A Social Media Lesson My Son Taught Me

The way the world is evolving is fantastic. Adults these days are still hard-coded when it comes to basic business principles but our children are growing up and taking a different approach. It is a much simpler approach and yet our generation has a hard time adapting to it (or we just make it more complicated than it should be).

The other day my teenage son decided to sell his Xbox and buy a new gaming platform for himself, one that he can share with his friends. I thought it was a great idea because this way he would be able to learn how business is done and get a taste of entrepreneurship. At this point I didn’t know that he was going to teach ME a lesson.

He had a few good inquiries and one prospect was especially interested. The guy said he would come and have a look and then they can possibly seal the deal. My son was excited and ready to sell his Xbox to him. I told him to wait and see how serious this prospect was. Sure enough, the guy did not show up and sent a text saying that his car broke down. My son was seemingly disappointed. Well, I told him, now you see that he was not that serious after all. Maybe he never even left and just made everything up about his car being broken down. Maybe someone else will come along to buy your Xbox.

My son was sulking all day and was not convinced. He took to social media and did a search on the guy’s name. He ended up finding his Twitter page.

“Hey dad, this is him. He seems like a decent guy.”

I went up to my son’s computer to check. There were mostly harmless tweets of him missing some coffee, conversing with friends or retweeting motivational quotes. As we scrolled through his page, we even found the evidence my son was looking for.

“Look dad, this tweet was sent out at the same time he texted me. It says that he is frustrated because his car broke down again.” And there it was. My son was happy and I couldn’t help but wonder: 10 years ago, would this deal have been written off as “unlikely to happen”? Would the prospect have gone to the “do-not-deal-with” folder? Would a perfectly decent guy have been labeled as unreliable? The answer to all is yes.

Two days later they arranged for a new meeting and my son made his first sale.

This is the power of social media.

 

Top featured image credit: Kamyar Adl on Flickr. (CC-BY 2.0) No changes were made.

 

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