Why We Should All Be A Bit More Like Dan Perez

South Florida Film Maker Dan Perez, who is known on Twitter as @DanPerezFilms has a reputation.  He loves to jump into a stream or a chat and stir the pot.  Some may say that he is provocative, others may say he is a jerk.

When I first met him, or shall I say first tweeted him I thought the latter.  He continuously popped into various chats such as Leadership Chat or Ungeeked and would just pounce on chatters like a pitbull on a trespasser. If it was okay to curse I would have just called him an @$$. (hopefully everyone can read that)

While I wasn’t fond of his behavior, it didn’t really bother me much. At least not until he did it to me.

I had only observed his behavior from afar until one Tuesday evening in leadership chat I became the honorary recipient.  On that particular night we were discussing managing and leading personnel and I was chiming in with my wisdom.  While I and several others were engaging he decided to question one of my comments. (I wish I could remember the exact one, but let’s just say it was one that I was quite proud of)

I literally stopped in my tracks and thought…

Who in the world is this Dan Perez and what gives him the right to question my thinking.  So I responded, we debated, and afterward, it was strange but we connected.  In fact we have built an ongoing relationship filled with meaningful spats that help me more clearly consider a wide number of things I do/say/share.  Perhaps I reciprocate for him, but who knows….

This spark that Dan brings to the stream is a form of “Social Realism,” and it made me realize 2 things. First, I should embrace his “True Authenticity” and second there is an awful lot of proverbial “Sucking Up” on Twitter (And on other Social Platforms for that matter).

The epiphany from all of this? I now realize that I have had just about enough of all of the Social Pandering.

(Quickly Defined: Social Pandering is the lack of courage to provide real meaningful feedback to low quality content/ideas.)

Look, I am all about being polite, diplomatic, engaging, and for the most part kind (Ask around it is true). But at some point enough is enough.  Sooner or later we have to risk our Social Perception and put our “True” thoughts out on the table.

Don’t we all stand to benefit from real feedback even if it doesn’t always feel good?

It isn’t possible that we are all this nice all of the time.  And it is likely that some of, if not much of the content we share really is good.  However, when it isn’t, SOMETHING must be said right?

I know for certain that it doesn’t really help us if we are given constant positive reinforcement for the sharing of thoughtless or poor quality content.  It is this one way street that leads to the perpetual output of low quality content and the regurgitation of quotes and ideas that weren’t good in the first place.

In fact this sort of validation of mediocrity or worse may in fact be a big problem with society today.  (This warrants another blog in itself – Takers?)

Not long ago I wrote a post for 12 Most about the similarities between Twitter and High School.  I discussed some of the norms of high school that are often visible on Twitter.  While farce to some extent,  it was inspired by truth and observation of peoples behavior on Twitter.  Based on the several thousand views and shares it received, I am confident that I wasn’t the only one that felt this way.

Only thing is, in High School there was a better chance that you would be put in your place if you said something stupid.  In the Social world hidden behind our screens many of us are afraid to say what we really think.

Just to be perfectly clear.  I by no means think that great content shouldn’t be shared. Nor do I suggest being rude or insensitive just to prove a point.  Rather I’m just trying to provoke the thought process around needless promotion and reckless encouragement.  Moreover, just saying we need to be “Real.”

To conclude I offer some thoughts on this.

  • Perhaps everyone really does feel so strongly that the quality of all of this content is just fantastic and that everyone is on the ball. In that case carry on.
  • Perhaps we are too lazy to pay attention to what we share and we just give the reinforcement because it is easier than doing the work
  • Perhaps we are too afraid of the fall out of being real so we choose to take the path of least resistance. Rather just fit in as opposed to stand out.

Or, Perhaps we could all stand to learn from my friend Dan Perez.  While it may or may not be true that Dan is a provocateur, a trouble maker, or a jerk, there is no debate that he is real.  And sometimes, if even for a moment, being real may be more important than social coddling.







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29 Responses to Why We Should All Be A Bit More Like Dan Perez

  1. I wonder too if there’s an element of ‘crowd surfing’ in the sucking up as well. People are unwilling to criticise something if everyone else is praising but are just as quick to decimate someone if the crowd is going that way too. I watched a mob attack recently in the Ghana blogsphere, and it was fascinating to see people quick to not only jump on the band wagon but to also hurl invectives in the process (racist, bigot etc).

    Social media is at it’s best when it’s a genuine conversation, if I agree with everything you say every time you open your mouth it gets old very quickly.

    • Hi Fiona,

      I think you are right that there is a “Group Think” that exists. More times than not it is unwavering support regardless of quality. However, if you fall to the wrong side of a debate there is no elixir for the attacks that may be laid upon you.

      Great point! Cheers and thanks for stopping by.

  2. Jim F says:

    I have a couple of questions:
    1. What specifically did Dan P call you out on? Were you dispensing poor content when he called you out and what would you say now versus then?

