Sometimes you scroll social media to unwind, revel in all the weird things celebrities are doing/saying (we’re looking at you, Kanye), or see people generally making idiots of themselves.
But other times you want more. And if you’re a Deep thinker, you at least want some content that will stimulate (rather than deplete) your brain cells.
Lucky for you, we found some accounts that may just make you feel good about logging in to social media. We think they’re a nice mix of art, culture, and brainy accounts.
So, follow one or follow all! (Or follow none. Hey, we’re not the boss of you.)
In our heart of hearts, we’re Stoics. (Don’t know what Stoicism is? We’ve got a helpful primer here for you!) What we love most about Stoicism is it offers practical advice for building resilience, dealing with challenges, and becoming a person of wisdom and integrity. Both of these accounts offer an excellent collection of quotes/ideas from classic Stoic philosophers – and beyond.
WIRED Magazine (@wired)
As the Insta for WIRED magazine, many posts shuffle you to their online site to read the full articles, but trust us: you won’t mind. That’s because their content never fails to get your brain working – on ideas and technological advancements you probably haven’t considered yet.
8FACT By 9GAG (@8FACT)
We’re not even sure if this one is supposed to be called “eight fact” or “infinity fact” cause their logo sort of looks like both. So, our brains are already revved up trying to parse that. But more importantly, 8Fact churns out one interesting random tidbit after another. Grab a few of the 8Fact factoids and bring them with you to your next dinner party—along with a copy of The Deep game, of course.
Africa Brooke (@africabrooke)
Brooke is an interesting and eloquent thinker who believes in the power of free speech + civil discourse – and speaks out powerfully against cancel culture and its tendency to propagate fear and self-censorship.
Ground News (@groundnews)
This is one of our go-to accounts for news that crosses the entire political spectrum. (They also have a fantastic newsletter worth subscribing to, called The Blindspot Report.) What we love the most about Ground News: they don’t just show you news; they show you which outlets are covering it and how – so you start to get a sense of where media bias lies.
Making Sense of Science (@makingsenseofscience)
Their descriptor says it all: “Science + Good News”. We like it ‘cause, frankly, it makes us smarter and also puts a smile on our face.
Tangle News (@tangle.news)
We’re unabashedly in love with Tangle, a free, daily newsletter (paid subscribers get an excellent Friday edition as well). Every weekday, Isaac Saul does a deep dive into political topics affecting the nation, showing arguments from both ends of the political spectrum. Then he offers his own (very reasoned) take on it. “Wow” you say, “That must be a long-ass read every day.” Nope. It’s concise, well thought out, and utterly informative. And yes, this is his Instagram account, which couldn’t possibly give you the same level of info as his newsletter. But it’s still a great way to get a small taste of what Isaac has to offer.
Adam Grant (@adamgrant)
We’re big fans of organizational psychologist Adam Grant. Stay tuned for his daily thoughts – then check out his books and listen to him on podcasts. He brings a rare blend of brilliant yet totally practical/accessible ideas.
History in Memes (@historyinmemes)
This account is a lovely split of entertainment and humor mixed with interesting videos and photos from history. (Trust us: you can go down a rabbit hole looking at footage of Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, inflatable WWII tanks, and more.)
Writers Doing Normal Shit (@writersdoing)
This one is the intellectual equivalent of the old “Celebrities… they’re just like us!” segments from glossy mags. It’s photos of famous writers who are, well, doing normal shit. Wanna see Albert Camus dancing or Proust playing air guitar? This is the account for you!
Scott Barry Kaufman (@sbkaufman)
A voice of reason on Twitter? Yes, really. Kaufman, a cognitive scientist and humanistic psychologist, tweets out such wise and insightful thoughts, advice and ideas, you’ll find yourself seeking him out on the daily.
How Stuff Works (@howstuffworks)
HowStuffWorks.com is the OG site for anyone in the last 20 years who’s had a hankering to figure things out … like how dishwashers work, how the electoral college works, how hibernation works, and everything in between. Their Twitter feed is a great sampling of their many articles and insights over the years. We’ve been known to get lost on this feed for hours before realizing we missed meals and forgot to shower.
Mental Floss (@mental_floss)
#nerdalert : we subscribed to Mental Floss when it was just a little magazine with big dreams (the week after it arrived in the mail, we’d feel 10% smarter). Nowadays, we don’t spend as much time reading physical magazines – but we still find ourselves returning to Mental Floss’s content. Their Twitter feed contains intriguing facts and links to in-depth articles about wildly interesting – and random – topics.
When you think of “sharing photos on social media”, your mind probably jumps right to Instagram – not Twitter. However: this collection of user-submitted photographs from around the world will stimulate the creative parts of your brain in all the right ways. It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole on this feed – which will make you want to get out and see the world. (Or at least watch a nature doc or something).
Ben Zimmer (@bgzimmer)
For people who love words, Ben will feel like a long-lost brother. Not only is he the Wall Street Journal’s ‘language columnist,’ but he also has a podcast called Spectacular Vernacular and is the vocab judge for the Scripps Spelling Bee. So, yeah, this guy likes words. And his Twitter feed shows it. Follow him for fun with everything etymology.
Letters of Note (@LettersOfNote)
If you’re a college basketball fan, you might have recently seen an old letter posted to Twitter from the winningest coach of all time (Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski) to a then-unknown high school player named Michael Jordan. Letters like this are a cool look back in time and into the lives of extraordinary people. And while the popularity of letter writing has certainly plummeted in the modern age, there is still something about reading correspondences from famous folks that tickles the brain.
Bill Maher (@billmaher)
We’ve got both liberals and conservatives on our team, but we all enjoy Bill Maher’s hilariously withering takes on politics, news and cultural events. If you don’t tune into his show every week, his Twitter feed contains bite-sized chunks worth watching. (Of note: lately he’s been eviscerating the right and left with equal glee.)
David French (@davidafrench)
French is a well-known conservative commentator and devout Christian. Whether you agree with him or not, his comments/ideas are thoughtfully and respectfully written, and humbly stated – inviting consideration and response (rather than emotional reaction).
NASA’s Twitter bio reads “There’s space for everybody” and we adore them for it. If you’re interested in science but don’t have time to do a deep-dive on what’s happening in outer space, you can keep abreast of all things space exploration by checking out NASA’s Twitter feed.
Daily Stoic (@dailystoic)
We love reading the daily newsletter from the Daily Stoic (a.k.a. Ryan Holiday) because it lets us sink our teeth into stoic musings in a modern-day way. But if you don’t have time to read the newsletter, this Twitter account churns out relevant and thought-provoking stoic quotes from the greatest Stoic philosophers like Epictetus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and more.
So there you have it. Some great Instagram and Twitter options for the Deep thinkers out there. Happy scrolling!