MGU 133 | Lure Of Quick Fixes

 

Nowadays, receiving a few emails from random people who seem to want something from you is not unusual. These emails make it sound like there is something in it for you, luring you with offers of quick fixes, fame, and even money from winning in online lotteries when all they really are methods to cheat the system to get you to buy their product, avail of their services, or become a follower or a subscriber. On today’s show, Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen investigate the lure of these quick fixes and put things in perspective for those who are not familiar with the world of influence and content creation.

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Avoiding The Lure Of Fake Fame, Quick Fixes, And Social Media Lottery

This topic is not necessarily something brand new. It is something that Jason and I have been fired up on for a while. This hits home for us and there’s a semi different angle that I want to start with and see where this goes. I know I’m being vague, but I’ll begin with the inspiration. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this as getting bombarded with emails from random people who seem to want something from you. Sometimes the way that people approach you when they want something from you is to make it sound like there’s something in it for you. That’s part of marketing. That’s how things work. It’s like, “Let’s wave the shiny thing in somebody’s face to entice them and maybe skirt away from the fact that this is more about us than them.”

I’m sensitive to things like that because I’m drawn to authenticity in general, which will be a big part of this conversation. I am turned off when somebody is trying to get something from me or manipulate me or take advantage of me. A lot of those different feelings. I received a few emails and this is not quite unusual, but it got me thinking. A few of them came on the same day from different people. One of the subject lines caught my eye but I’m going to leave out the celebrity that they mentioned. They mentioned somebody well-known. This is in the subject line of the email. It has the name of the person in parentheses, it has their follower count on Instagram, and then they put the plus sign and one of my main Instagram handle, which is Eco-Vegan Gal. That caught my eye because I knew who this person was. I thought, “I wonder what this is.” I didn’t think too hard about it, but in hindsight I was like, “Okay.”

Every once in a while, Jason and I are approached and people want to do various collaborations that are supposedly mutually beneficial. What instantly showed me is that this had nothing to do with me. This was a true form letter and they wrote, “Hi, ecovegangal, we have an exciting Instagram promotion launching with the celebrity. We thought you might be interested in joining based on your interest in growing your brand.” I don’t know where they made the assumption that I want to grow my brand. “This person will be asking her millions of followers on Instagram to follow a group of brands in order to qualify. These brands will be participating in a “group buy” that will allow them to gain exposure and qualified, targeted followers from her audience at a fraction of the cost. On top of new followers gained, we have a bonus where people entered their name and email address and you’ll get all of their emails submitted to use for your marketing purposes. If you’re interested, let me know because these spots will go fast.”

I’m reading this in a mocking tone of voice. I’m trying to be mindful. I don’t want to be condescending because I imagine that the person that wrote and sent this email has hopefully good intentions, but it hit me in this way. First of all, I would like to grow. I consider myself a business owner. We have this show and our brand Wellevatr together. We each have our own Instagram accounts and social media accounts. We have our own websites. We do a lot online. Certainly, it’s been in our interest to grow over the years. What irritates me is when somebody is targeting and trying to almost hone in on the fact that it’s appealing to collaborate with somebody with lots of followers, this idea of exposure. On top of that, we’ll get all these emails to use for the marketing of strangers to try to sell our products and services. On that same day, I also got an email that was a little bit spammy and this is from a company that’s all about re-raising your influence.

This is not addressed to me at all. This is purely spam like I’m on some email lists, but, “You need an audience to talk about your brand. The advantage of Instagram giveaways and contests is that it allows you to build brand awareness. In fact, the Instagram accounts that run regular contests grow 70 times faster than those that don’t. If you participate in this campaign that we have, you’ll be given the opportunity to drive additional followers to your Instagram account. You’re exposing your brand and Instagram account to actual people who will start following you. After you have 10,000 followers in your account, you can link your stories and all this stuff.” I already have over 10,000 followers on my Instagram account so they did not even research to qualify me on here. It is purely pitching and trying to encourage me to sign up with them and participate in the sweepstakes, whatever they’re doing.

