Are facebook and Twitter killing America?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Alliance in Louisville, Colorado

This past weekend we had brunch with a few of our friends.  Nowadays when you get together with friends you always end up talking about the economy, real estate and the job market.  And the discussion can get emotional and heated sometimes. 

We all know people who have been laid off, downsized or their company went out of business.  It's sad when it's people who are good friends or family.  So our brunch conversation this past weekend was not as lighthearted as it's been in the past.

One of my friends kept bringing up the point that the U.S. is not doing anything to create new jobs in the economy.  He said facebook and Twitter have a lot of users but the companies are not doing anything to build a job infrastructure in the country.  He said their valuation by the banks are extremely high given they are not really creating anything. 

He pointed to Germany and how they have turned around their economy and they are actually building and making products.  Germany's unemployment is 7% compared to the U.S. which is around 10%.  China is buying German cars by the ton.  

And I think my friend has a good point.  Where I live I am seeing local companies, restaurants and retail shops downsize and quite a few of them going out of business.  And mostly the businesses are closing down because of the impact of the internet.  A recent example is the national bookstore, Borders, which declared Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and it closing down 200 stores across the U.S.  Quite a few of the Borders stores in Colorado will close and then more good people will be out of work.

I am not saying anthing new that most of you don't know already.  But I wonder where the U.S. is headed.  Pretty soon, we'll all be sitting in our study in our house in our pajama's.  We'll be facebooking with our friends all over the world, tweeting away, writing blogs and pontificating.  And a lot of us will be buying our consumable products online putting more people out of work.  But, how we will be making the same income we've been accustomed to in the past 30 years?

What is the solution?  I don't know, but I am very nervous about our country moving forward for our children and their children.

Let's do what we can to help mainstreet Ameria!

Downtown Louisville, Colorado


Posted by

Mario Jannatpour

RE/MAX Alliance 

Boulder Area Relocation Expert                                                     


Author of the book,

"The Honest Real Estate Agent:

A Training Guide For a Successful First Year and Beyond as a Real Estate Agent " 

Available on Amazon:

Spread the word--if you have any friends or relatives considering Real Estate as a career or have recently started, then you need to tell them about this book.  It will help them immensely.  Thanks--Mario

I have also created a new and innovative website for new Real Estate Agents:



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Chris Mayr
D3 Interactive Marketing - Orlando, FL

Video stores are gone as we get our dvd from the red box or stream it from Netflix.  Is that a shame for the small business owner who got squeezed out because his industry changed?  Yes, it is.  However, to keep doing the same thing because some people might get squeezed is worse.

Now that being said, we make a point to spend locally.  I am working with a business consortium to create business districts and buying groups and co-ops to help small businesses survive.  Our goal is to make sure that when you want Mexican food you skip Taco Bell and go to a local chain called Amigos.  When you want a new bike you go to the bike shop and buy a Schwinn instead of Target and buy whatever Chinese import they have.

Why? Because their profits stay local and help to build our own economy here.  Nobody is going to come help us so we have to do it ourselves.  You would be amazed at the response we have gotten.  Small business owners lining up to be a part of it and consumers educating themselves on which chains are local franchises, which restaurants are owner operated, etc.

Feb 18, 2011 01:31 AM #74
Elizabeth Byrne
Keller Williams Realty - Arlington, VA
Arlington Virginia Real Estate

Balance should be a key to healthyand fruitful living. I am sad to see local businesses to close, and would love to find ways to save them from that faith. On the other hand, I'm grateful for technology - we benefit from products and knowledge of people from around the world. I am not a big user of Facebook, have not signed up for Twitter yet, but I believe we should be offered choices.

Feb 18, 2011 01:51 AM #75
Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528
Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956 - New City, NY
Real Estate Salesperson

We live in an ever changing world and need to learn to adapt.  Facebook and Twitter are just another way to communicate.  It's your choice to embrace it or not.  What I see happening is that the youth of today are loosing the art of face to face upfront and personal communication and I find that sad.

