I’ve talked about social media before on here, but I had a revelation this weekend. Maybe revelation isn’t the right word… err I don’t know the term. If you follow me on Instagram you may know that I was in Los Angeles the past few days hanging with friends. Besides driving through my old neighborhood and going to my favorite places, we saw Mickey Avalon live on Saturday. Really sleazy dude but the show was just as awesome as when we saw him a few years ago. This is all apart of the setting and build up so just work with me here. Anyways, the morning after the show I was sitting in my friend Veronica’s living room scrolling through my social media channels, when I see a post that catches my attention from a childhood idol. In the past I’ve watched Tony Hawk’s Instagram page display some really cool events revolving around his self-made hashtags all over the globe. Months ago he had some big event where he and his crew hid packages all over, and had people report in where and what they found. It was crazy just watching everything unfold.
Besides using hashtags to track trends and categories, he had successfully made an event feed. But not to get too far off topic, the post that caught my eye mentioned that he had hidden one of his old skateboards at a local high school not too far from Veronica’s house. We ran over to Hollywood High and frantically started searching. With over one million Instagram followers, we expected some competition, but not at the speed more and more people kept appearing. After awhile we, along with other people gave up and assumed someone else had beaten our 5 minute reaction time. I decided get in the car and circle the block to look through Instagram to see if someone had posted anything. Thats when it hit me. I reread the post’s caption – “in the bushes” – shit… I had only glanced over the bushes. I swung the car back around, got out, and started running to the top of the stairs. I stopped at the first bush I see and there it was. My childhood dreams, all those years of playing skateboarding games, owning everything Hawk brand I could, and even skateboarding everyday throughout middle school – was staring up at me, just begging for me to pick it up.
I was shaking so hard as I was holding a piece of history. To me it’s like having the Beatles of skateboarding’s instrument. In other words, I had the absolute rush of my life. I couldn’t even signal to Veronica that I had found it before people from all over were congratulating me. Once I was in the car, I was able to relax a bit although I was still shaking like a paint mixer. I now owned something that someone my friends and I idolized, and tried our best to be owned – all thanks to social media. And as the countless comments and ‘likes’ started pouring in, Veronica realized that other people felt our excitement. It was a truly social event far beyond just us and the Hawk, but with people from all over the world. Mind boggling is the best word I can think of. Random questions about how we reacted so fast, what size wheels Tony uses, who gets to keep the board, and so on – it was jaw dropping. He had not only changed Veronica and my life, but also created a huge buzz online about our experience. The thrill of finding it will forever stay with me, and all thanks to activity using social media.