Social Media Suicide - DON'T DO IT!

Real Estate Agent with | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 228209

Social Media Suicide - DON'T DO IT!  Protect Your Reputation at ALL Costs

Social Media SuicideI don't know what it is about this time of year but, I do believe that we're all just a bit testy from being confined to indoor spaces.  We're ever so ready to get out into the spring weather that's just not quite here yet...almost but, not quite!  During this 'closed-in' season, I've seen friends, acquaintances and  fellow business owners who are typically gracious, informative and hospitable, either writing inappropriate commentary or joining in on a virtual 'bashing.'

 The news is full of social media negativity and numerous social media participants have lost jobs, been asked to leave schools and been banned from professional associations because of this type of behavior.  They feel that as Americans, our freedom of speech will protect them.  These social media participants don't realize when they're commenting negatively that they're truly hurting their own businesses and their personal reputations as well. 

Here are a few thoughts gleaned from recent conversation and experience pertaining to protecting our reputations:

  • If you don't like or agree with something that you read, just move on.  Think of it as holding your TV remote--if you scan past a program that does not interest you, don't you just click the remote and move on to something that does strike your fancy?  Do the same with your reading.

  • Remember what our grandparents said, "If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all!"  Now, I know that a healthy debate is just that...healthy.  However, berating others and putting them down is not debating them.   Rather that form of 'debate' is unhealthy and truly looks poorly on the one who is making the negative comments, NOT the one with whom you're disagreeing.

  • If you love a good debate, remember to stick to the facts of the topic--nothing more.  Calling someone an 'idiot' just because they don't agree with you is not debating, it's name-calling and can be viewed as libel, which is a criminal offense.  So, if you know you can't debate without name-calling, then hit that channel-changing button and move on!

  • When prompted by one cyber-bully to attack another, don't do it!  Don't be sucked into the negative energy that could also destroy your own reputation or business.  It's simply not worth it...again, move on to the next article/post/comment where ever you're reading takes you. 

  • As REALTORS®, we are also bound by our Code of Ethics, RESPA / Fair Housing guidelines.  Many of the statutes not only apply to our clients but, to one another.  Keep these in mind when making commentary online.  I recently learned that there are people out there who are PAID to find these comments and report them to the appropriate Boards, Commissions or federal offices.  It's just not worth losing our licenses over making a comment that we feel makes us look good (which only works that way to ones self, not the general public) or to make simply someone else look bad.

We have enough negativity in our business these days; a common link in the make-up of those who remain in our business is their positive attitudes.  Stay that course; don't stray from it.  You don't EVER want to risk social media suicide!


Re-Blogged 7 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ricky Khamis 04/02/2011 03:41 PM
  2. Link LeGrand 04/03/2011 03:56 AM
  3. Michelle Hatmaker 04/03/2011 05:50 AM
  4. Mike Higgins and Paula Lewis 04/03/2011 06:07 AM
  5. Margaret Hickman 04/03/2011 06:28 AM
  6. Richard D. Ferris 04/03/2011 07:17 AM
  7. Dana Devine 04/13/2011 08:58 AM
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Robin Dampier REALTOR®
Coldwell Banker King - Hendersonville, NC
Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source

Well written, well said, short and to the point.  Debate is one thing and bullying is entirely something else and very unhealthy.

Sue of Robin and Sue

Apr 04, 2011 03:18 PM #221
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad


Outstanding post, as the number of comments, and quality, indicates. It's amazing what some people will do on-line without, perhaps, thinking of the potential consequences. Writing on-line does not free us from consequences, and they could be far-reaching, and not immediate.

There have been many who have misbehaved and lost their jobs, gotten divorced, or gotten sued as a result. Doesn't mean it WILL happen but what is the risk?

Is it really any different than thinking about that email you want to send off but don't, knowing the possible damage it could cause?


Apr 04, 2011 04:22 PM #222
David Evans
HUD NLB Cumming GA

Very interesting post, thanks...

Apr 04, 2011 05:28 PM #223

Great post. Congratulations for the topic. Congratulations for the right words and your spirit and positive thinking.

Apr 04, 2011 07:08 PM #224
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


I'm thinking you probably thought I wouldn't be saying anything. Well, I almost didn't. But having spent hours reading and digesting this comment stream, I decided to post my thoughts on one particular topic. You know me well enough to know I will not write a mini-blog on another Members blog. So, I put my thoughts on my blog and linked my readers over here. I can only hope that folks truly give your blog post, and my blog post, some serious thought. Sometimes, we all need to stand back, breathe and re-evaulate what is truly important. I'd say that's all I have to say but we've already discovered that may or may not be true :) 


Apr 05, 2011 12:17 AM #225
Neal Bloom
eXp Realty - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

I think the whole thing is just so STOOOPID!. Half the time its people battling people and they aren't even from the same time zone. Go make some money and stop worrying about it. I'd rather just "think" and instead of saying it. Makes no the end..what does it get you?

