thinks. He offers nothing short of crazy advice simply because he has done it and is still alive. The reasons for still being on the planet are nothing short of amazingly good fortune. So far. 


Familiar threads will include:


User 567: I’m doing my first 55m dive on Trimix tomorrow. I’m nervous but excited!

Mr Knows Better: I dive to 55m all the time using a 15l and air cause it’s cheap.

User 567: Wow, I wouldn’t be happy doing that. My instructor recommended Trimix.

Mr Knows Better: I don’t believe in Trimix.

Even with my miserable knowledge I’m confident trimix DOES exist. 



Mr Angry: This guy can ask and reply to a question in the most aggressive manner possible. A typical topic would be like this:







Mr Angry: “Why the hell should I use a computer?”

User 319: “You don’t have to mate, just need a depth gauge and a timer (smiley face)”

Mr Angry: “What the f**k do you know! P**s Off you C**t!”

User 587: “He was only offering a piece of sensible advice mate. You don’t have to take it. Hth”

Mr Angry: “You can f**k off an’ all. You two are probably gay and …”

Moderator: “Thread Closed”

He will have thousands of posts and be a genuine source of amusement. I have also noted that these guys are often amazingly friendly in real life. Although I often question which of my lives are the “real” one. 



Mr McClane: This is the Die Hard of the forum. He has his views on diving and will NOT be told any different. He can also amazingly twist any thread or topic around to his way of thinking. His arguments can be quite believable so care must be taken when “discussing” things with him. Mr McClane is similar to ‘Mr Knows Better’ but with reasoning. Threads including Mr McClane are often very amusing and you end up thinking; ‘he has a point you know.’







Mr That’s Not The Answer I Wanted: I love this type of poster. Usually this guys will want to buy, or has already bought, a piece of kit and needs verification that it is suitable for diving, or safe to use. They are among my favourite threads as they blatantly ignore everything and everyone until someone inadvertently gives a remote indication it should be ok.


A typical thread would go like this:


Mr That’s Not The Answer I Wanted: Should I buy X piece of kit for this dive?

User 345: No, it’s not suitable.

Mr That’s Not The Answer I Wanted: Are you sure?

User 345: Yes. It’s not really designed for that.

Mr That’s Not The Answer I Wanted: But it doesn’t say anywhere not use it this way.

User 345: I know, but you really need to use Y piece of kit instead, it’s designed for it.

Mr That’s Not The Answer I Wanted: So you agree I could you X piece?

User 345: Well, I suppose, but most users here wouldn’t recommend it.

Mr That’s Not The Answer I Wanted: Thanks man, I’m gonna use it on my next dive cause I’ve bought it online just now.

Moderator: Mr That’s Not The Answer I Wanted got bent yesterday when he got entangled in his new piece of kit.



Mr Posts A Lot: Often, on internet forums, a user is judged by their ‘number.’ This ‘number’ is how many posts they have made, and the higher the number is usually a positive correlation on the users knowledge / popularity.

However, be wary of the number and refer instead to ‘thanks’ or ‘likes’ for a member to decide if their opinion is valid.


They may often post in threads they know absolutely nothing about;


User 247: I’m replacing the solenoid in my rebreather this weekend; I ended up flying it manually last dive.

Mr Posts A Lot: Cool.

User 247: Thanks, just that the PO2 level shot up and I was really worried about an O2 hit.

Mr Posts A Lot: Cool.

User 247: What unit do you dive?

Mr Posts A Lot: Cool. I gotta go.



Mr MI6: I love these guys. Ultimately they are online to sell a product, and like a transformer they hide in plain sight; but aren’t as cool. They are a secret agent by all accounts. Thankfully they don’t usually last very long and are ousted quickly by sharp moderators. Amongst other signs, they can be detected by a lack of avatar, as they don’t care about that cool photo of them in perfect trim or with 19 stage bottles, and their ‘number’ is quite low.



User 6793: I just got my new torch – here’s a picture.

User 5635: Wow, that looks really cool, seems pretty bright. I might get one.

Mr MI6: That’s a cool light, but it seems to me that the light output and lumens field is quite wrong for the environment you’re diving. Have you considered this light (insert perfect link to a store’s product)? It has a much better lumen output and even has a flux capacitor.

