Drama is more popular than content.
That’s a pretty eye-catching title- especially for those of us whose social media streams are inundated with empty-calorie clickbait articles, each less truthful and in poorer taste than the last.
You’re probably also sick of seeing people polluting your facebook feed with clearly biased diatribes masquerading as facts, or blatant lies meant to grab angry, disgusted clicks.
“Obama Moves To Rename Thanksgiving To ‘Immigrants Day’” for example. That completely false story has 3,115 shares. Disgusting.
Upon seeing “Drama Is More Popular Than Content” in my YouTube queue, I had to watch it. What I got was a bite-sized, two minute long song from Jacksfilms (of “Your Grammar Sucks” fame) lamenting the plight of content creators, who try to find success in a YouTube environment where drama gets more views than quality or originality.
As it ended, I was left with a sad bit of catharsis. I know how Jack feels, mostly because it’s what a lot of my friends in politics are feeling right now.
Take two minutes to watch it, I’ll wait.
While the drama Jack is referring to is purely of YouTube in origin, the YouTube community is definitely not the only one susceptible to the poisonous effects of an outrage-fueled viewership model. I’m sure Roger Ailes, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity will all tell you, off the record, that not only is drama more popular than content, it’s also more profitable. Outrage is easier to sell to a mass audience; anger is a compelling emotion, and one that is extremely exploitable.
See also: Trump, Donald.
Honestly, Trump’s case is the prime example of the drama model. His focus is never on the concrete, but always on the shock lines, the shock stories, the scandals. That person is ugly, that one is a pedophile, this one is a liar, that one is short. The attacks are constant, the ratings are yuuuuge, and the media gets to bank its fat checks. All the while, Trump is never content to rely on content.
And to a large extent, it seems conservative voters are equally disinterested in content.
But maybe that’s because real content is so easily drowned out in the noise of drama. So please, clear a path for good content. Share this post. Share this video.
Because while drama may be more popular than content, anger and outrage aren’t substitutes for a plan.
Content matters more than drama.