Wordy C on Simple Reminders: (1) Safety First and (2) Monitor Your Mouth

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.

Wordy C on Simple Reminders: Safety First and Monitor Your Mouth

I can not speak for, or make wild assumptions about the majority of on-line users because I do not know them. Some people are trustworthy and well-intentioned while others simply are not. People make up their minds daily... Minute by minute, second by second, they decide what they are going to do, who they are going to do it with, see or speak to and how they are going to say what ever it is that is on their mind.

When you are planning on creating your own version of an ActiveRain Road Trip to hook up with Rainers my advice to you is to know the person's blog. Intimately. Spend time with them on a daily, weekly or monthly basis so you can be sure that this is the virtual person you want to be brick and mortar friends with.

ActiveRain is a very unique place and the human interactions facilitated through the forums have been some of the most fascinating on-line experiences I have ever had. I am unaware of any specific incidence of violence between Rainers and will not speculate about a crime having been committed because I have read blog posts were Realtors have witnessed the arrests of other Realtors. As they are on-going investigations in progress, one would be wise not to assume people are automatically guilty. People are innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and it is very easy to get arrested. All it takes is a phone call and an accusation with another person being willing to press charges.

When dealing with both sides of the equation, you do not know what their intentions are or were. You do not know what mistakes have and have not been made. Please do not be so quick to condemn any human being because they have had the misfortune of being arrested or charged with a crime. The jury is still out and deliberations are on-going.

If you are going to make friends with a person, then make friends with them because you genuinely like them, flaws and all. Friends don't run when friends get into trouble. Friends don't run when friends get sick, divorced, destitute, or any other drama that embellishes a life. You can yell, scream, fight, love, rant, rave, cry, laugh and commiserate with a friend. When you do that enough on-line and feel such a connection or bond with them, then by all means go on your AR Road Trip and enjoy your new brick and mortar. If you can't handle the whole person when they show you who they are, don't go for something to blog about, go blog about something else and keep your car parked where ever you left it. Let people have some dignity if they mistakenly choose to tell you something they obviously should not have. These people have family and friends to. Monitor your mouth... put yourself in their shoes. Maybe they reached out to you because of who they think you are rather than what and who you really are. It's not just their life, it is also your on-line reputation at stake here.

Being a Rainer means you take the community rules with you. They don't stay on your blog post. They stay with you.

I meet Rainers all the time and rarely ever tell you guys a thing. Why? I am making real friends. I don't feel the need to prove that I have been in someone's home, hung out nor feel a need to constantly announce my hook ups. I didn't create the term as a writing tool. I simply called it what it was. There are some friends I constantly tease and we have so many people in common of course we playfully blog about getting together and our friends, family and readers all love hearing the fact that we have a wonderful time together. I threaten to invade states all the time (and frequently do - LOL) however, all people deserve the right to keep their private life private and if you receive an invitation to meet another Rainer you must always make sure it is okay for you to share with the public what you have done. Don't be quick to post pictures and blog about it. Ask ahead of time before you even meet so the person can be prepared and pick outings appropriate for mutual eye candy moments.

Never assume you have the right to simply publish what ever you want about someone else's private life. Watch your mouth. You have no idea how your mouth on your blog may affect them and their home life. If this is your friend then take care of them. If this is a budding relationship, take extra special care because it is new to you both. There is a lot neither of you know about the other. You have to be careful because you may be inadvertently blabbing someone else's secrets...

A final word to my lovely Newb Rainers: take common sense precautions and treat on-line people as you would off-line people on a first date. When meeting someone new for the first time:

1. Insist on a public meeting place like your office, Starbucks, Barnes and Nobles, a museum, the local pizza joint, etc.

2. Tell a friend or family member where you're going and who you are meeting (print their profile page out and give it to them).

3. Take your cell phone along and borrow a damn phone if you do not have one. Crap happens. My kid floats mine in the toilet all the time (LOL).

