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I was reading an article on AOL last week about a message in a bottle that was found 3,500 miles away from its destination, some five years later.  The young man who years ago had casually tossed the bottle out into his future was jogged back to an eleventh grade science project … long forgotten, by some folks in a little village on the other side of the pond.

This story got me to thinking as I was reading messages on Trulia, Active Rain, Facebook,  LinkedIn …. I casually tossed out information some months ago on several of my listings –  I now have clients looking for homes in Atlanta that currently live in New York, Massachusetts, California ….  We throw these messages out into the world,  never really knowing who’s going to read them, and whether they will respond.    I recently sold a house to a sweetheart of a lady, an internet client, who stated at the closing table, “I’m not sure why I responded back to your e-mail — I think it was because you sounded like a real person in your message.”   I’m no different from anybody else — sometimes I get an e-mail or a link and I wonder, “Is there really a person behind this?  Is this a scam?”  And most times my response is to hit the delete key, throwing it into my e-mail trash bin.

Kind of makes me wonder … has the internet turned us into something akin to computerized robots?  Are we disassociating to the point that we’ve become mechanical?  Do we send out so much stuff, that we’ve turned off our “real” button so that we sound like nothing more than an automated message ??   Admit it — we real estate agents sometimes act as if we’ve been programmed with a preset key that upon command, turns on and spits out.  And we wonder why nobody gets back to us …. hmmmmm.

I’ll bet that message in the bottle was hand-written.  And real.  And interesting enough to make the folks in the little village respond.

Makes me want to slow down, turn off my computerized brain, and think about who it is I’m reaching out to …. it’s not just a couple of machines clicking and clacking at each other …

There’s  a real person on the other side of the pond.