I’m used to a little gatekeeping in my hobbies. Many of them involve gear and seem to draw people who get overly invested in the “right” gear. Maybe that is all hobbies. I don’t even think it is inherently bad. However, I have recently had a couple of discussions that started out in hobby terms but ended up in moral terms.
The argument started with the idea that by using older or non-optimized gear (or techniques) you were holding back the hobby. Since nothing being discussed was safety related and the hobbies were individual I didn’t see how that mattered. The counter wasn’t the usual idea that better gear leads to more enjoyment. Instead it was that growth – getting better, getting more efficient, doing more – was a moral imperative. That the statement “that is good enough for me” with regards to gear or the willingness to continue using some gear or methods because it was already owned (but now “older”) was grounds to assume that the speaker was mentally incompetent to exist in the modern world.
I’d write it off as being strongly worded for shock value (it was an online discussion after all) but it brings up a question I’ve often thought about. How much do you strive for efficiency and optimization in your life (ignoring work life for the most part)? For discussion purposes let’s assume that money isn’t the overriding issue but the idea of frugality is clearly part of the issue.