Moderator: Mr MI6 is banned.



The Moderator: This guy is tricky and my least favourite. Their information is sound as they have read ALL the internet. However personality is often lacking hence they volunteer to be the internet ‘security’ or ‘bouncer’ for the forum. We all know bouncers and security people are dickheads. The Hiltler complex is to be expected and, as with any good bouncer, cannot be reasoned with when a confrontation occurs.


User436: You’re so wrong mate, I much prefer this technique.

User357: Nah, I’ll stick with the way I do it.

User 436: I’ll stick with yer mum!

The Moderator: That’s it User 436, you’re banned.

User 357: It’s ok mate, he’s my brother – everyone here know that, hence the joke! C’mon, man, you’re our cousin for god’s sake!

The Moderator: Your both banned, and I’m telling your mum.




Mr Nice: This user is the person you meet at a party that is referred to as “Oh, yeah, I met them – they’re really nice.” That’s it.

Mr Nice can post on any thread irrespective of knowledge or experience without being attacked or ignored. The person everyone wants to be. I hope in ‘real life’ everyone hates them.








The Thread Killer: This is me. I attempt to post valid comments, often in an attempt to become part of the online community; I obviously don’t possess the internet personality required. In short, no one really cares about The Thread Killer either way and is subsequently ignored.








There are of course certain threads that can involve all types of users. They are my absolute favourite and offer hours of amusement regularly spanning over several thousand pages...



New User: I want to do a Decompression course – any advice?

Mr Real Life: I teach this course, and I see from your profile I’m in your area. Mail me and we’ll have a chat, maybe we can work something out if you are interested.

Mr Reads A Lot: You should do that New User, Mr Real Life has put plenty of users on this forum through that course.

Mr Knows Better: Decompression courses are for girls. Don’t pay for a stupid course you don’t need. Use the money to buy a pony bottle and take it slow when ascending. Piece of piss.

Mr Angry: Why the f**k do you want to do decompression dives anyway?

Mr McClane: You should do 150 more dives, do an intro to tech class, practice for 500 hours in the pool, then find an instructor and do a one on one class. It’s the only way don’t you see?

New User: I see what you mean.

The Moderator: You’re banned for oppression Mr McClane.

Mr Angry: What the f**k do you know McClane?

Mr Posts A Lot: This is a cool thread.

The Moderator: No, Mr Posts A Lot, this isn’t cool. You’re banned.

Mr MI6: You should click this link and use this guy. I did, he was brilliant.

The Moderator: Mr MI6 I noted all your posts lead to that link. That instructor is you. Guess what?....

Mr Nice: I hope you enjoy the course! (Smiley face)

Mr Angry: I’m sure he will; nice post Mr Nice.

Mr Reads A Lot: Everyone enjoys that course, well said Mr Nice.

The Thread Killer: You’re right as always Mr Nice. I did a deco course, it was really excellent. I got a lot from it, and my diving really improved.


Thread slips to page 5,658 by 3pm the following day.



As with all internet scuba diving, this is only advice and does not substitute proper training. I suggest any noobie that is considering becoming part of the online scuba fraternity to take a PADI Open Forum User class.



Good luck, and for the love of god keep your avatar below 70px by 70px.

6 comments:

  1. PMSL - thank you for making a Monday morning entertaining! (and me getting in trouble for reading your blog at work)
    I thought I was the only thread killer out there... nice to know it's not just me :-)

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  2. My pleasure Tara.

    Ah, the Thread Killers are a dying breed, best we stick together from now on! :)

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. LOCKED

    Reason: Thread killed... twice

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  5. nice one!
    definitely enjoyed reading although I think you missed a few:

    1. Determined
    the: I will talk about what I want user regardless of the thread subject
    thread subject: shark sightings
    user1: the other days I was diving in the Red Sea and Saw A big shark
    user2: oh really what shark was it
    determined: what depth where you when you saw the shark
    user1: hammerhead @ 60m
    determined: how do you know it was 60m? what computer were you using?
    user3: love hammerheads hammerheads are awesome, you got any photos?
    user1: yeah got photos will post them later
    determined: cause you know the depth gauges of them SUUNTO computers are not very accurate...

    and of course the users that will post first and read the thread / subject afterwards (or sometimes never...)

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Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it!

Safe diving buddy.