Does a drone get boring?

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When you first receive a drone, it is a very exciting time. If you have never flown a drone before, this new tool gives you an amazing ability to see the world like never before. However, the longer you own a drone, the less people tend to fly the drone. I know that was my experience.

Flying a drone can get boring when you do not have a place for the footage or videos that you collect. Having your drone “flight-ready” at all times can also reduce the amount of time people fly. Activities like uploading and editing are the more boring aspects of drone ownership.

Remember that when a drone starts to become boring, it sits in a backdrop of the initial excitement people feel when they first get a new drone. The initial excitement of your first flight can never be relived. Everything is new, interesting, and your new gadget provides a capability that was only recently possible with a helicopter flight.

The initial excitement

The initial excitement of flying a drone is very powerful. I remember buying my first drone, secondhand, to add a new dynamic to a daily vlog that I was producing at the time. I picked up my drone and immediately took it to an open field to test its capabilities.

Does a drone get boring? [Insider secrets to keep it fun]
My first-ever drone flight

My first ever flight was limited in scope and was primarily used to get comfortable controlling the drone and trying out some of the automated shots. I then used my drone every day for approximately one year before I stopped producing the daily vlog.

The initial excitement is primarily due to a fun new toy, a new perspective on your everyday life and the fact that your friends are also excited to try out your new toy with you.

New perspective

Drones are a tool that provides the capability of capturing aerial shots, which were once limited to people with a helicopter. It was amazing that a simple, portable, easy to use gadget was able to fly so high in the air and capture images.

The drone has been manufactured to be as user-friendly as possible, and the user interface is becoming easier and easier to use.

The user interface and artificial intelligence software make it incredibly easy for the most diameter of photographers to capture awesome drone footage.

I certainly couldn’t get enough of flying my drone and getting a brand-new perspective on even the most boring of locations.

Fun new toy

There is no doubt that when you buy something new, the “shiny thing” syndrome is very powerful.

Does a drone get boring? [Insider secrets to keep it fun]
A shot I took during my commute to work

Shopping can become an addictive behaviour because of the dopamine rush you get when you buy something new. The anticipation of buying a new gadget or toy is quite often much more exciting than the act of receiving it.

A study published in 2010 looked at the mechanisms underlying dopamine-mediated reward bias in compulsive behaviours such as shopping. The researchers hypothesised that addictive behaviours are characterised by compulsive choices that look at the gains of the purchase rather than the negative costs.

Their findings were consistent with the fact that the distortion against negative outcomes caused a choice bias where gains were more prominent in the decision.

If you are a compulsive buyer or you get very excited about the prospect of having a new purchase, buying a drone can easily cause boredom after a few weeks of ownership.

Your friends know you as the drone person

Another exciting aspect when you first buy a drone is that your friends know you as the drone person. They are very supportive, and my friends were always very happy to have their photographs taken using my drone in fun and interesting places.

Even though I never advertised any services, the word quickly spread that I had a drone, and people would very often ask if I could take photos or videos of certain things. I even had paid offers for capturing footage of historical buildings in Adelaide.

Why a drone can get boring

Despite all of the initial excitement around a drone purchase, there is a quick decline in enthusiasm once you have purchased a drone and become relatively comfortable with the operation and control.

Here are all of the reasons why a drone can get boring relatively quickly. This list is based on my experience, but I think many of them are true for many drone enthusiasts.

Does a drone get boring? [Insider secrets to keep it fun]

A drop in enthusiasm compared to first flight

Drones can get boring quickly because the enthusiasm to fly decreases quickly compared to the excitement you felt to get the drone in the air for your first flight.

In many ways, the disappointment of subsequent flights can quickly cause you to lose interest in drone flying. Many people forget that flying a drone is a tool that is used to achieve something. The actual act of flying a drone is relatively boring unless something crazy happens during your flight.

Habituation to shots

I believe that a drone also gets boring because there is habituation to the shots that you collect. If you are using your drone to capture footage and photos, the shots quickly become very similar. Keeping your drone shots fresh and interesting relies on developing an interest in photography and composition.

Also, drone shots are becoming more and more utilised in YouTube videos and commercial content. This oversupply of drone content means that the audience is also getting used to seeing drone shots. They are becoming less “special”. Comparing your drone shots to those collected by professionals can also be demotivating.

Have to carry it with you

Carrying a drone with you at all times during an outing can get a bit cumbersome. I used to take my drone everywhere with me in a backpack. The drone, controller, spare batteries and propellers fit nicely into my everyday carry.

Now that I do not use my drone as often, carrying it with me becomes more of a burden, and I am less likely to do it.

Therefore, because I do not have my drone available, I do not take as much drone footage or photos.

My current drone interests lie around capturing holidays and other bigger trips. Carrying it with me at all times is boring and less appealing than it used to be.

People have to wait for you to drone

I often walk and travel with friends and family. I’m very lucky that I live in a beautiful part of the world with pristine beaches, cliffs, and deserts within a short drive.

Does a drone get boring? [Insider secrets to keep it fun]
My patient friends

Whenever I travel, I try to take my drone with me – this is when I am most enthusiastic about capturing shots. I recently did a trip in outback New South Wales in Australia, and I was flying my drone nearly every day.

The issue of flying a drone is that sneaking it into a walk or visit with friends means that they have to wait for you.

I often feel bad about people waiting up to 30 minutes to capture my shots, and I struggle to find an appropriate time to fly my drone when travelling with people.

I don’t want to become the friend that is causing everyone to wait. It gets very boring for people who are not flying the drone, which, in turn, makes it much less appealing to fly – even if there are some spectacular shots to be had.

