Social Media & Your Martha’s Vineyard Real Estate Agent

Jen Hawkins O'Hanlon, REALTOR®


Is technology and social media saving us during this pandemic? What is your relationship with social media? Love it, hate it?

About two years ago I saw an interview with Facebook’s ex-founding president Sean Parker. When talking about Facebook he said, “It literally changes your relationship with society, with each other. It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains,” He talked about how the “like” button was created to give users “a little dopamine hit”, which would encourage them to continue to upload more content, which in turn keeps people using the platform.

After doing some research on the subject and knowing that I wanted to be as productive as possible in my life and set a good example for my then 5-year-old, I felt it was necessary to say goodbye to Facebook.

About 8 months after that, I decided to further my education in real estate and signed up for a very intensive year-long coaching course. The coach is based out of California and does all of the calls through Zoom and most of the learning opportunities and networking happens in a Facebook group. I had no choice but to turn my account back on and see if I could learn to use Facebook in a different way.

I have to say, now about 15 months later, I am a fairly active Facebook user, but primarily for business. Through the coaching group, I made close connections with 6 other agents from all over the country and we created our own Facebook group to share ideas, files, videos, etc. For personal use, I created a Facebook group for a network of girlfriends and we post on a somewhat regular basis and use it as a place to make plans and support one another. I created a group for the parents of kids in my daughter’s grade and that has been a super resource while we are homeschooling.

Additionally, I am using Facebook during this pandemic, to do my part to help our community. I have an Ads Manager account that I have been using to run real estate video ads over the past year. But now, I’m able to use the account to advertise for the Island Food Pantry and provide information about Forbearance and other mortgage-related questions people have right now. I am also doing live streaming interviews with local businesses so they can talk about how they are providing their services and support during this difficult time.  I also see it as a way for so many to stay connected with family and friends during this period of isolation. It’s quite ironic really – the idea that something that has gotten so much attention for disconnecting people is able to provide comfort and support during this unprecedented period in history.

So, I guess the reason I wanted to write about this is that I’ve realized, like so many things in life, it’s how you look at things and what you take from them that matters. It’s how you use what is being provided to you and educate yourself so you can make thoughtful choices. If I was completely shut off from social media, I would not be in the position to help others during this crisis.


As a team, we work in harmony for the benefit of our clients. We handle multiple transactions at once and are able to execute a complex marketing strategy by leveraging team resources. We can be in several physical locations at once to ensure showings are always possible for our buyers and sellers. Our clients benefit from the combined experience of our agents and administrative staff.

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