Social Networking - Is it as effective of a marketing tool as we think, or are we simply evolving into beings who avoid real face to face communication?
I've shuffled around awhile. Without telling you my exact age, I will explain that I'm a pre-boomer, pre-gen-x, and just about pre anyone left shuffling around at all.
When I was a kid, we had a phone that was on a "party" line. Party lines weren't something you dialed an "800" number for and had billed by the minute to your credit card. They were phone lines you shared with a few other phone company customers. You hoped when you needed to phone, someone else wasn't already on the line.
In 1983 when my first computer, an Apple IIE, was purchased, I had a grandson, just 2½ years old, who showed me how to use the keyboard arrow keys to make Jill jump over Jack in a game, on the computer screen. I was amazed. Not that the computer could do that, in the old pre Windows 3.1 environment; but that my grandkid already knew how to make it work.
So it has been with the advancement of computers, the internet, newsgroups, Facebook, blogs, and The Twitter (as Betty White calls it).
It was easy for us to embrace the idea of computers in the real estate industry. After all, in the early years of my career, 36 years ago, the MLS was something we received in book form, delivered to our office, once a week on Saturday mornings. I can still remember the antiquated first MLS computer with the Microfiche sitting on the counter, right next to it.
In 1981, there were virtually no agents with cell phones, and I believe I may have been one of the first Sacramento agents, if not the first agent, to get a pager. I needed to feel connected. Not so much for clients, but for my kids.
With email, we discovered the delight of communication, which was less intrusive. We were able to time manage better by using email. Only when we wanted to did we move our lips to talk with people!
In recent years, there has been a whole new lingo originated with the advent of texting. I wonder if the average citizen less than 40 years old can construct a proper sentence any longer. Everything is in a staccato shorthand version of life, being transported unseen, across the planet in milliseconds, with an emoji or two tossed in.
I sometimes wonder how folks endlessly Facebooking, Tweeting, and blogging, have any time to truly manage their business. I recently attended a wedding. During the ceremony, I heard two cell phones go off. And, during the reception, many folks couldn't seem to manage a complete sentence at the dinner without being compelled to answer a text message, or cell call. This was on a Saturday night. Most everyone we knew were at the wedding. Usual business hours were over!
Perhaps we are taking the easy way out. Rather than picking up the phone to do a little old fashioned networking, which could subject us to rejection, we compose and send endless social networking tweets and posts instead.
Have we lost the fine art of face-to-face communication? I'm curious what you think about the direction communication has taken, and which we seem so compelled to follow. What are your thoughts?