The Year I Learned to Shut the Fuck Up

A major company wanted to hire a high-profile media personality. It was for a global initiative, and they weren’t looking for a handout. They’d pay a ton of money to whomever they selected.

They liked one person. But before they offered him a contract, they took a brief look at his social media profiles. What they saw shocked them. The media personality’s radical political views did not align with the company’s. They decided not to hire him.

Think about that for a second. Though he did not know it, this person lost out on, I don’t know — maybe $100,000? Something like that. Regardless, it was a big check and a major look. But by tweeting every thought in his head, he missed out.

Imagine how many other times this happened. By playing to the online mob, this guy, and people like him, had missed some great opportunities.

And for what — favorites and retweets?

We are not that media personality. Nobody gives a shit what we have to say (well, maybe some people do). But it got me thinking.

And it made me realize that when everyone is shouting, maybe it’s best to just keep quiet. Maybe it’s best to just shut the fuck up.

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Wrote for the New York Times, New York Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Vice, Fader, Vibe, XXL, MTV News, many other places.

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