As the NAR Annual Convention came to a close and everyone returned to the comfort of their laptops and office computers to recap, one particular article here on AG got quite a bit of attention. Herman Chan opined, “If I hear the term ‘social media’ one more time, I am gonna hurl. It’s overkill, over the hill and overdid.”
In the many comments on AG and elsewhere on the bastardization of the term “social media,” one stood out in particular to us and that was a comment by our friend Nobu Hata who is highly involved in the National Association of Realtors Young Professionals Network (YPN). Hata like many before him asked, “So instead of opining about your discontent on a forum where you’re preaching to the choir, how about joining the Convention Committee and becoming part of the selection process?”
Because YPN is a NAR organization, we dropped Dale Stinton, the CEO of NAR an email asking if he supported Hata’s indication that being on a committee is the way to change things (as opposed to editorialize on a national stage).
Rather than summarize or tell you what to think, we would like to share the entire email with you because we read it out loud in the office repeatedly and cracked up… also, despite our differences with NAR (past and present), we totally love Dale. His direct response below highlights the Dale that we know:
Dale Stinton’s personal response to us: “I usually stay out of these conversations as they seem to pop up more than my capacity to engage. However, you were kind enough to contact me, and with all of the convention activities still fairly fresh in my mind, I am happy to offer a few observations.
I don’t think Nobu’s intent was to stifle anyone’s thoughts. He was expressing a personal opinion just like the 50 others (yes, I did read them) that have commented on the “social media” spin that frequented the exhibit hall floor. I wouldn’t read anymore into it than that – he had a point of view and he expressed it.
Since I’m in the flow though, I might as well jump in with my view of the overuse or misuse of the social media jargon. My experience, particularly in the tech or quasi-tech arena has been, that whenever someone wants to sound like they know what they’re talking about they grab the phrase of the day. Twenty plus years ago it was “mainframe” (and if you really wanted to impress ‘em you said “concatination”). Then it was “system software solutions” and “distributed processing”. Moving on, we stored up for the right occasion “PC”, “desktop”, and my personal favorites “internet and intranet”. Recently it’s been “how about that 2.0 – wait til it gets here” and now the ever popular “cloud”. Mark Lesswing tells me if I really want to be hip and get extra credit for really being “on the edge” (hey, I just tripped over another one there) that I should start using the terms “air play technology” and “geolocation”. You may all use them, but I get credit (very important to my age group credibility) for using them first. You see, more often than not, this penchant for appearing “in the know” is a function of my generations (let’s just say 50+) need to find some place of comfort in a rapidly changing world that seems to have gone absolutely crazy. The exhibit show floor was littered with my generational brethren all clinging to the social media term as the latest expression of their own relevance and competency. We’ll move on to the next catchy phrase with a half life soon enough – in the meantime be kind to us, we gave you Star Trek and Betty White…and with that – “Beam me up Betty?’”
While Dale and his generation were worried about “concatination” (which we totally had to look up), I was worried about getting permanent marker off of my Cabbage Patch doll’s face.
What we get from the hilarious response above is kind of a “c’est la vie” mentality that we agree you will see become more and more commonplace. In the world of sales, the phrase of the day will always become so prominent that it sickens everyone, it’s part of the cycle. The phrases of today surround social media and while we’re sick of hearing them too, even we have to continue talking about it because our inbox is full of questions about it from agents struggling to keep up in a down economy and is grasping at straws.
Thank you, Dale, for taking the time out to opine, we know that we appreciate it and we have reached out to Betty White for a comment on your shout out.