Lastly, I had an email and their subject line is, “Get 100,000-plus Instagram followers and a verified badge just for $699. Our service helps you grow your Instagram followers to one million with real engagement, real people so you can get your verified badge. Our dedicated team of PR experts has written hundreds of articles to increase social proof. People that use our method have a 96% higher chance of getting verified all for just $699 and it was $899 so we’re giving you $200 off.” I read this stuff and talk about this at the beginning of this episode because my aim is not to judge other people for this and not to judge the people that approach me about these things.

Everybody has got their different reasons for it, but if you are new to our show, you may not have heard us talking about it. If you’ve been an audience for a while, you’re familiar with the fact that Jason and I are sensitive to these types of messages and emails from people that want to capitalize on the fact that growing an Instagram following feels important and valuable. I’m curious, Jason if you’ve received emails like this, you probably get direct messages. I’ve seen a massive increase in spam DMs on Instagram. Almost every single day after every post I put up, I’m getting spam comments and messages from people trying to say that they’re going to collaborate with me. A lot of it’s under this idea of like, “If you do this, then you’ll get all these followers.”

The idea of exposure and collaborating with somebody who has lots of followers is so appealing. Click To Tweet

I’m sensitive to it because I want to lift this veil for the readers, especially that’s not in this world of influence and content creation, and remind everybody that things are not always what they seem. We’ve talked about in the past, you can buy your followers. First of all, what does it even mean to have all those followers if you can buy them, participate in a contest or if you can jump in with a celebrity? It also taints my view of the celebrity that they mentioned. I felt neutral about her before, but reading this, I’m like, “Maybe she sees it as him giving other people the opportunity to get exposure, but clearly she’s being paid because you have to pay to participate. It makes me think like, “Why is it that followers are important when these are actual human beings?”

Some of them are going to be bots or people that create these fake accounts to try to create influence. We take influence seriously. We treat it with so much importance. A lot of us are drawn or addicted to this idea of growing our following. What does it matter if it’s purchased, manipulated, if you can get a million followers in a matter of days, weeks, months, however long it takes, or for a certain amount of money? I’m curious to see where this industry goes because I don’t think it’s going away. I think the influencer world is growing bigger and bigger, but I’m interested to see what it’s going to become over time if many people are using these methods to fake their way to influence and how is it even influence if it’s all fake.

We’re still living in a time where this is treated seriously. In fact, there’s a guy on TikTok who created an app that mimics the design of TikTok. He can go “live” on TikTok to 30,000 or 40,000 people. He’s doing this social experiment and he’s going around to businesses and showing them this fake app. They don’t know it’s fake, but it looks like he has 40,000 followers on TikTok on his live feed. He’s convinced people to take him more seriously or give him access to things simply because it looks like he has all of these people watching these live videos.

I am incredibly fascinated as somebody who’s been trying to do this authentically for many years, how I might be “missing out” on opportunities because I’m not willing to fake it. I’m not willing to buy my way up the ladder. I’m not willing to treat people like they’re just a number. I don’t want to rush into something for some short-term gain. I’m in this for the long run and I know you are too, Jason. I’m curious after everything I’ve shared, what your thoughts are and if you’ve been receiving emails like this too.

I have a lot of thoughts on this. Bringing this up, Whitney, you knew that it is an extension of some of the previous conversations we’ve had. We did a pretty deep vulnerable discussion and dissection of the Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma. For you, dear reader, if you have not yet read that episode, read that episode. A few episodes ago, we talked about our thoughts and some research, science and our own personal experiences with mental health, emotional wellness, the cultural implications, the community implications, and the human health implications of social media usage. If you want to deeper diatribe and exploration, I would suggest checking out that episode.

To answer this new exploration, the sidebar you’ve cracked open, Whitney, I want to start by saying these experiments in manipulating social media and the effect it has on human psychology, the first thing that comes up for me, I’m curious if you’ve seen this. This was in December 2017 or January 2018. There was a writer in the United Kingdom. He was a journalist named Oobah Butler and VICE Magazine contracted him to start a fake restaurant. It was called The Shed at Dulwich. He created this fake restaurant in the backyard of a garden shed that was sold out on Yelp. People tried and call to make reservations and they could never get a reservation. He created an entire fake social media campaign that pushed this “fake restaurant” to number one on TripAdvisor, Yelp and the restaurant didn’t even exist. It was all hype, manipulation, and social media leverage to create an illusion of success because no one could get a reservation, no one had ever seen this restaurant. It was like a mystery.

