The critic who has never produced anything…other than criticism.
The dilettante who has never done the hard work of going deeper…except in going deeper into dabbling.
The professional noticer who only notices the negatives…and begrudgingly gives space to the positives.
The Internet troll or commenter who takes perverse pleasure in commenting negatively…but who’s own personal life is in shambles.
There have always been critics, dilettantes, gossips, trolls, and commenters whose only job in the tribe is to maintain the status quo by determining who’s “in” who’s “out” and whether it makes a difference or not. And in a world where the masses mattered and the opinions of a few people could make or break the launch of your product, this function served a golden purpose: separating the wheat from the chaff.
The world has moved on though (as it always does) and the role of the critic, the dilettante, the professional noticer, the troll, the gossip, and the commenter, have to shift from curating for the masses, to curating for the small group. The function of social curation is never going to stop, but the audience that used to applaud public curation has moved on (as it also always does). This is reflected in the increasing ubiquity of trolling and the decline of constructive criticism.
And when the performer is conducting a show, the professional noticer, and the impolite troll are lumped into the general category of “haters.”
In a new communications world, in the midst of the fourth mightiest revolution in human history, the artist, the impresario, the performer putting on the show, has the power to shun the haters and their attempts to culturally curate through shaming. This is a hugely unremarked upon power shift, that has implications beyond communication in the digital realm:
What if it didn’t matter what the person in the other cubicle over thinks of you when you resolve that conflict?
What if it didn’t matter if you showed your humanity at work by treating people like people rather than like objects?
What if it didn’t matter how much revenue you made in dollars, but instead it mattered how much goodwill you could engender in the people who matter?
What if laboring emotionally was rewarded financially rather than looked upon as an outlier, or a spillover effect?
What if the statements and pronouncements of the critic, the dilettante, the professional noticer, the troll, the gossip, and the commenter couldn’t hurt your business because it’s really not for them, never has been for them, and never will be for them—and that was ok?
What if not scaling because you don’t have to please everyone at mass anymore, just a few hundred thousand people, really was the way to create engines of economic, cultural, and social growth?
What if the critic, the dilettante, the professional noticer, the troll, the gossip, and the commenter had to add something to the world and be vulnerable themselves, instead of trying to recapture an element of lost power that was an illusion in the first place?
What if you could hug your “haters,” but shun their shame, and grow from that emotionally, spiritually, and financially?
What if in every communication scenario, we started calling people’s bluffs, and having them really stand up, take responsibility and accountability, and encourage creativity from the challenge of saying “this is who I am, this is what I’m making” and let the work be on the line, rather than letting their inner selves be on the line?
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: email@example.com