Charging batteries that dissipate

Today’s commercial drones often come with smart batteries. Because drone batteries are a lithium polymer composite, they cannot be stored at 100%.

Drone batteries dissipate over time and have a much faster dissipation rate than other rechargeable batteries. This dissipation means that they can be down to approximately 60% of their charge even after one week of storage. The batteries do this to protect their shelf life and longevity. Having to be on the front foot and always prepare for a drone flight makes it less spontaneous, and waiting for drone batteries to charge is very boring.

I like to charge up my drone batteries the night before a flight but knowing exactly when I will be able to fly is a little bit of a hard thing to judge.

Nowhere for the drone footage to go

One of the biggest reasons people buy a drone is to impress their friends and family by posting their drone footage online.

One of the biggest motivators for taking your drone out and about is when you have somewhere for the footage to go.

For me, my drone footage was included in my daily blog. I loved the way it made the log feel, and I fancied myself as a bit of a Casey Neistat.

Ensuring that you have an outlet for the drone footage is an important step in ensuring that it does not get boring.

Editing photos and videos

Taking drone photos and videos is as easy as flying, composing, and pushing records or capture. One of the most boring aspects, at least in my experience, of flying a drone is editing your photos and videos using a range of software.

If I do not edit my drone photos and videos as soon as I take them – all that night – I do not get around to editing the photos.

I have told myself many times that I will edit a video on the weekend, but I never get around to it.

Perhaps editing and adjusting photos and videos is something that you love to do – it just is one of the most boring aspects for me.

Uploading to computer

Organising your file structure is also a relatively boring part of drone ownership.

Unless you have a massive memory card (most drones only support up to 256 GB), you will have two download photos and videos from your memory card to free up space for future flights.

Sitting down at your desktop or laptop and downloading drone photos and videos is a very boring process.

Organising and managing file structures within a computer is an important part of archiving and retrieving drone data but is a very boring thing.

Once again, you may love the extra effort and organisation that comes with organising and filing drone footage – it is just not my cup of tea.

Why I stopped using my drone as much

All of the above reasons played a role in my drone becoming boring quicker than I hoped. However, I believe that the reasons below are the main reasons I stopped using my drone daily. I think it’s pretty uncommon for people to use their drone daily, but now that I have no reason to take the footage, the desire to fly is not outweighed by the logistical hassles that, along with flying a drone.

I stopped my daily vlog

Stopping my daily vlog was the number one limiting factor for stopping my drone flights.

It’s very important to have an outlet for your drone footage if you don’t want to get boring. I convinced myself that I would continue to fly after my vlog – which I have – but not as often as I would like.

Forget to take it places

I have not used my drone as much simply because it is not part of my daily habit to take it with me.

Having your drone available for regular flying and in a “ready to go” state is the number one reason people fly more often. Having a grab bag that enables you to grab before heading out of your house means you are more likely to take it with you.

Not all trips require that you have your drone on you, but I have found that simply having the option to fly my drone if there are downtimes in my day or if there is something particularly interesting to capture, I am ready to go with my drone at the drop of a hat.

Not in a ready to go state

Having a drone in a “ready to go” state means:

  • all items in a convenient bag
  • drone charged up with spare batteries
  • remote control charged up
  • spare propellers in case of incidents
  • space on a memory card

My current drone situation involves collecting all of the components before heading out on my drone adventure. That simple fact of collecting that is a small but bigger barrier in my way and organising my drone for a flight is a boring aspect that I do not want to do.

Ways to keep your drone hobby fun

Keeping your drone hobby fun requires you to explore the limits and purpose of your drone flights continually. If you want to know more about what you can do with your drone you should check out my other article – click here – where I go through everything beyond the usual.

I have also highlighted seven things that you can do with your drone in my YouTube video.

Keeping your drone hobby interesting and fun comes down to these primary points.

Have a purpose for the drone footage

Have a purpose for the drone footage. This reason seems to be the number one reason for people getting bored of flying their drone.

Make it crystal clear in your mind about the outcome of your drone flights. Perhaps you want to put together a montage of your holiday. Capturing footage and editing as you go is easier than deciding to do it all in one go at the end of your holiday.

Are you looking to capture some awesome photos to put up around your house? Ensure that you edit your photos as soon as you get off location. I have been able to do it with a laptop and plenty of free software.

Join a group

Flying a drone doesn’t have to be a lonely activity. The good thing about drones is that there are always places where you can meet up with people and become part of a community that shares your love for drone activities.

There are a few places where you can find, metre groups which include:

  • Eventbrite – Eventbrite brings together people through live experiences. This website is full of free and paid meetups.
  • Meetup – Meetup is a service used to organise online groups that host in-person and virtual events. Just go in and type drone into their search engine to find out what you find.
  • Facebook groups – Facebook has groups that allow you to assemble online with people that share similar interests.

Go ahead and reach out to some of these groups; I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised about how friendly every drone group is! I love them because you know exactly where to drive the conversation – towards drones!

Make time for your drone hobby

Make sure that you make time for your drone hobby. Set aside some dedicated time for flying and you will be much more likely to go out and fly.

Take a look at your schedule and put in a regular slot for flying your drone whenever best suits you.

Set yourself goals

Drones can get boring because you feel you are not growing as a pilot.

Set yourself tests and goals. Do you want to get better at photography? Do you want to get better at manoeuvring your drone through tight spaces? Whatever your current goal, set yourself some tasks and mini-goals that work towards your main one.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton is a Drone pilot, Writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. His drone footage has been featured on TV (ABC Documentary) and he has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He has been a drone pilot for many years and has flown many types of drones.