Using basic human psychology of scarcity, exclusivity, and mystery, it’s a fantastic expose. There’s a video on VICE’s YouTube channel and there’s a great NPR article about how a fake restaurant became London’s number one restaurant. I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but by the end of the documentary, the restaurant “opens” for service. It is fascinating to see people’s reactions. This is a must-watch. Whitney, this idea of a fake TikTok app to see how companies would react. These kinds of psychological social experiments with social media have been going on for quite some time. I’m always fascinated to see human beings’ reactions to it.

What we’re getting down to here is the nitty-gritty of the hardwiring of our reptilian brain, which is we want to be accepted. We want to be part of the air of significance and importance with the tribe. We want to feel like we’re powerful and influential. The pressure to get a certain number of followers is compounded when you are leveraging your business in social media. What we talked about in our previous episodes and what The Social Dilemma documentary covers are more of the normal person’s psychological and physical interaction with social media platforms. There’s an even deeper level of pressure and expectation when you have your business, your livelihood and your financial stability tied into your social media following.

MGU 133 | Lure Of Quick Fixes

Lure Of Quick Fixes: A lot of us are drawn or addicted to this idea of growing our following that it doesn’t matter if it’s purchased or manipulated.

 

Here’s why it gets tricky. You gave me a lot of food for thought so I want to keep running with it. In making money with social media and something that you and I have been relying on for a decade, maybe even a little bit longer. When you have a TV production company asking what’s your platform, how many followers do you have when you’re in a pitch meeting. I’ve been in a lot of pitch meetings, even before I got my series on the Cooking Channel. I had other offers and pitch opportunities with networks of, “What’s your platform? How big is your following?” When I was pitching my book to publishers, it was the same thing. “How many Instagram followers do you have? What’s your following on YouTube? What’s your mailing list?”

I talked to about fifteen publishers and every single publisher I talked to wanted to have a central focus of the conversation, be about platform size and the number of followers, but then it’s bleeding into other industries. We have a good friend of ours who’s an actor. He’s been decently successful on TV and movies. He said that since about 2018 when he goes into casting, he has seen a lot of casting directors asking about his social media following and his manager and his agent putting pressure on him. I know this is a relative assessment of perhaps people that were not as talented or experienced as actors getting roles because they had hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. That’s an extra marketing tool for the production company or the movie company to get more exposure for their film.

He’s like, “What the fuck? I’m getting passed over for roles that I should probably get, but these shittier actors are getting them because they have bigger following.” The pressure is that many industries are being infiltrated by how big your following. They’re giving financially lucrative opportunities to people based on their following size. Not whether they’re the most qualified and they’re the most talented and in some cases, not whether they’re even right for the position or the role. A lot of corporations, publishers, music companies, casting directors, movie houses, they’re obsessed with this. It’s that extra layer of pressure as an artist, as a creative, and as an entrepreneur to “get your numbers up,” and grow your brand because many people are obsessed with follower count now. That’s the first part of it.

The second part of it, I wanted to say is you asked if I’m getting bombarded. I am. In 2020, I legit every single week get in my inbox and DMs the verified badge thing like, “Do you want to get a verified badge?” It’s the same price range which is usually $800 to $1,000. They’re like, “We can get you verified on Instagram.” What is the blue checkmark even represent? You can get verified on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. What does that even mean? Is it like, “I’m an important person because I have the blue checkmark?” I’m on a rant here because the danger in all this is that people are tying their sense of self-worth.

I am very much in this. I have done this and had to unravel this. I’m still unraveling it from my financial self-worth, my social proof is tied to my number of followers whether I have the fancy blue checkmark. To be honest with you, I got into a week-long conversation with one of these people that spammed me about getting a verified badge because I wanted to see where the conversation was going to go. I was like, “Let me engage with this person who’s probably emailing me from, I don’t fucking know Azerbaijan. Who the hell knows where this person is from?” I have nothing against the Azerbaijanis, but they kept sending me a Photoshop screenshot of my profile page with the blue checkmark.

