As a general rule, humor and other entertainment accounts on Twitter gather far more followers – faster – than intellectual accounts.
Intellectuals encourage us to stand for higher principles, care more, discard popular delusions, engage in civics, trade superstition for science, support plainly more rational alternatives, and become better informed.
And thus avoid painful consequences.
The numerical disparity between followers and retweets of entertainment and intellectual Twitter accounts holds a strong correlation to politics:
Popularity requires shallowness and telling us what we want to hear, not what we need to hear.
This discourages intelligent leadership, and encourages demagoguery, superstition, anti-environmentalism, and ‘tickle-your-ears-now-painful-consequences-later’ government. And it blooms a culture of blaming politicians, instead of public responsibility.
Entertainment is an important and awesome part of culture. And yes, entertainment is often used to enhance the human condition. But such efforts are often more shallow, and also limited by public disinterest in active compassion and big ideas.
A steady diet of self-amusement – with little intellectual stimulation – leaves individuals and society seriously lacking substance, progress, empathy, understanding, and reason.
For a better you and a better world, promote informed rationalism in yourself and others. That’s great leadership.