4. Consider having your entire family or a few friends accompany you. After all, you have no idea who the other person may be bringing. You may find you actually have several Rainers popping over because one person is tweeting their location (LOL). Think I am kidding? I'm not. Been there, had a blast and met a whole bunch of people I had no idea were coming over (LMAO). ;-)

5. Trust your instincts. If you really don't like their comments or writing don't feel obligated to meet with them. Just because they are flying into the area on business and need some time to kill don't let random people  indiscriminately look you up. Have you heard of them before? What do you know about them? No profile picture? How do you even know it's really them? No blog posts just random commenting? You should only spend time with people you are curious about and want to really be with. 2 million plus people read this site. Do you know 2 million people? I don't. I routinely turn offers down because I have a healthy sense of self preservation (LMAO). Have I blown deals behind it? Abso-freaking-lutely. Guess what? Still alive and can sleep at night. (Okay, so I actually nap - LOL). ;-)

I have a really long list but I think you guys are starting to get the picture.

Why did I write this? Because some of the people I am mentoring have questions on how to do this and their prospective friends have issues. I have flaws and issues myself, so I think people should be given a chance to prove themselves to you and you should prove who you really are to them. Talking to someone in the middle of a divorce does not make you the other woman, it makes you the friend they are confiding in because they need a friend... If you feel like the other woman then maybe your intentions are at issue and not his.

If you are going to meet someone know why you want to meet them. You do not need to check with me to find out if a reason is okay. Thank you for placing your trust in me. Now go trust yourself. You need to be comfortable with your actions. If you are uncomfortable, then trust your instincts and hold off until you are at peace and excited about your trip. Never feel obligated. Polite can get you hurt. Say NO and mean it.

Be honest people. This is real life... not just trolling for business or playing social media games so you can lie to your friends about having a fantasy Facebook date with one of my hot Realtor girlfriends... Cyberspace is a small place. You will be found out so watch your mouth or you will trigger a response from people like me. If you read my blog then you should be well aware of the fact that I am very protective of my bay-bays. I know more than you think.

If I know something, you can bet your bottom dollar that other people know as well... Friends talk among themselves. Just sayin... Enjoy your life in the Rain and be safe. Love, C. :-)

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Rainmaker
2,052,346
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

This is so important!  The internet can be a very dangerous place and you can't believe someone is who they say they are.  I have only met a couple of Rainers in person and I did my homework before meeting up with them.  Great advice for any member!

Sep 07, 2009 11:51 AM #15
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C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Thank you Sharon. I had several people ask me to bounce this post back up to the top so I did. So many people are e-mailing me wonderful examples of how they were wronged regarding this subject that I was determined to write on the subject.

What I didn't expect was the flood of e-mails I would get once it published. Wow... I really wish they would write what they are telling me in confidence in the comments section. It would really help so many other people because they are true stories... Incredibly interesting as well... I have been howling with laughter at a couple. Oh my word... you just can't make stuff like that up (LOL).

Sep 07, 2009 11:57 AM #16
Rainmaker
2,681,836
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Carolyn, Thankfully I have met nothing but nice people from the Internet but I am cautious!  Blogging buddies have fortunately turned out to be just what they present online.  So I'll continue to stay cautious and thank you for the reminder that we ALL need to be careful!

Sep 07, 2009 12:10 PM #17
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C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Carole, thank goodness. I pray that everyone stays safe. It is important to realize some people are not who they seem. One should always stay cautious. I've met a lot of wonderful people through social media and really look forward to meeting so many more. :-)

Sep 07, 2009 12:15 PM #18
Rainmaker
1,085,646
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

C- I dunno about treating rainers like first dates. ewww!

Sep 07, 2009 12:34 PM #19
Rainmaker
372,190
Judy Jennings
The Green Company - Ashland, MA
Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA

C - I have only met 2 Rainers in person and that was at ReBar Camp. You make a very valid point. It is far too easy to become a member of any online social network and anyone with good writing skills could weave a very deceptive web. Just take a look at the weirdos that show up as unsolicited unwanted followers on Twitter! It can be down right scary.

This is great advice for all members, not just newbies. Thanks for your wordy advice - it is always worth the read. ;-)

Sep 07, 2009 12:36 PM #20
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Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional

C...

One of your best posts ever ... a must read for all members and Internet users in general.

Featured in the Group "Whacked!!!"

Sep 07, 2009 01:20 PM #21
Rainer
17,525
John Douglas
Berkshire Hathaway HomServices Partners Realty - Bowling Green, KY

C,

Very good post we can never be too safe in today's world one of the things i always do

when i leave office is to pretty much announce where i am going so if something happens you will at

least have starting point.