They’re like, “See? This is what we look like.” I’m like, “I’m not going to Venmo you $800 because I don’t know you. You’re just some rando on Instagram who’s offering to verify my page.” This all comes back to the deepest psychological part of our anthropology as humans is that we want a sense of importance. We want a sense of power. We want to feel like our self-worth can be measured by these vanity metrics. As entrepreneurs, creatives, and artists, there is that deeper layer of the pressure of, “I’ve got to build my brand. I’ve got to get my numbers up because that’s how I’m making my living. God forbid, I get passed up for an opportunity, a gig, a movie, or a record and book deal by someone who’s got a bigger following than me.

What does this do? This engenders jealousy and anger. I had this come up for me, Whitney. I was on Facebook. They have this thing called Facebook stories, whatever the equivalent of Facebook the Instagram stories, the short snippet videos. There was a guy who I used to be in a meditation group with. A younger guy who moved to Oregon. He was doing this ten-minute video about his brand-new Tesla. I’m like, “Fuck this guy. He’s a friend of mine. You have a brand-new Tesla. I’ve worked harder than you. I’ve got more followers than you.” It was all this jealousy and I like him. He’s a great guy. I have nothing against him, but all this fucking jealousy was pouring out of me about like, “What are you doing to get a brand-new Tesla? What’d you do to earn that?” I got in such a toxic, jealous mindset. I don’t know where that’s leading, but I had to spew all that out because you asked. There’s a lot more I probably have to share, but that’s how I wanted to respond to all your questions from the jump.

Our reptilian brain is hardwired to want to be accepted; we want to feel like we're powerful and influential. Click To Tweet

I’ve been talking a lot about my Tesla due to my road trip. I wonder how many people think those things about me or have thought those things about you when you got your TV show, a book deal, or whatever else. We’ve been on both sides of this. It’s interesting that just because I have a Tesla, it doesn’t mean that I’m financially stable all the time. I chose to get a Tesla and it’s a stretch for me. In fact, there was even an article back when the Model 3 became available called the Tesla Stretch or something. How the Model 3 was at the time the least expensive Tesla that you can get it starting at $35,000.

It suddenly felt accessible to people, yet for someone like me, it’s still a stretch. I’m not at a place where spending however much I spend each month on my Tesla is easy. Part of the reason I talk about it on social media is to share what it’s like in case other people are interested in it. Also, to celebrate the car. This is a little side note. If I’m going to spend as much money as I’m spending on my car every month, I better be enjoying it every single day and I am. For me, going on this road trip and talking about all the different features of the car, it’s like, “This is what I’m paying for versus getting something and not valuing it,” but spending a ton of money on it is a whole different story.

A lot of what you’re saying Jason reminds me of something we’ve talked about many times on this show that we don’t need to get into it again, but to touch upon it briefly is that idea that just because you have all of these things doesn’t mean that you’re any happier. I will say to be fully transparent, Tesla brings me joy every single day. It has improved my quality of life. I’ll be honest. It does bring me joy and happiness, but it’s not a materialistic thing. I chose a car that has elements to it that compliment me and gave me the ability to do things easier than before. That to me is part of why I love technology. That’s why I love my iPhone, computer and all of these material things that I have.

If I didn’t have them, I don’t think my quality of life would be that much worse off. That’s the important thing to recognize, just like anybody that has a lot of money and buys a lot of things with it, or gets a lot of fame through social media and the access that they have. One thing that came up for me is there’s a big TikTok person whose name will go unmentioned. She got cast in a movie. They made a movie to have her in it, or maybe they were already making the movie and cast her as the main role. I don’t look too far into it because I had that similar reaction, Jason.

I was like, “This teenager who became popular in TikTok for making simple videos now has a movie deal.” I learned about her probably months ago and suddenly, she’s got a starring role in a movie. She’s been all over the news for this. You probably wouldn’t even know who she is if I said her name to you, Jason because she’s not that well-known for our age range outside of TikTok. There’s another one who is named Charli. You may have heard of Jason because she’s blown up and become more of a household name and so much so that they named a drink at a Dunkin Donuts after her if you order the Charli Dunkin Donuts. That level of fame is interesting.

