Today, information is instant. We stream our favorite TV shows, pause the commercials, record and watch them at our convenience. We can watch a whole season’s worth of our favorite show in the matter of a single night’s binge. Who remembers the weekend automotive mechanic shows such as Shadetree Mechanic?
There was once a time, for those of us old enough to remember, where a phone call meant standing within cord’s reach of the home phone. Catching our favorite show meant scheduling our whole day around it. Working on a car we were unfamiliar with meant a trip to the auto parts store or library to see if they had the Haynes or Chilton’s manual on it.
We learned the basics of mechanic work at the side of a family member or friend who learned it the same way. Those skills had been passed down from generation to generation and were cherished memories. Not only the valuable skills, but the time with someone spent learning them.
In the past 20 years, the world has sped up. It’s left corded phones in favor of hand sized computers that happen to also handle your phone calls.
In that same evolution of technology, the access to information and skills has grown. That same device that you can call your family and friends on can present you with an in depth instruction manual that’s narrated by an entertaining host on the tear down of your beloved small block. All in the five inch by three inch palm sized format.
I’m of a generation that has been blessed to not only see both, but embrace both styles of learning. The physical and the technology based. I’ve worked with family on a project car and I’ve had a YouTube video playing in the background as I’ve ripped the top end of my small block chasing a problem with only a decade separating the two instances.
People like Kyle of TheFabForums (Fabrication/Custom Automotive Modification), ChrisFix (General Repair and Modification), EricTheCarGuy (Repair and as of Recent, Modification), TheFabricationSeries (Metal Fabrication/Race car prep) and even vloggers who are learning alongside you such as TJ Hunt (vlogging, DIY drifting) and Evan Shanks (vlogging, DIY autocross/drifting) have flooded our eyes with a catalogue of content that is unparalleled in the days of old. These guys are just a minute FRACTION of the information out there.
These folks share their journey in an effort to educate, entertain, and spread passion for a hobby that we all love. All while putting their own spin on it.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never busted a gut laughing while staring at a Chilton’s manual.
I guess my point is, we’ve got it good. The hobby isn’t dying, it’s just evolved. Get your phone, laptop or sit down in front of the computer the next time you’ve got a little project that you’re unsure of and throw it in the search bar of YouTube if you’re not already doing it. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.