    2. What are some examples of poor content? I am asking because we all have different opinions and what I think is great you may think sucks (or vice versa) and I don’t want to be “bullied” for my opinion.

    3. Can you be more specific about what Dan P says exactly when he is challenging people. I have never witnessed it and I am curious?

    4. I think debate is great and am all for changing group think as long as it doesn’t become bullying. There is no excise for demeaning behavior as the message will get lost.

    • Hi Jim – my best stab at an answer.
      1. I said something idealistic about leadership and how to motivate the human behavior – it wasn’t right or wrong but it may have been a bit “Warm and Fuzzy”
      2. To each is to own – but if they have poor grammar or an incomplete thought that would be a start. Your opinion should never be bullied and I by no means am advocating that. There is a difference between provoking debate and bullying.
      3. Watch more carefully if you want – it is usually based upon idealism vs. reality.
      4. I NEVER condone cruel or bigoted content. Just thoughtful debate.

      Thanks for the great questions.

  3. Tobey Deys says:

    I have made it one of my missions in life to completely destroy Dan Perez’ reputation as a cynical, sardonic critic. He is, in actuality, one of the kindest, most considerate and thoughtful visionaries I have the honour to know… (he’s gonna be sooo mad at me 😉
    He’s given much to me; sharing his light heart and deep thoughts. And yes – he does not subscribe to “if you can’t be nice, be vague”; as you say, Daniel, his authenticity is never suspect.

    Well done

    • As always Tobey – you get it. That is why I have so much respect for you.

      Dan and his approach make me better at what I do. I need more of that in my life if I want to continue to evolve and improve.

      Thanks so much for your comment.

    • Dan Perez says:

      You’re killing my “rep”, you know that? Killing it. [Hug]

      • Nah – I’m just perpetuating good quality content – My Goal Dood

      • Tobey Deys says:

        Yes… it’s quite fun! I had you pegged from the start, Mr Perez 😉 I not only continue to admire you but am humbled – and honoured – by the time and consideration you took to share your story on my Entrepreneurs post. You are a smart, generous man with honest insight from which we all can learn … and you can’t stop me from sayin’ it (nah nah)
        hugs back

  4. Daniel,

    I like you at first wondered about Dan P when I met him online. Then quickly I saw the wisdom in his quips.

    There are far too many who throw, glitter, unicorn dust and complete bull-S&&* in social media. All claiming to be “supportive” and “Community”. With the mantra “Why don’t we all get along” Well, for who, you who holds a view point that you will not shut up about it and I am suppose to accept it? Getting along means having meaningful dialogue and accepting and honoring each others position AS WELL as being willing to question our own position.

    The worst is when I see bullying behavior and they then use the word bullying (because they know it is a hot potato) and accuse the person they are bullying as being one. How strategic and cunning, as well as evil.

    The best friends are the ones who are willing to be candid with you. None of us will be on our A game every time. More of the homogenized conversations that happen in social media needs to be challenged.

    Plenty of folks thought Socrates was a nut too, now look at who they admire.

    If everyone was willing to look at themselves and ask what part do I play in this, then we would have a better world period. Self reflection and responsibility are not easy which is why few put it into regular practice.

    • You and I have spoken about this a few times – First of all thanks for the great comments.

      Second, I share your sentiment – let’s be kind – but honesty in the long run will pay dividends.

      Thank you so much for your support Michele :)

    • Dan Perez says:

      Good point. I try real hard not to come off as a bully or to attack anyone personally. I know I don’t always succeed (I blame it on being brought up in the Bronx) but I do try. Hugs to you, my dear :)

  5. Natasha_D_G says:

    Funny that I didn’t get that vibe from him. My first thought was – wow what honesty in #SM. I guess I got that because for years IRL I’ve worked to temper my honesty with sugar. What I’ve realized though is that I say things people are thinking but are afraid to say. Soooo I’m still working on the sugar quotient IRL. On #SM it’s a lot easier to because my shrug-and-move-on button works a lot better . My momma used to always say “ignorance is better handled when ignored” I try to remember that. Kudos to DanP on honesty.

    • Thanks for the input Natasha – you are very kind – but I’ve seen you stand up for what you believe.

      It takes diversity to reach the highest levels of success.

      Cheers – thanks for your friendship.

  6. Steven Pofcher says:

    I agree that there is too much social pandering on SoMe, mainly because people do not want to hurt feelings. But we are all adults and should be responsible for our comments and open to questions.

    Whe I first met Dan, we got into a little squabble over the benefits of Twitter (while on Twitter, of course). But I learned to like Dan Perez – I may not agree with him all the time, but he “calls ’em as he sees ’em. And ya gotta respect that. He stops you and make you think. @mediares is another one who also asks insightful questions about comments.

    Sometimes questioning others’ thoughts may not make you Mr. /Ms. Popular in the short run – but long term it builds respect and adds to the SoMe experience.

    • I like that Dan will say what he thinks but also hear what you think as well.

      We aren’t going to be spot on all the time. I also like that he is compelling from a perspective of to each is to own. Never trying to beat you to death with his moral high ground. I will always respect Dan for being the genuine article.