Now for the mouth God gave us two ears two eyes and nose he gave us one mouth for a reason

we are unable to control it been a rainer a little while still a newbie still not ready for solid food yet.

 

Sep 07, 2009 01:50 PM #22
Rainmaker
160,205
Josef Katz
Digital and Direct Response Marketing - Manhattan, NY
{Marketing Maestro}

Your list of precautions is spot on and makes me think about all those CSI/NCIS shows... seriously though you are right use common sense there are some odd folks floating around the Internet...

BTW- hope you are well it has been a while since we last chatted.  Probably more my fault than anything else.

Sep 07, 2009 02:42 PM #23
Rainer
179,676
Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

"Just because they are flying into the area on business and need some time to kill don't let random people  indiscriminately look you up."  LMAO. I guess I passed the test somewhere.  Or did you have someone tailing us just in case?

Sep 07, 2009 03:35 PM #24
Rainmaker
249,209
Heather Chavez
Second Self Virtual Assistance - Caldwell, ID
Real Estate Virtual, Assistant (928) 692-3235

Great points all of them, Miss C.  If I come out to your area, can I look you up indiscriminately or do I need to make a reservation?  :)  Sounds like you're a busy little bee.  I grew up in a family where we always let someone know where we were going, with whom and when we planned on being back because you never know what's going to happen.  It drives my husband nuts that I insist on continuing this, but I don't care.  And, my son has been brought up to always let me know where he's going and to have his cell phone on him at all times, even when we are all going out as a family.  Again, you never know what's going to happen.  I agree.  This should be a feature.

Sep 07, 2009 04:10 PM #25
Ambassador
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C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Heather, I would love to see you and would be totally disappointed if you passed through and didn't let me know. You're on my bucket list (LOL).

Erik, I absolutely love you and your blog. You're one of my fave bay-bays! I'd drop everything to pick you up from the airport or spend 15 minutes (LOL). You come back in to NYC you better tell me (LMAO).I will be in KY for a visit soon and shall be staying at the Bennett House. Gotta see you and Lizette. Will let you know the dates as soon as I talk a couple of out of state Rainers into meeting me there. Melodious is mad busy right now so I have to wait. Cindy has a time share and we're babbling about doing a week in TX together. It's a 12 hour drive for me to KY so I have to figure out who to visit midway so I can have fun during lunch and dinner for my sleepover (LOL). If Mel can come it'll be a perfect getaway because Cindy and I can simply follw her back to TX (LMAO). We are still connecting the road trip dots on that one... ;-)

Josef, my dearest friend, not your fault at all. I have been all over the map dealing with REOs from hell and life's little dramas. Will call you at a decent hour later on today. I'm going to the gym to work out some latent aggression (LOL). I know, I now, waaaay to early in the morning... We've been up since 6:30 EST and my e-mail has my eyes crossed (LOL). Did I mention RE is crazy? I'm going to take a time out so we can catch up. Will let you know when I am in Manhattan. :-)

John, you keep safe and you take your time so you can enjoy being a Rainer. There are a lot of beautiful people here. Enjoy them. :-)

Judy, you've just reminded me to go purge those XXX followers with the horrid avatars. How do they get away with some of those things? Seriously... Twitter avatar spam is the worst. At least you're not subject to their stream simply by not following people. Blocking them is time consuming... Oh well... part of social media hell I guess. We all know you can't have a Heaven without a Hell (LOL).

ROTFLMAO @ Greg. Too funny! ;-)

 

Sep 07, 2009 11:17 PM #26
Ambassador
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C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Richard, thank you for the feature in Whacked and for your kind words. Very much appreciated. :-)

Sep 07, 2009 11:18 PM #27
Ambassador
1,040,995
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

C, what a great post! I feel this is a huge responsibility, to have online friends. Not only to myself, but to the people I am making friends with. My best friend (no joke) I met online in an AOL chat room years ago. We did have a 3rd friend in the mix, but it was a disaster when this person showed up at each of our homes and was totally nutty. That gave me a very good perspective on making online friends, LOL. 

