Back to the future! Or, with all the ‘do not’s in the modern world, how will we communicate going forward?


With so much technology we have many more ways to communicate than ever before in history, yet we just don’t talk to one another anymore.  We email.  We instant message.  We text.  We comment or share on social media.  We tweet.  We blog.  But, but we rarely …  talk.   What is an entrepreneur to do?
Emails are ignored.  We call it spam.  We don’t read it, we don’t even look at it.  We just delete it.  Privacy is a thing of the past.  Private emails are not private.  Email is hacked and published, who knows if they were tampered with or not.  Phone calls are digitized. They’re all saved on some ‘cloud’ somewhere.  Delete doesn’t mean delete.  And it is all discoverable in a court of law.  And the metadata is provided to government for scrutiny and potential flagging.

Corporations collect information on everything we do, everything we buy, when we buy it, what brand, how much we spend, and where we spend it.  Then they sell the information to other corporations that use it to market their products to us, often assuming they know better than we do, what we need, what we want, and how much we are willing to spend.  Microsoft comes to mind, anticipating everything they think we want, or need or  want to do and making it happen whether we want it or not.  The first time you walk into some store with your cell phone on, or browse an online retailer, you will start to see their ads in every webpage you use and in your facebook news feed within seconds, it’s that fast.

Scams are everywhere.  And it is increasingly difficult to know which goods and services are legitimate and which ones are just cons.  On line reviews are sketchy at best.  I get emails all the time from real estate ‘coaches’ saying, “I know, let’s all go onto (pick one) Zillow, Trulia, etc., and write raving reviews for one another.”  I don’t know about you, but I call that dishonest.  I even see reviews on Amazon now that are categorized as to whether or not the reviewer was paid to give their opinion or not.  What good are reviews if you’ve never met that person, or used their services, or purchased their products?

Businesses, especially small businesses’, hands are tied, with do not call lists, text opt out options, and now a proposed do not email list.   Door to Door doesn’t work any longer.  Many towns require a solicitors’ license to knock on doors, and it is as frowned upon as telephone solicitation, or spam.  No one reads newspapers any longer, at least not the print versions.

Some have turned to social media, but that has become so impersonal.  Now there are marketers who sell their services to other marketers as someone who can manage your social media content.  Really?  I don’t know about you, but I want to get to KNOW a person before I give them my business.  And civility on social media is becoming a thing of the past.  The illusion of anonymity brings out the absolute worst in people and makes them feel comfortable saying things they would NEVER say in public; things that do not in any way reflect who they truly are as human beings.  More and more I hear people saying they are staying off of social media because they just can’t take the negativity any longer.

And you can forget the telephone.  We just do not pick up our phones.  Unless we recognize the number or the name on caller ID, we let it go to voicemail, and then decide later whether or not to return the call.  It is estimated that 70% or Americans’ phone numbers are on the Do Not Call list.  Besides, who wants to be a telemarketer?  I want to be a real estate agent.  You may want to be a landscaper, or a plumber, or an automobile dealer.  But, I very much doubt you want to be a telemarketer.

What we really need is more need more information, but better information, from trusted sources.  The question is, where do we find it and how do we spread the word?  I am going to make a big prediction here.  I think, in the not so distant future, this is all going to change.  I believe that, what is old will become new again.  I think you are going to see a lot more face to face communication, in conference rooms and at charitable events, in coffee shops and restaurants, in houses of worship and in our homes.  And I think we are going to see a lot more writing, letters, books, newsletters and direct mail marketing.  I also see a return to personal referrals, from trusted advisors, friends and neighbors.  I expect that, as the world keeps getting bigger, is will start to get smaller, and more close knit, more intimate.  I think as humans we need close interpersonal relationships, we need closeness   Relationships will trump technology.  People will come before Profits.   Reputation will matter again.  And I think that will be a good thing, a very, very good thing.

Post Script:  Just read James Altucher’s monthly newsletter.  I have to buy books, two books, Filthy Rich, because I have a sick fascination with Jeffrey Epstein so I must have this book, and two, The Seventh Sense by Joshua Cooper Ramo. The point was made that humans never change.  History repeats itself. Always.  Because we are creatures of habit.  Our methodology may change but we don’t.  At the end of another article, it was recommended that, in order to be happy, people should send an email to someone they care about   I agree, but I am going to tweak that suggestion.  I am going to suggest you send a letter, a note, or a card to someone you care about and put it in the US Mail with a genuine stamp.  Why?  Because I am a romantic.  Because I keep greeting cards, at least special ones, like the one my daughter gave me a few years ago for my birthday that made me cry.  Because I love those old movies where, at the end, the leading lady pulls out a little packet of letters tied up with a velvet ribbon sent to her by her loved one while he was away at war or whatever.  Because I love Downton Abbey, where the butler comes in with a letter on a silver tray and the mail is delivered twice a day.  Let’s go Back to The Future.  Think of someone you care about, someone you owe a phone call or an email and, instead, send them a note in the mail. Because computers crash and emails are sadly lost forever, robbing us of the opportunity to relive bittersweet times, but letters are forever, just ask the National Archives.  And, who knows, maybe one day when their great grand-children are cleaning out their writing desk, they will find that note and learn something about their beloved ancestor, and smile.


Suzanne MacDowell

Suzanne MacDowell is an award winning real estate agent with nearly 12 years of experience helping buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants and small business owners to achieve their real estate goals. Suzanne has been awarded the National Association of Realtors’ Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource (SFR), and Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) Certifications as well as the 203K Renovation Loan Specialist designation. Suzanne was the top listing agent for EXIT Realty Gold Service for two consecutive years and received the Bronze Sales Award for EXIT Realty Gold and EXIT Realty International. Now Suzanne has brought her professional expertise to Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors in Succasunna, NJ.

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