Feb 18, 2011 03:18 AM #76
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Mario: I think I see your post as an analogy of what is happening in the country--and I agree. Symbolically, the Twitter, Facebook crowd are looking at life entirely through the lens of "social" networking, not through the lens of hard work, including manual labor. The trend to be a part of the internet realm without having to participate in the physical act of creating goods and products or even offering services that may mean income for the average American, has made us all a little less aware of the real hard work that it takes to stay afloat. We are losing out to the masses and cheap labor of the 3rd world. I don't look forward to the days when we wake up and realize that we don't have the means to survive a change in the world that could include OUR world as a 3rd world country. Great post!

Feb 18, 2011 03:36 AM #77
Jerry Morse
The Morse Company - Janesville, WI

I think Facebook and Twitter are even hurting those that have a job!  My kids are on it just about every hour.  You can't tell me they are productive on their job at that time.

Feb 18, 2011 03:59 AM #78
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Good post.  I agree w/Bryan #28.  Lots of possibilities due to technology, but there is no doubt jobs have also been lost due to the web.

I think the biggest unfortunate is that once companies go web-based or increase their tech side of things, they need a lot less manpower as one person w/knowledge of the systems can do several jobs.

Interesting concept, and it will be interesting to see how things go from here.

Feb 18, 2011 03:59 AM #79
Mario Jannatpour
RE/MAX Alliance in Louisville, Colorado - Louisville, CO
Author of the Book, "The Honest Real Estate Agent"

Paula (#77) gets my point completely.  Thanks so much Paula for your thoughts.  Most of us use facebook and Twitter for promotion and staying in touch with Clients, I am not saying it's bad in that respect.  We need to have more companies in the U.S. actually creating products.  We can't survive by just being a service based economy servicing each other. 

Thanks everyone for your comments, it's a good discussion to have because I think this issue is not going away anytime soon.


Feb 18, 2011 04:24 AM #80
Leslie Helm
Tennessee Recreational Properties - Jamestown, TN
Real Estate For Trail Riders

Hi, Mario. I once lived in a town where you could conduct all your business at a drive-up window....the bank, the pharmacy, the dry cleaners, the liquor store....even a funeral home! I'm serious; the departed was on display in a window and you'd write your condolence card and leave it in the slot. I thought it was sad that (a) people were too lazy to get out of their cars and (b) that they were losing so much social interaction.

The interaction is back and bigger than ever but it's still done at a remove, which I think is equally sad or even sadder....especially when you're interacting with someone down the street or, sorse, in teh next room!

Feb 18, 2011 05:22 AM #81
Aaron Seekford
Arlington Realty, Inc. - Arlington, VA
Ranked Top 1% Nationwide 703-836-6116

Times are changing, Mario. We have to adapt to the changing technology and industries. Maybe we will all be working for Facebook Real Estate one day?

Feb 18, 2011 07:02 AM #82
Phil & Celeste Pafford, Corona CA - Corona, CA
Corona Short Sale Broker

This is such a non-issue!  I decided last night to either save or create 31 million jobs.  Everyone who is out of a job can simply come work for me... telecommuting at home with  180K base + benefits + bonus and 32 hour work week, 12 holdiays/yr and 5 weeks paid vacation... and a bag of chips!  ;-)

Feb 18, 2011 07:06 AM #83
Rose Land

Nicely pontificated, Mario.  Definitely food for thought.

Feb 18, 2011 07:23 AM #84
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

When I make purchases, I look at the bottom line. The place that has the lowest price gets my business. If Borders had the lowest price, then they would have gotten my business. I always check Amazon against local businesses. I have saved hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars by shopping on-line. If these businesses want to continue, they have to adjust their thinking. Why would I pay Blockbuster 4.99 to rent a movie, when I can get the same movie from Redbox for 1.09. Businesses need to really look at their competition and then adjust their strategy. That's what I had to do.

Feb 18, 2011 07:32 AM #85
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

If not used right, Facebook and Twitter are just the distraction de jour. I am out busting my hump all day, which is probably why the company is still in business and moving forward. But 20 years ago it was MTV and chat lines. Anything that keeps us from work, regardless of the modality, is debasing. 

