July 8, 2015

The World is Changing, IKR?!

It was only a year ago that I learned what LOL means.  I'm not kidding.  I used to think it stood for "Lots of Love."  I finally asked my husband why people would respond to me with LOL.  I just thought it meant they loved what I was saying.  Another one that took me a while to figure out is <3.  I had no idea why people were using this.  Less than 3??  What the heck does that mean?  Was it a religious reference?  Who were the three people I was less than?  I finally asked someone a few months ago.  Weird.

Texting in general took me a l-o-n-g time to understand.  Why wouldn't you just pick up the phone and call?  Why not send an email?  For crying out loud, I was just getting used to my flip phone and then I had to type on a keyboard with keys the size of gnats.

And then there's social media.  I love Facebook.  It's easy, and it's entertaining.  I can just click "like" or write a normal sentence in my status bar, and I'm done.  Twitter is another beast.  What's with all the #s and the @s and the bitlys?  I still have no idea what I'm doing, and I find it interesting that random people "follow" me whom I've never met.  How do they even find me??  Don't get me started on Flickr, Snapchat , and Vine - I'll leave those to the teenie boppers.

The information is infinite when it comes to researching a subject.  Personally, I love research.  I obsess over anything I'm currently into:  buying a car, finding a vacation destination, exploring summer camp options for my kids.  I use the internet to research everything.  Clearly, the rest of the world shares in my obsession.  In 2013, Google reported that they had 2,161,553,000,000 searches on their website.  That breaks down to 5,922,000,000 searches per day last year.  Yikes.

For people who grew up in the twentieth century, the internet, texting and social media are still fairly new concepts.  As kids in the Nineteens (that's how my kids refer to the 20th Century), we didn't have any of these things.  We talked on a phone with a cord.  We left messages on answering machines and tried to leave a clever recording for our incoming callers ("Wait for the beep.  You gotta leave your name, you gotta leave your numba.").  Our research was done strictly in the library with use of the card catalog.  We had to type our papers on a typewriter, and when we got really cool, a word processor.  We didn't have electronics consuming us at every moment.  We had to talk and make eye contact and use full sentences.

The point is that we've changed the way we communicate and discover.  Gone are the days when somebody looks through the paper for a home (unless your name is Ester and you are 98).  The real estate section of the paper barely exists.  People search for homes (and cars and hotels and summer camps, etc., etc.) online.  In fact, 96% of people start their home search online.  And the information you can find is limitless.  There are websites, search engines, articles, tweets and YouTube videos about homes on the market.  You can take a tour of a home without ever stepping foot inside.  You can read statistics such as days on market and price-per-square foot.  You can even see a satellite shot of the house to make sure it's not backing up to a busy road or the neighbor's jacked-up rusted truck.

How does this affect you?  Well, it really affects me more as a Realtor than it does you.  I have to make a home shine from top to bottom through pictures and video.  I have to make sure that a home is splashed on every website and social media outlet as possible (over 400 to be exact).  I have to text. I have to Facebook. I have to Tweet.  I have to YouTube.  And I have to write world-famous blogs.



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