Apr 05, 2011 01:02 AM #226
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904

DEBE- Well said. It is unfortunate when misunderstandings occur; and should that happen an apology is usually sufficient to clear the air. If that doesn't do it: Move on, move forward and keep your focus on what really is important...succeeding.  As a succeessful business owner, there are not hours in the day, and none for non sense. Keep positive always.

Apr 05, 2011 02:54 AM #227
Petra Norris
Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc. - Lakeland, FL
Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale

Debe - you truly wrote a great post and I have been dragged into as well with remarks on FB.  While I have never been in such a position where my name and reputation are on the line and being slandered, I have a hard time if faced with a situation like this to just let it be - especially when family members being attacked also. 

It is overall a very disappointing situation and clearly not great for Active Rain.  

BTW - love your photo and congratulations and best success with your new company :)


Apr 05, 2011 03:08 AM #228
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Debe -- People really need to understand that what they release on the internet gets propagated and entrenched in cyberspace.  What is written here on AR does not just stay here.  It takes off like a shot and travels to places way outside of AR. There's nothing wrong with expressing a difference of opinion.  However, it's the WAY it's done that is important.

Apr 05, 2011 05:37 AM #229
Dora Griffin
D A Griffin Financial.LLC - Fort Thomas, KY
NMLS 6380

Great Post!  One of my pet peeves! We can all do our part by taking your advice and MOVE ON!

Apr 05, 2011 05:55 AM #230
Jay Beckingham
Fairway Independent Mortgage Company - Delray Beach, FL
"I love first time homebuyers"

okay, i didn't read all the comments, but

i believe you're getting a standing ovation, or should be.

nice and refreshing


Apr 06, 2011 12:20 AM #231
Kathy Knight
Intracoastal Realty Corp - Wilmington, NC
BROKER, ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR, Wilmington NC Homes an

Good blog Debe...good info...

Apr 07, 2011 02:24 AM #232
Kerry Jenkins
Prime Properties - Crestline, CA

Being behind a computer screen sometimes gives people a sense of empowerment and anonymity, even when it's not so anonymous because their pictures and info are right on the comment...

Apr 07, 2011 04:20 AM #233
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

I nearly put something out there on FB 2 days ago that may have gotten me some negtive feedback from someone. I took the extra time to check to see who would have seen it and decided not to post it. What you put out there is for forever.

Apr 09, 2011 06:51 AM #234
shane persinger

it's simple, make a professional page and a personal page, because not all your friends and family will want to have to go through all your work posts all the time, and vice versa.


that is my experiance.




I also do it for youtube.

Apr 09, 2011 09:54 PM #235
Shane Persinger
Bell Real Estate - Eugene, OR
Realtor/Broker, GRI

it's simple, make a professional page and a personal page, because not all your friends and family will want to have to go through all your work posts all the time, and vice versa.


that is my experiance.




I also do it for youtube.

Apr 09, 2011 10:08 PM #236
Shane Persinger
Bell Real Estate - Eugene, OR
Realtor/Broker, GRI

Sorry about my last comment's re-post.  I wasn't logged in during the first one, and thought I could earse the first one like in FaceBook and just sipmply correct myself.

Apr 09, 2011 10:11 PM #237
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Thanks everyone, for the great comments!  It is so refreshing to see that so many AR members are on the same page with regards to social media etiquette.  I don't believe that we ever mean to offend folks but, stopping to 'think about what we say' first is key to avoiding Social Media Suicide!

Apr 10, 2011 02:53 AM #238
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Not sure what else to add, Debe.  Very well articulated and I'm going to have to cook up some popcorn and take in the comments later when I get home.

I DO look forward to meeting one of the most respected and professional folks in Social Media VERY soon, which would be you:)

Apr 21, 2011 06:43 AM #239
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi Jason!  Thanks and I don't know about being the most respected but, I certainly value my reputation and don't want to ever jeopardize it by having a silly little online fight with ANYone--it's just not worth risking the damage that could be incurred with such ridiculous bahavior.  As you know, we've been seeing alot of this lately and it amazes me that members here don't care a thing about their online reps.  They could be 100% right--but, they look like complete maniacs trying to defend themselves.  They're TRULY damaging their businesses--not helping them AT ALL!  Do what you like and do it well--just don't bring online bickering into the equation!  (Hey, another blog post title!)

I had a delightful chat with Jennifer today and am SOOOO excited that I'm finally going to get to meet you two!  I'm going to finally get to do what Sally did awhile back--give you two a HUG!  

Apr 21, 2011 03:44 PM #240
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Debe Maxwell, CRS

Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods
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