Feb 18, 2011 09:21 AM #86
Mario Jannatpour
RE/MAX Alliance in Louisville, Colorado - Louisville, CO
Author of the Book, "The Honest Real Estate Agent"

Good one Rose!  (#84)  Very funny :)  Thanks

Feb 18, 2011 09:52 AM #87
Herb Hamilton
RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors - Portland, OR
Real Estate Broker ,CDPE, Downtown Portland

Technology and inovation is not killing our country no more than the automobile did when it replaced the Horse and Buggy.

What is killing our country are the changes that have been made over the last 30 years to how we do business in the USA.

Just one small example : What is the incentive for a corporation to create new jobs when they are rewarded handsomly for exporting jobs over seas given there sole goal is the make a profit. Pretty simple math. American corporations no that there name is the big selling point. So create a factory in another country. Let that factory then sell to there American counter part for a Profit. Then sell to Americans for less than it would take to produce here and you have the perfect storm. Corporations fullfilling there mantra : :" Make a Profit at any Cost " even if it means the destruction of the very country you live in.

Feb 18, 2011 12:18 PM #88

Tammie comment # 85 has described this countrys problems perfectly. As long as we do business as consumers looking only at the bottom line we are doomed. Every time you buy a product produced for pennies on the dollars from another country you put the nail in the coffin of another fellow american.

Competition is a good thing. But on a level playing field. I am more than happy to see products made in other countrys Sold here in open competition. But at a fair Standard. If the differnence of the product is Wages then let their be a Tarrif that levels the field out.

Don't let competition be used to drive down wages. Sooner or later Americans will no longer be able to purchase anything no matter how cheap it is. Without a living wage at some point you must stop consuming.

A vibrant community is one who's citizen's can grow and prosper. As they prosper they spend. Look in the mirror. We all know that when the money is rolling in we tend to spend like there is no tomorrow. Business leaders of yesteryear did very very well. Henry Ford new that many of his best customers were his employees and there family members.

Todays Business leaders enjoy their Salaries often times in the Millions of Dollars but that money is not returned to the economy. After all just how many Loafs of Bread can one person eat. Just because you can afford to buy 100 loafs doesn't mean you will.

Feb 18, 2011 12:39 PM #89
Eric Peltier
Eric Peltier - Premier Mortgage Group - Boulder Colorado - Boulder, CO
Mortgage Lender in Boulder CO

Torgie hit the nail on the head.

America is faltering because we have bred in laziness.  Everyone should get out there and CREATE something!  Quit watching so much TV and SOLVE A PROBLEM!

Germans are nuts for inventing, engineering, creating, building, perfecting, and making things more efficient.  To compete, we must quit standing around the water cooler whining.

Feb 19, 2011 10:52 AM #90
Robert Travers
Keller Williams - Philadelphia, PA

IMO I don't think Facebook or Twitter have anything to do with what is going on. I feel that the problem is we (the USA) are service oriented and not manufacturing like they did back in the day. We need to start making more things that other countries want along with keeping the service side going. Think about how many manufacturing jobs we lost to outsourcing even USA based companies outsource costumer service. Come on now, call up anyone of the companies you see in front of you right now for support and see where you end up (India just to name 1). As far as twitter and Facebook they just put you in front of millions of people to shake their hands and introduce yourself to them and build a relationship that might lead to a need you can fulfill.


Feb 20, 2011 03:20 PM #91
Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited® - Newton, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

Mario, Is this discussion part of the new book you have coming out?  If not, maybe it should be with all the conversation it has gathered.  The sense of entitlement in our country is a bit sad.  As a nation we have risen to many a challenge, thanks for showing us.

Mar 05, 2011 02:29 AM #92
Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

Mario - great blog, and you have some great points about how we can continue as a nation that does not produce anything tangible; as for the impact of social networking, many people  (I think) "hide" behind Farmville in Facebook (for example) and allow themselves to feel connected and meaningful while in reality doing nothing - we do need to put the technology down now and then and communicate!

Aug 01, 2011 11:19 PM #93
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