A couple of days ago, I had a rather unfortunate experience, the trauma of which I’m still recovering.
Someone unfriended and blocked me on Facebook!
This person is someone who I respect, and he’s been kind enough to be on the podcast before.
He definitely knows his stuff when it comes to business and how to make it happen as a musician.
But when it comes to politics, he’s opinionated to the point of being a “virtue signaler.” Virtue signaling, as I understand it, is posturing yourself so that your opinion is right, and anyone who disagrees with you is not merely a dissenter from your view; they’re a bad person. You, the virtuous one, are above these people who disagree with your point of view – the only correct way to view the issue.
Well, this person had been ranting about a political issue for what seemed like an eternity, definitely doing his fair share of virtue signaling, and I finally called him out on it. I said that he was being obnoxious.
It’s one thing to state your point of view, but to say that if they don’t agree with you, they’re not your friend? That they’re a piece of s%^*?
It’s kind of immature in my view, and quite frankly I was tired of seeing it on my Facebook wall all the time.
He said something like, maybe I’m not the friend he thought I was…
He then posted on his own wall that he was “curating his community” with his rants. Those who dare disagree with his self-unrighteous point of view don’t belong in his community in the first place. They’re just “weeding themselves out.”
So before we were able to engage in meaningful dialogue on the issue, I realized he had unfriended and blocked me.
So much for respectful discourse.
But his comment about “curating his community” stuck with me.
What he’s doing by taking the stand he’s taking, to the point that to disagree with him is anathema in his own personal Bible, is being polarizing. And that’s what successful people do.
Look at Donald Trump. You either love him or you hate him. There’s very few people who can honestly say they don’t have strong feelings about him either way. (As I sheepishly raise my hand and count myself among the chosen few.) Being polarizing made him the president of the united States of America. (Not a typo.)
So my friend got what he wanted. Getting rid of someone who dissents from his method of sharing his opinions.
And I got what I wanted: Returning to a Facebook wall full of cat and baby videos.
As unpleasant as it was, it reminded me of a valuable lesson about community building. Real leaders take a stand, and they stick with it regardless of who joins or leaves them.
There were a lot of people who defended my friend when I said what I said. Being polarizing also curates loyalty among your followers.
But people were loyal to Jim Jones, so you have to be careful.
All that to say: Don’t get down on yourself when people leave/disown you when you take a stand and stick to your guns, dear musicpreneur.commies. You have a message the world needs to hear, and music is the vehicle by which you share that message. Fight the good fight and…