She too became well-known for dancing and you can look at her and think, “It didn’t take a lot of talent.” She’s almost like a Paris Hilton type who we’ve talked about a bit, who became famous for being famous. Some people blow up on social media easily. The difference between those people and this method that we started this episode out on is it was more luck for them. Charli is somebody I don’t have that much of resentment towards because she’s a cute seemingly sweet girl who is a dancer. She danced in her videos and because of her appearance and her dance moves and also due to being in the right place at the right time, she blew up on there. I don’t think she bought her fame. I don’t think it was contrived.

She lucked out, and other people may have started to mimic her and figure out the strategies. That’s another thing on social media that I reflect a lot on. People will find these formulas and either create them themselves based on what other people are doing or take a course with somebody who’s teaching them the ways, the strategies of success. We talked about Brendon Burchard who’s somebody that both you and Jason turn to for a lot of business advice. Brendon has taught us a lot. I’m grateful for him. I’ve enjoyed going to live events in the past. I’ve listened to his books. He was somebody I was into for a while.

I think part of where my feelings about him started to shift was when he started to dig into the influencer world. He’s trying to be an influencer expert or maybe he is. I’m not trying to be condescending. He is knowledgeable about these things because he himself is influential. He’s teaching other people how to be influential and there’s a huge benefit to that. Influence is not on its own bad. There’s something wrong with it. Jason and I use our “influence” for our own benefit all the time. We profit off of that. We make money off of that. People are reading this blog because they may have found us through whatever influence we have. It’s on a case by case basis.

MGU 133 | Lure Of Quick Fixes

Lure Of Quick Fixes: The influencer world is just growing bigger and bigger that it’s interesting to see what it’s going to become over time.

 

What do you do when you create this following? Certainly, I perceived there is a big difference between a following that’s organic and authentic versus a following that’s purchased and contrived, but that’s a big judgment. Everybody’s on their own path with it. Going back to Brendon Burchard, once I heard him talk focusing so much on influence, hustle and productivity, I got turned off by him. At least for now, because I’m sensitive to that. It’s triggering for me. It’s not what I want to focus on. I don’t want to hustle more. I don’t want to be more productive. I don’t want to focus on my value being so tied to how many followers I have. I would rather keep things minimal and that’s why a lot of this is not for me.

I’m not after the blue checkmark. I have a blue checkmark on Facebook. That’s not true. I will be fully transparent. I keep saying things and then realizing that they’re not the full truth. I’ll be honest. With Facebook, I got my blue checkmark because I was in a program that Facebook did. Talk about luck, I got invited to a health and wellness event that Facebook put on at their headquarters in Los Angeles, meaning their offices in Los Angeles. They’re not fully based there. I got invited to this event. They gave me a blue checkmark because they got to know me and I had a certain number of followers. Sometimes that blue checkmark is purely based on who you know. They were not able to get me an Instagram checkmark. They said that they would try, but they weren’t able to achieve that because the Instagram checkmark at the time had to do with specific measurements. It wasn’t as easy to get as a Facebook checkmark.

I thought like, “My life is going to change. I am working directly with Facebook. They gave me the checkmark.” I did have some cool opportunities. I got invited to Facebook and the events that they had, which you came with me to one of those Jason. It was great. You get invited with a bunch of other influencers and treated special. Those opportunities are awesome. You get free stuff and you get a cool experience. You’re treated like you’re important. Our egos love that sort of thing. I also got to try a lot of Facebook’s new features before other people did and give them feedback. I love doing stuff like that. Beta testing is one of my favorite things to do. I’m an early adopter in technology. I love trying things.

Long story short, the Facebook checkmark felt beneficial, but in the long run, did it impact my happiness and made me feel more fulfilled? Does it make me feel like I’m valuable? No, and that’s the big point here that we’ve talked about a lot. It’s like The Social Dilemma documentary talks about, we’re all manipulated by these basic human desires to feel valuable, important, successful, to feel like other people like us, need us, want us, and to feel like we have access to things, that makes us feel secure. That taps right into that desire to survive. Money, fame, success, friendships, and connections, all of those things are tied into our survival. I have an issue with these brands and these people that go after these weaknesses within us as human beings. They’re manipulating us to feel that if we do this one thing, we will get everything that we want and our lives will fully change.

