…Do Unto Others…
It’s that time of year again folks! We are now a couple of weeks into a brand new year and it is wide open in front of us, ready to be what we make it. A lot of people have already made resolutions to eat better, lose weight and exercise more. But a ton of people are going to be making the resolution to finally stop smoking and a large number of them are going to try vaping as a means to give the analogs up. This is where we, the vape community can come in to help them along their journey. I can’t stress enough how important it is that when you encounter these people that are brand new to vaping, whether it’s in a forum, Facebook group or even your local B&M, that you do your level best to welcome them into our little world with open arms. If they have questions, try to help them the best you can. Do not, I repeat, do NOT act like an elitist jerkwad (jerkwad? I’m not sure this is even a word; in fact I may or may not have made it up on the spot) when these new folks show up in droves asking questions that could seem a little silly to all of you seasoned Vapers. My reason for saying all this is actually two-fold and if you hang with me a little longer, I’ll explain why.
In my non-Spinfuel life I operate a Mixed Martial Arts gym with a fairly large member base. Now during the months of January, February and March we are absolutely swamped with new people singing up. In the gym business, we call these folks “resolutioners.” These are the people that when New Year’s rolled around decided they were going to get into shape this year. Now if the staff here at my gym or my already established member base treats them in an unkind manner for asking silly questions or doing things simply because they don’t know better, two things are going happen. They’re first going to stop coming to my gym, which hurts business. Secondly, they’re more than likely going to make the assumption that all gyms are filled with elitist jerkwads (see there’s that word again) and not join any other gym. They’re going to go back to their normal ways of not exercising and eating unhealthy and have a generally bad opinion of the whole situation now. Now if you take this line of thinking and apply it to the vape community, you can see where I’m going.
First I’m going to ask you to think back to when you started vaping and remember how overwhelming the entire experience can be, especially if you haven’t even purchased your first device yet. You go online and there’s literally hundreds and hundreds of places to buy vape gear now. There are also plenty of scams floating around and several people will fall prey to them. Now imagine you got scammed by one of these places (I know some of you reading this have been) and you’re tried everything in your power to get the device to work, so you can have a satisfying experience with vaping. Finally frustrated and exasperated, you turn to the Internet for answers. In searching you come across a forum for vaping and you’re so excited that you might find the answer to your problem that you register an account and start a thread with your question. You think surely someone here will have the answer! But instead people answer with “Did you search the forum first, you need to search first before you post stupid questions” or “Wow that device you bought is junk, everyone knows that. You should buy a ProVari instead” (nothing against ProVari owners, I’m one myself. But they’re not the answer to all things vape, like some folks seem to think.) It seems no one is willing to help, so maybe this vaping business is way more complicated than you thought. What’s the easy way out? Toss the device you bought in the garbage and run out and buy a pack of smokes. Forget that garbage you think, it’s too complicated and too much trouble. Much easier to just continue smoking, you know, the ‘path of least resistance’ and all that jazz.
The above scenario has happened to plenty of people I’m sure. Mainly because the Internet is a vast wasteland filled with elitist jerkwads (okay, the word is now starting to grow on me) but the vaping community is supposed to be just that, a community. I truly believe that vaping is saving lives and would you really want to turn someone away from a life saving change just because you treated them unkindly for asking a question they honestly didn’t know the answer to? Think about that next time you see a new Vaper asking a seemingly silly question, if you just help them you could be helping save their life. Heavy stuff, huh?
Beyond the life saving aspect of what I’m talking about here, is the community aspect of vaping as well. It’s no secret to all of you that vaping is starting to make headlines. We’ve got a lot of people that are lumping it right in with smoking, there’s even vape bans starting to pop up in places. You can find bogus studies all over the place saying vaping is just as bad as smoking. Now we all know it’s not, we’re walking examples of much healthier a person can become by switching from smoking to vaping. As a community we have to stand together and spread as much positive knowledge and information as we can, before the propaganda gets out of hand. We can only stand up for ourselves if we continue to grow larger and show the world that vaping is not going anywhere. Now if we’re driving people away being jerkwads (it’s an official word now, feel free to use it accordingly) our community is never going to grow. If we don’t continue to grow and spread the benefits of vaping, we run the risk of seeing vaping as we know it change for the worse. I know I don’t want to see that happen, do you?
Like I said, you’re going to run into new Vapers in droves for the next few months. They’re going to ask questions, they’re not going to know forum etiquette or vaping lingo. You favorite online places to congregate are going to be full of new Vapers. Do your level best to help them, welcome them into our community. Answer their questions, no matter how silly they seem. Direct them to reputable vendors and devices that perform well. Show them it’s not about how much the device you’re using costs, but only that the device keeps you off the smokes. Remember kids; we’re saving lives here.