I was at a business seminar the other day and overheard a conversation about Twitter, Facebook and the social networking scene. A gentleman in his 50’s was telling his friend that he had a Facebook account but “I’m not using it.” His friend did not have an account and replied “I have absolutely no intention of getting one”.
This struck a chord. Kind of made me squirm a bit. In my quest to become a hip Realtor with a solid social networking presence, I put myself through a maze of confused and aimless lessons. I wondered if being a social networker in business was a young person’s thing or was it something an old 65 year old agent could embrace?
Eventually, I took the plunge and journeyed to the other side. How is it I joined the Margaret Atwoods of the world and began to Twitter?
Then I realized I had traversed through the five stages of change (DANDA) described by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying. The people I overheard that day were stuck somewhere in the middle of this process and were fraught with guilt. In time they might proceed to the finish line but I suspect that most do not. The fact is, social networking is not for everyone.
I began my foray into social networking by DENYING its importance. I had convinced myself it was a fad that appealed to those who had absolutely nothing better to do with their time.
I knew I was at the ANGER stage when I began to feel resentment towards those who had progressed beyond me. That anger escalated when I saw them actually profit from this web tool.
I’m not sure how long I remained at this stage but I knew I had entered the NEGOTIATING stage when I hired a young Twitter expert to teach me how to do it. I didn’t quite get what she was talking about but I figured if I had an account, I would at least be able to communicate to my clients that I was hip and living in the modern age.
I woke up one day and read some statistics in the business section of The Star that the top sales people in their professions were actually solidifying business relationships and profiting from their online Twittering. My stomach knotted up. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I was sad and Twitter DEPRESSION had set in.
Then one day, I started sending my blog entries to my Twitter and Facebook accounts. I figured, what the hell? What’s the worst that could happen? Public ridicule? Bah. So what. That won’t kill me. Funny thing is, as it turns out, nothing bad happened. In fact, one day someone actually retweeted one of my posts. I had arrived at the ACCEPTANCE stage and my life as a Twitter user was born.
There’s no turning back now. I eagerly wait for Margaret’s feeds. My dream is for her to retweet one of my 140 character gems. I recently complained about my bank on Twitter and their Twitter Guy (who knew they had a Twitter guy?) fixed it for me in short order. I think I’m on to something.
Duncan Fremlin, Broker RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd.