Today I have spent a lot of time in the Facebook groups just paying attention to the overall feel of how my fellow wet shavers behave. Are they kind? Are they courteous? Do they care about each other’s feelings? What kind of topics are being brought up time and time again? Meanwhile, what are the vendors and artisans like? What is their behavior and how do they act with their customers?
The Wet Shaving Community is filled with all kinds of personalities. There seems to be a pecking order, just like in High School.
You have the A Students – the ones who know the ins and outs of the wet shaving world. They’re the ones who have pristine videos, glossed with details about performance and face feel. They are the veterans on the scene.
Then there are the Class Clowns – the ones cracking the jokes, the ones who during a serious straight razor design will just blurt, “Who gives a rat’s ass?”
There are also the Rebels – those who constantly get booted out of groups for stepping over the line by not following guidelines or rules.
Then, there are the Jocks – and I guess you don’t see much participation from them, they are too busy working on their technique and skill, and they barely have time but you’ll see them post a few things here and there. They’re on You Tube and that’s where they shine.
The Teacher’s Pet is a good one – this is the one whose strength is perspective. Instead of saying “that’s a stupid thought or way of thinking,” he will ask, “Have you thought about this…” or suggest another way of looking at an issue at hand. They keep their word and they always do what they say they will do and have great rapport with the artisans and vendors.
You have the Snobs – and they elegantly put why their taste in razors is cultivated and well researched. They are into exclusivity and status and they have no room for changes to their well stated rules of their game. If you don’t like it here, go to another table.
The Party Animals are fun. Just a great group of people who love having a good time. You will see them posting memes just to add a little party to the serious talks we wet shavers have. One of the funniest posts I saw when a discussion got heated was a picture of a guy in a movie theater with buckets of popcorn and a drink rushing to his seat and saying, “Shit. The comments already started? ‘scuse me.” and the lady he’s in front of trying to see the movie just has the most amused face on her.
Bullies are Trolls. They come into the conversation that someone’s started and they will bad talk an artisan, your taste in razors. They have a lack of interest in your creams or soaps and just blatantly not care about what you say in return. It’s basically like talking to a brick wall and if you strike them, your hands will be a bloody mess.
The Class President however, is the one who communicates in a style all his own. He’s open and sincere and also generous – like he will PIF (pay it forward) a soap or cream to someone who maybe can’t afford to buy a new product. He talks to you, not at you. He listens well and people relate to him because of that. He is an easy person to follow. His has credibility and conviction. He is optimistic and full of plans. Mix that with Prima-Donna traits and you have a narcissist.
The thing is, this organized structure of the Wet Shaving Community is not High School. We are learning about the ins and outs of the shaving community without the structure of grades. The Group Owners and Admins are acting like Mr. Hand towards people who resemble Spicoli and it’s not right. We need Spicoli in our class, because he’s part of the glue that literally is helping us cope with the bullshit that goes on in the groups.
Wet Shavers became so for a variety of reasons. They get into it to save money, which for the most part is true. You do save money on razor blades, and in my case, batteries. I had the Gillette that was battery powered and I would go through those suckers like crazy along with the overpriced cartridges. They get into it because maybe they inherited a razor from their Grandfather or maybe they found one at a yard sale and said, “Hey, I’ve seen this in my Details magazine- I think I’ll try it out.”
One thing they didn’t get into wet shaving for though, is the brotherhood. I know I didn’t. That was a bonus. All these people who resemble those people I knew in High School, they are my friends. I talk to them much more than anyone I knew in High School or even one of my closer friends I’ve had since then. My peers in the Wet Shaving Community have no stake in the companies they recommend for the most part. They are just there to promote what they like and I’ve had some great references to products I would never have figured out to use because I was pretty lost in the supermarket world of shaving.
I like the Community. No where else do I see this kind of bubbling passion about something so trivial yet so important to a person’s routine. Personal care is extremely vital to a person’s well being. It falls into how you feel AND how you look- much like wardrobe choices.
My overall take on the Wet Shaving Community as a whole is that it has a long way to go. I was in a dialogue today with some friends about what was going on in a group and how they were acting to one another and I just thought…. oh man, here we go, another explosion of opinions, busting open all what we don’t like when we are part of these groups.
As a Community, we have a chance to make a difference in the shaving world. I’m talking bigger picture. The masses are really stuck and it’s our job to promote a more effective product to them. All the negativity though about each other and our tastes is bringing it down. It’s turning people off.
One way I had described this sort of behavior in a group was that it seemed as if there was a turd in the punch bowl. Someone retorted, “Maybe it’s just a Baby Ruth.”
I don’t think so.
— For those of you involved in the Groups, please comment on how you feel regarding the negative behavior in groups by various characters. I promise, I won’t boot you out for your opinions.