I also have an issue with that because let’s say you, Jason decided to buy your followers, it has a big ripple effect. First of all, you’re never going to feel satisfied with the number of followers you have. Anybody I’ve ever talked to, it is not they’re like, “I have a million followers. I’m good.” Once you get to a million followers, you’re going to want 1.5 million, 2 million, you’re going to want on and on. It’s never going to feel enough. Second of all, the ripple effect as we’ve seen with friends and acquaintances of ours, it violates a sense of trust. When you see somebody blow up overnight and you find out later that they purchased it or they manipulated the system in some way to get that, a lot of people lose their trust in you.

They feel like how could they trust you if you’re willing to cheat the system? We all started at this level of playing field of you earn it. You get these people to believe in you, to trust in you, to like you enough. That’s true friendship versus fake popularity. The ripple effect is that if you have all these people following you that don’t even care, that’s not a true foundation of influence. That affects any brands that decide to partner with you. It’s like when you’re in a school and they base the grading system of a paper test based on other people in the room. Jason, do you know what I’m talking about?

I can’t remember the terminology, but I remember certain classes or teachers would do that. The averages would get skewed them. If people were cheating on their homework or their tests, manipulating or cheating the system, it affects everyone. The point you’re making is that none of this exists in a vacuum. If someone is gaming or cheating the system, the ripple effect is massive. It’s not just about their career, their longevity and their financial stability. It affects the whole industry and I don’t think people who are cheating the system, many of them think about it in those terms.

The pressure to get a certain number of followers is compounded when you are leveraging your business in social media. Click To Tweet

I think that’s important for us to step back and look at this, the long-term effects of our decisions. Also, as human beings, we’re designed to look for shortcuts. We’ve talked about this before. It is funny how after doing over 130 episodes, how a lot of the same things come up over and over again. I think they’re just in different contexts. The book, The Pleasure Trap is something we’ve referenced a few times. That book had a long-term effect on me because, ironically, it is about how humans look for the short-term. We are trying to find the shortcuts so that we can put the least amount of energy into something and get the most amount out of it. That’s why we are drawn to things like fast food. It’s like, “This is inexpensive,” so we don’t have to work very hard to get it. It’s fast so we don’t have to take a lot of time to get it. It tastes amazing so our taste buds are going crazy. However, the long-term is that it’s not full of nutrients.

In fact, there are things in many fast foods that are bad for our bodies, whether it leads to us getting inflamed, having digestive issues, depleting of nutrients, or perhaps putting on weight that’s not serving us in a beneficial way, there’s a consequence to it. Many of us are aware of the consequences, but we’re still wired as human beings to look for the quickest way to get what we want at that moment. Getting food and calories, if those can be inexpensive and quick calories, we’re going to choose that over more expensive and harder to acquire, longer to acquire things.

That’s basically what’s happening with social media influence. Over the past years, as influence has become more and more important in our society, people are drawn to that. They see the benefits. We are part of the system too, Jason. I’ll be frank and admit it. We talked about this in The Social Dilemma episode as well, I know that I’ve played a role in this in a lot of different ways. I’ve played into this whole like, “Look at me, look at all the stuff I get for being influential.” Now, I’m very careful and try to be. I’m not always perfect at this, but if I get something for free from a brand, I try not to position it as like, “Look at how lucky I am that this brand sent me this for free,” because that’s not fair to people.

I don’t want to brag about what I got just like I’m not trying to brag about my Tesla. I’m talking about the benefits of Tesla for anybody interested. I’m not trying to be like, “Look at me, I got a Tesla.” That’s not my aim. I hope I don’t come off that way. We can’t always control how people perceive us. I will also admit that over the years, bragging about the people that I’ve met through this world, using people in some ways to make myself look good like, “Look who my friends are.” Jason and I have each had a number of influential friends over the years that had a higher influence on us. Certainly, part of me thought, “Maybe if I’m close to this person, I’ll become more influential or maybe people will take me more seriously because of who I know.”

