I’ve been a fan of Fabolous for a long time. Recently, the rapper has been releasing a freestyle every week as part of his Friday Night Freestyles series. My favorite, thus far, is his “All for the Love Freestyle,” which uses the beat from “All for the Love” by The Lox. Please note: the song, embedded below, is explicit.

The original “All for the Love,” which features only Jadakiss from The Lox, has been a longtime favorite of mine. Fabolous’ freestyle has a number of great lines that stood out to me, but perhaps none as much as this one:

“Money ain’t the root of all evil now. Attention is.”

Man. Yes.

Here’s what it means to me: with the widespread adoption of the platform that is the internet and, especially, social media, attention is driving people to do bad things in the way that money has driven people to do bad things in the past. Attention can be a pretty bad influence, just like money.

Just think about all of the destructive things people do online for attention, where they harm themselves, those around them or perfect strangers.

This happens in online communities. We have to resist giving too much of our attention to people, in the communities that we manage, who are destructive. That’s not to be confused with people who are negative or critical. A good filter has always been an important part of the community professional’s toolkit. You have to give everyone the benefit of the doubt until they show they deserve otherwise.

In the fervor to address criticism and put out fires, don’t forget to pay attention to the great, positive things that are happening in the community.

Your attention, as a community professional, is a finite resource. Just like the money in your budget.

Be careful how you spend it.