That’s it for me and Social Media

KANANGRA – 1 May 2022
This is a post about an ill-fated trip out to Box Creek Falls with Shiva, Jai, Ali and Kavita but it’s also about my divorce from social media posts.  Getting off FaceBook is probably a good thing and it’s time – I’m pretty much over the “look at me, look at me” posts and the bragging. I was getting to the stage that if I saw another smiling selfie in a canyon that’s been done a gazillion times I was going to puke.  

So, I’ve left all the groups I was in and only use FB now for chats on Messenger and to see family photos.  So, thank you Jimmy Hendrick for pushing me to do something that I should have done before COVID.  Now you’re curious aren’t you, what’s the story?  Well, here’s my rant …

For, I don’t know, maybe 10 years, I’ve been visiting Box Creek Falls. For me this is a serious undertaking … it’s a 4.5 hour drive from my house – one way!  So, pretty much all my trips were for the whole weekend.  The first trip was a recce to the area, I had no track notes, just the name of the place, a topo map and my compass.  I went in high up on the creek and checked out Black Banksia Falls at the same time.  Over the course of the next 10 years, I probably did 4 or 5 more recces to the area, checking out access to each of the waterfalls, and even abseiling them on one trip in 2021.  Not all of the waterfalls mind you, but 4 or 5 drops.  We had to take a lot of ropes with us, there were no convenient natural anchors, so there was a lot of scouting around to come up with a solution.  On one drop, we used 30m of rope around a caravan sized boulder just to create an anchor!

So when I heard that there would be solutions to the natural anchors problem, I was very keen to go and check the route out.  I knew the people who would put in the anchors and specifically asked that they be “discrete” because it was the favourite campsite/trip for bushwalkers and I didn’t want a big shiny bolt sticking up in a spot where it would be noticed.  I also hoped that the new “route” wouldn’t be publicised on social media, mainly because there are a lot of “anti-bolters” out there and I was worried that someone would go in with an angle grinder and take the bolts out – as they did a few years ago with a new route off Narrowneck.

I got a call from a friend, a week after the bolts went in … a serial FB poster, Jimmy Henrick, found out about the new route,  did the trip and then published it on social media.  Yep, I was steam-coming-out-of-my-ears furious – not because he’d done the trip but because he’d posted it on FB.

You probably think steam-coming-out-of-my-ears furious was over-reacting … maybe this analogy will help you understand …

Imagine that for the past 10 years you’ve been looking at your dream house from afar.  You’ve driven past it on numerous occasions, and even had the odd chat with the owner letting him know that you’d really, really like to buy his house when he’s ready to sell.  Over the years, he’s invited you in to look around and you’ve been fantasizing about living in it.  Then,  it comes on the market and you immediately put a deposit down.  Things move quickly, you’ve settled on the house and in 7 days you’re moving in. It’s very exciting – you’re going to live your dream!

Then, unbeknown to you, someone gets the combination to the key-lock and enters your house the weekend before you move in.  Not only that, they take a few mates (and women) and they have sex in every room of the house, including on the kitchen bench.  Well, that’s pretty gross, but you don’t know about it, so, you’re none the wiser – they were pretty tidy so you’ll never know!

BUT, Jimmy Henrick, he’s had such a good time in your house that he’s posted it on FaceBook! not only that, he’s given the address and publicised everything about the house – none of which he NEEDED to publicise but you know social media, people just have to brag.  But for FB, you would never have known about the orgy in your house, word would have gotten around to most people and eventually it would be common knowledge, but that’s ok, it wouldn’t have been on social media.

Let’s be clear, I’m not steam-coming-out-of-my-ears furious because Jimmy Hendrick did the trip, the trip is there for anyone to do, it’s that he posted it on FB.

So, back to my trip to Box Creek Falls … I was invited to go out and do the trip last week but, now that everyone and their mother knows about it, it’s lost all the lustre – and I’m worried that it will soon be de-bolted. I decided I should really just forget about Box Creek Falls and move on.  But, Shiva made a good case and so on Saturday afternoon I picked up Jai and Kavita at 2pm and started the 4.5 hour drive out to meet Shiva and Ali the next morning.

We got to the turnoff at 6.30pm – by now it’s really dark. Shiva had checked the NPWS website on Thursday night and we were good to go but, on Friday morning, unbeknown to us they’d closed the park for 4 days and we rocked up in my car to a big gate “Park Closed”.

So, we turned around and drove another 1.5 hours and set up camp at Mount Wilson – I’m no longer steam-coming-out-of-my-ears furious – cutting my ties with FB and this post have been cathartic.  Will I go out to Box Creek again?  Possibly next season, I’m hoping the bolts are still there, but if they’re not so be it!

Banner & Thumbnail:  photos from my February 2021 trip to Box Creek when we recce’d the first couple of waterfalls.

This entry was posted in Abseiling, Canyoning, MSS. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to That’s it for me and Social Media

  1. Trishm says:

    Yep saw the post and thought “oh no”

  2. sandy says:

    G’day Marilyn:

    We met a while ago you were walking out and we were walking into the Ettrema area.

    Glad to see you have quit social media, I did years ago and life could not be better. But, I hope you continue to post to your blog as I enjoy reading about your adventures.

    • marilyn says:

      Yes, Sandy, will definitely keep blogging, I didn’t post much on FB but did read a lot of the crap on some of the canyonng groups, I think my life is now better for having dumped them (lol). Wont be walking in Ettrema for a while, scrub is too bad! but hope you are getting out and about.

  3. Kathy Leslie says:

    I feel your pain!! Same thing has happened to my favorite place on the North Shore.
    I expect I will find a Mac Donald’s in the middle of the trail on my next visit. 😤😡🤬

  4. Alex says:

    Sorry Marilyn but this just sounds like “it’s MY special place, how dare others know about it and if others do know about it then I don’t want to know they do”

    You also make it sound as is somehow Henrick violated the place (as if they had vandalised things, graffitied or whatever). Fact is they went to the falls and went canyoning. Just like you!

    You also make it sound like that by publishing photos of their adventure they where somehow providing exact detail on how to access to progress through the canyon. They didn’t. No location details beyond mention it’s name and the national park. All other aspects go how to get to the canyon and progress through the canyon were missing.

    I don’t’ see publishing his photos as any different to your previous posts on Box Creek on this very blog (which can simply be googled and does not require a Facebook account to access).

    • marilyn says:

      Yep Alex, you’re right on all accounts, both bolting and publicising on social media are very polarizing subjects.

  5. Jeff says:

    Hi Marilyn, I think a lot of the adventure has been lost since the introduction of Social Media. Some just don’t know what they missed.

    • marilyn says:

      Yep, that’s true, a friend has written a paper on the changes in a public cave system from the time he first visited 25 years ago and today, and apparently the degredation of this well known caving area is appalling – that’s what people will be saying in 25 years from now!

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