You certainly wouldn't expect to log into a guitarists blog, and see a political post. But it happens more and more...
This was a conversation that I started on Facebook and, of course it got heated pretty quickly. I think it's something that people should consider. It was simply this. In addition to your First Amendment right to free speech, you also have your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Now obviously, the fifth amendment is where they derive the Miranda rights which is the right to remain silent, and not incriminate yourself. So I'm taking a little bit of literary license here. Although, the things that people post do tend to be a bit incriminating politically. I'm certainly not saying that you're not entitled to your opinion. And I'm certainly not saying that you're not entitled to be vocal about your position on controversial issues. But what I am saying is that while you certainly have freedom of speech, you do not have freedom from the consequences of your speech. Especially my musician and business friends.
It's ok to have an opinion and be vocal about it in the right forum. BUT. No one has EVER changed their opinion about political issue because of a Facebook post.
Social media activism is a myth. However, people HAVE decided if they will buy your product, attend your event, or continue to follow your updates. You won't change anyone's mind about a deeply divisive issue. You're not creating awareness. You're losing fans and customers. Sowing division. And making things worse.
I can honestly say at the time of writing this, that while I will not name names, there are at least five prominent musicians that I respect, have purchased their music and educational materials, and have completely unfollowed them from social media and will no longer buy their products because of their downright nasty political posts. Not because I agree or disagree with their position. But because they are so unpleasant about it that I don't want their negative energy in my life.
I certainly understand the desire to post about a particular issue. But when I, as a consumer, have chosen to follow your social media because I want to hear about your musical endeavors, inundating me with your political beliefs to the degree that those posts exceed your musical updates will eventually cause me to unfollow you. Keep your opinion. But keep it to yourself.
We (Americans) as a people are more deeply divided than ever. The prevailing opinion on both sides of every issue is the the opposing view is stupid, evil, or unamerican. Posting occasionally about issues you're passionate about is your right. But the more you post about whatever issue it is, especially when you cast the other side as villainous, the deeper you divide yourself from people. People that might like your music. Might buy your products. But eventually might just shut you out entirely. I see people every day unfollowing and unfriending people because of relentless political rants.
All I'm saying is, think before you post. There are lots of good people on both sides of most issues. And these days we need every supporter we can get to help us keep making music.
Stevie Shred has played guitar for over 25 years, has performed all over the United States, Canada, and Europe, with musical projects ranging from solo acoustic to melodic death metal to shred instrumental guitar. His current project, Red Reign, recorded their debut self titled cd with Grammy Winning Producer David Ivory (Patti Labelle, The Roots, Halestorm) and is currently being shopped to labels. Stevie also currently performs with Sweet Justice, a classic rock cover band, playing throughout the Mid Atlantic region, in addition to session work for video and product demonstration. Stevie has also recently begun working with Phat Guitars in Glen Allen VA as a luthier, hand crafting guitars.
Stevie currently uses and endorses Phat Guitars, Sfarzo Strings, and 69Chosen Custom Stagewear.
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