I love to be here, my own voice grows, I would rather laugh than cry, I look forward each and every day to my "friends" leaving comments and to me reading their "stuff". Activerain is awesome! But you know, I realize that the person on the other end may not be who they say they are. Checking up is ok, but you can only check so much. 

When I first came here I saw a few things that made me very uncomfortable. I read a post exposing a phone call from another member who was in dire straits. The tone was, who cares, why did they call me, if you can't get a grip on the market, tough luck. I was shocked, and shocked at the responses. I stayed away for a day or 2 thinking about this. I was actually concerned for the safety of the exposed member because from what I read, this person could have been extremely depressed. I don't know that for sure, because I don't know if the phone call really happened. 

Reading back over this persons posts told me this was not a person I care to associate with. Duh, stay away. Easy. There are people like that everywhere, I avoid them in RL and should have known just walk away online too. I can say, this is not the norm I have found here on AR. I avoid the group that are the bullys, the puffers, just like I do in RL. Hey, I am sure they don't like me either! They probably think my posts are stupid, or worthless, but who cares! 

I have so enjoyed finding my voice, making my friends, meeting a few 'rainers already. So far so good. I was smart about it. OK, maybe not with the last 'rainer I met, as I went right into her house, then onto a boat with her, LOL. But believe me, I had already checked her online as I hope she did with me. And actually, well before I even imagined I would meet with her. I want to know MORE about people I plan to play with online. I go to their websites, I google, I check things out. It is the smart way to find out if indeed this is someone you want to play with. 

Be smart, be safe, be yourself, be honest. In real life and online.And be true to yourself and your voice! Nothing more needs to be said!

 

Sep 07, 2009 11:32 PM #28
Ambassador
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C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Andrea, you've made my day. Playing in the Rain is a beautiful thing. I've been amazed and humbled by the friends that I collect here. Information, just like knowledge, can be a very dangerous thing in the wrong person's hands. I have seen it, been a third party virtual witness, and deal with it daily. Some disputes are very intricate and complicated because betrayal is painful. If people are going to withdraw from a relationship I advise them to do so with dignity and honor even if you are angry with the other person. 

Most people when they calm down regret burning those bridges later on because hurting people frequently look for ways to hurt the person who harmed them back.

When you mix business with pleasure the lines become blurred. Mature people handle it well. Then there are the immature people who shock and surprise you because you didn't know they had it in them to behave so badly (LOL). I'm naughty upfront so expectations tend to be lowered where I am concerned ROTFLMAO). People are usually surprised that I a lot more complicated than they expected. I'm very well read for someone who draws cartoons and uses slang all the time (LOL).

Enjoy your new friendships in the Rain. Just remember to keep your eyes out for wolves in sheep's clothing. They are here. They are everywhere... ;-)

Sep 07, 2009 11:47 PM #29
Rainer
179,676
Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

C - The Bennett House should be really nice.  Definitely let me know when you head this way. 

Sep 08, 2009 02:03 AM #30
Rainer
233,568
Diane Rice
Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL - Lansing, IL
SFR, SRES, CNC

C., i went back and re-read this post, absorbing more than the initial time (not all the comments yet), and concluded that your wisdom and common sense should yank folks out of their "la la land" mentality IF they would bother to read!  We can all learn from this.... personally i feel a bit like a kid being parented... but DO UNDERSTAND that a wise person will HEAR, and increase knowledge.  I have an ear to hear..... keep preaching feeding teaching us hunnie, we are all ears! 

Diane 

Sep 08, 2009 02:07 AM #31
Ambassador
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C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Will do, Erik. I have been plotting with Melodious for a while now. :-)

Diane, thank you for the kind words. They are very much appreciated. :-)

Sep 08, 2009 03:51 AM #32
Rainmaker
512,906
Lisa Wetzel
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Carson City, NV
CDPE, SFR carsonvalleyland.com

C - Tremendous food for thought!  I had to read this all because your posts and comments are always so spot on!  I truly never thought of these issues!  We live in small town Northern Nevada!  I guess I'm too naive!  Anyway! thanks for a wonderful job!

Sep 11, 2009 02:21 AM #33
Ambassador
583,329
C Tann-Starr
Tann Starr & Associates, Inc. - Palm Bay, FL

Lisa, thank you for the kind words, they are very much appreciated. :-)

Sep 11, 2009 05:56 AM #34
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