research and community expectations and fomo

Apparently there has been a lot of talk about people in groups like the SCA not wanting to do research. Now I am a research fiend. And I usually talk to people with a very excited bouncy manner so that even if they are not actually interested in my subject they can understand why I am. Because what can you do when reading texts were C/K/G are interchangeable? Or P/B/W on occasion, or ui/oi/oy/uy. So I talk about brute searching in engines with a good dozen variations and the very weird results that come up (punk rock for anyone interested.)

Most of which lead to a nice lot of information about the 14thC in the Netherlands.

Awesome on a totally “let me know All The Things” level, but not helpful right now. And does take up time I’d rather spend on things I know. But I have to learn the things to know them.

But I also know there is more to not wanting to research than simply no interest, or that it’s boring, or too hard.

If there was no interest, then it would not matter being asked, so is it a response to being asked?


And today I think I got it.


I think I understand the response.


Right now there is what looks to be an historical costuming IG trend. It looks to be a year long thing a photo a day for a year? And I am just not interested. I do love that people are being prompted to share. But it feels cliquey- without meaning to be. Because it comes from what people think historical costuming looks like, and it happens to be what a circle of friends do. For for me to join in I’d need to track down images and get them prepped for the IG format. And it would take away time from what I need to do right now which is sew my dress, get my passport (done!), and keep brute searching with more variations of words that are fairly generic and so.. ugh, lots of hours of not finding anything, or the same resources.

So if I imagine that instead I am already doing all 18thC stuff, or had a folder full of inspiration images ready to go, and had zero interest in the Northrhine, and if the IG event was about 16thC German costuming, then I’d feel the same way. A bit annoyed at not being able to join in, except at a much greater cost to me than assumed.


Imagine being in the SCA which only asked for an attempt at pre-1600s clothing and really not much else. Imagine landing in the middle of a group purely by geographical luck that has a focus that is not the same as yours. You go online to get a shot of that focus. But people who have a focus the same as yours then winds up repeatedly asking you if you are going to take it more seriously, or to go reads books, or search archives. When all you want to do is the thing the group is advertised as.


I know I tend to use facebook messenger as a sort of SMS. Rarely do I expect an immediate response. Just like with an SMS. There is an instant notification of course but not intended to be immediately responded to.

But I’m becoming more aware that lots of people do, and that a lot of people are really stressed by it.

I also know that I’m not the some correspondent with anyone I message. But I do forget that perhaps they may be getting the same question asked privately over and over. And sometimes it’s possible to see, after the fact, that actually they were dealing with the same thing on community and public spaces.


(this does tie back in to the original though)



I never really felt the pressure to do anything. I thought about what it meant to me, and to my community, to be noticed by the laurels and what it probably actually meant. I knew that it wasn’t just my output that was assessed but what impact I had on my local group- but I also hoped that my impact internationally was given as much weight, if not more. I knew there would be aspects to how I respected other members of the society and indeed the ideals of the club.

I was perfectly okay to never be laureled as I knew that I was on my journey. But It was because I wasn’t so invested in the idea, and a lot of that had to do with not having a very long history and thus didn’t have any long term relationships already in that hierarchy to have a view on it.

I think if I did, it might have been pressure i wouldn’t like too.


So when I read that people don’t want to do research, that it’s too hard; I don’t think it’s as simple as people not wanting to do research. I think it’s the pressure to do something that takes time and energy that doesn’t give the person the same joy/fulfillment they get elsewhere. Maybe they are also getting that same pressure from multiple fronts, maybe it’s become an annoying question that once would have not been a bother, but now is.


I think social media can be tricky in this regard as intent can be clouded by context, so I tend to try and look for more specific clues as to whether someone wants to go down the rabbit hole of research. Following back through my own journey I can see how it would be daunting to be expected to just do all that.

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