  7. Dan Perez says:

    Funny how these types of posts make me rather uncomfortable. The bottom line is that if there wasn’t so much dang stupidity on social media, you’d never hear a peep out of me :)
    I’m not trying to be some social media rebel or controversial figure – I just speak based on my experience, that’s all. And that’s what I find the problem is with social media and especially social media chats. People want to write about sales who never worked a day in their lives in sales, people want to talk about running a business and they’ve never run their own business, people want to talk about leadership and the only thing they’ve ever led is a mad dash to the timeclock to punch out and go home at 5pm. Too many people talking out of their rear ends hoping to say something that’ll get a few RTs.
    Then you got other groups trying to create an online hippie community where there’s only peace and love and hugs. Those will also fail (as we’ve seen of late) because sooner or later someone is bound to say something that’s gonna unsettle the “tribe” and soon a sobering reality begins to set in: there are no utopias in the real world or online. People eventually annoy other people because they’re different and that’s OK.
    As for the suck-ups, I’m not gonna bother with them; they’ve gotta look themselves in the mirroe every night. That should be punishment enough.
    Anyway, I guess I should be happy that someone out there can appreciate my poor investment of time on the social media space. Hopefully more people will stop worrying about what other people think of their tweets and just speak “their” truth – maybe they’ll find a new fan or two…and shut me up.
    Thanks :)

    • Dan – This post was 100% out of respect for you.

      If only there were 3 or 4 more of you in my stream a bit more reality could set in.

      Not trying to make you uncomfortable, just from one “Doer” to another, you roll the way many should – of course while staying true to themselves.


      • Dan Perez says:

        You’re def a “doer” – the success of your business speaks for itself. Thanks, again…

      • I love Dan Perez! I thought he was a jerk, but I revised my opinion after watching some of his work, reading some things he wrote, and catching on to his style. He’s a hoot in addition to being honest. And I love laughing.

        I agree. More honesty and less crap in the stream would be a superb change. Sometimes I’m even swept up in it somehow. But I know what I really mean. And I know who the peeps that really have something to say are.

        So I stumble along, learning and doing. Now that I’m getting students for my own invented teaching studio online (for struggling readers), I’m on social media far less. I miss some friends, but not the general flow. It’s great to be teaching at last! My real life is finally back on track. Whew. That was a long haul. 😉

    • Jim F says:

      I get it Dan. You are just pushing us all to do better. That is to be commended so keep up the good work. Will you be a guest on #leadershipchat or #tweetdiner or some other chat sometime? Would love to hear more from you.

  8. Jim Mitchem says:

    You’re allowed to curse.

  9. Perez can dish it out, but he sucks at air guitar.

  10. Chris Kahler says:

    I honestly try to make people act in this way towards what I say. I’m all for spurring debate and discussion. It’s really important for a person to realize that we don’t know everything 100%… I’m sure I can get a majority agreement in this fact:

    We all stand to improve somewhere in life.

    I get a lot of what you might call “praise” (mainly from people like immediate friends and family) rather than rebuttal. I’m looking for the latter for the most part (I think it’s good to be a smidgen proud of what you do… that’s just part of being creative!).

    This guy is doing everyone a favor big time. And, I think we CAN learn from him just as you say here.

    It’s not everyday that someone you don’t know takes the time to actually have the motive of provoking additional thought into what you think you already know. Think about that sentence for a second longer and the implication starts to set it…

    If everyone pushes one another to further seek the substance of their own beliefs and thoughts, overall quality of thought will increase. How else do conditions across the globe increase in overall quality than if we all start thinking “better” thoughts towards what we are doing?

    By better I mean a number of things:

    1. Think specific to your current cause instead of general everyday thoughts.
    2. I’m not talking 100% personal development – I’m also talking about creative development.

    It’s my belief that we are happier when we are creative. I think creation is kind of the basic urge of being a human… since the start of time we’ve been creating things. Ideas, concentrated thought, and hard work have taken humans through many forms of society… all the way into a “virtual” one.

    I don’t think the general public understand the “tool” we have in our hands with the internet. Of course they know it’s worldwide and full of information… but it’s 10 times.. maybe 100 times more than that.

    If they did, more people would be doing what this guy does and trying to help others by pushing their thoughts to the highest place they can be. If we are spending more and more times in social media, we should do more than to only chit chat. I’m not saying I haven’t succumbed to this a time or two, but it is evident that social paundering is an issue.

    There is only one reason why people aren’t breaking the current commenting cycle of “praise and thank yous.” It would be better to remove these comments and provoke everyone to some degree of thought, though that is unrealistic.

    In order to provide meaningful comments everyone would have to understand the terms of potential benefit to them. They’d also have to realize the difference of a socially acceptable favor versus someone being rude (hence why many might consider him an A$$ when he’s actually doing a favor).

    Just my thoughts on this… I’m all open to outside opinions and definitely willing to provide them 😀

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