I can’t believe that I was doing that, but that’s part of the system that we’ve been in. It is part of the system that we helped create because we have been in this world for many years. We’ve been part of the evolution of all of this. We have a responsibility. I had a responsibility when I worked with Facebook and giving them feedback and participating in their things. Watching the documentary, The Social Dilemma, I had to step back and be like, “Was I part of this problem?” Partially and in some ways, yes. That’s part of what we’ve been revealing about ourselves through these episodes, acknowledging our shadow sides with social media, noticing our own triggers, noticing what we don’t like what doesn’t feel good anymore that may have used to feel good and pointed it out to other people.

In terms of our role, if we’re making social media influence look like it’s great, we’re having so much fun, we’re getting all this free stuff, and we’re making this money, I used to be a huge proponent for working for yourself from home. I’ve taught classes about that. I still do work in social media marketing. It’s shifted a lot over the years, but for a long time, it was like, “If you take one of my classes, coach or consult with me, I’ll teach you how to use social media more effectively. I’ll teach you how to work for yourself.” I know that deep down my intentions were good, but on a surface level, when I see people doing the stuff that I used to do, I cringe a little bit, to be honest. I was one of those people that was like, “Follow my five-step system to make money.”

I also think it engenders compassion if we allow it to, in the sense that you observing these behaviors that a previous version of you did, Whitney, the cringe factor, which I also feel. There are all kinds of behaviors, but if I go back and look at certain videos or certain tweets many years ago, I even cringe at myself, but I also have compassion. We take responsibility for our contribution to creating the system for being what it is now. We have thrived in the system. We’ve also seen the dangers mentally, physically, and emotionally from buying too hard into the system and attaching it to our sense of self-worth. I’m becoming more interested in this concept of digital wellness and how to navigate this brave new world quote Huxley, “Reality’s becoming a strange thing.”

I know 2020, the time these things feel very surreal. It’s almost matrix. It feels like different realities are happening all at once concurrently, but social media, the more that I’m really in it, I have almost these moments of lucidity where I’ll be in an app or I’ll be watching videos. I’m like, “I’m in an alternate reality now.” I get sucked into the YouTube algorithm, which to me, many times, one of the most wonderful algorithms, but also realizing how nefarious it is. One time, I went on to watch a guitar tutorial, and then next thing I know I’m watching a drum tutorial. I’m not a drummer, nor could I give a shit about a drum tutorial. The next thing you know, I’m watching all the footage of Led Zeppelin from 1970.

MGU 133 | Lure Of Quick Fixes

Lure Of Quick Fixes: There’s a deeper level of pressure and expectation when you have your business, your livelihood, and your financial stability tied into your social media following.

 

Before you even realize it, you’re down in the rabbit hole of this alternate reality because the AI, the algorithms and the technology are designed to keep your attention as long as possible. No matter what it takes, whether it’s music videos, cars, cat videos, conspiracy theories, right-wing propaganda, or left-wing propaganda, whatever the hell it is, they are designed to keep you there as long as possible. It’s like, I’m not in my own reality. I’m in their version of what they want my reality to be. They’re manipulating my attention to create a separate reality. Knowing that and becoming more aware of when we’re sucked into it is important. The compassion side of it too, you talk me down sometimes from this because I tend to get pissed off and go on some hardcore rants here on the show from time to time.

It gets me back to how can we grow our self-awareness of what’s running us? I talked about mentor Michael Park and his Gurdjieffian work. George Gurdjieff was a philosopher, a spiritual teacher from the 1920s through the 1940s and 1950s. Michael’s work is much based on this philosophy, but the idea that there are these four dual basic urges that run all of humanity. Conditioned people, who are under the spell of social media, in this case, are caught up in this illusionary pursuit of nondisturbance, which is this idea, “If I get everything that I want in life, then I won’t experience pain, loss, sadness and not-enoughness.” That’s what I mean by non-disturbance.

If I just get everything I want, I’ll be non-disturbed. The premise of these dual basic urges in human psychology, “If I can pursue everything I want and get everything I gain and avoid the escape side, the pain side, then I won’t be disturbed in my life.” On the gain side of getting everything you want, there are these four urges. One is pleasure comfort. If I get enough pleasure or comfort in my life, I’ll be fine. If I get enough attention in life, if I get enough approval and I’m important, I’m significant. Because they’re called the dual basic, on the escape side, we want to try and avoid pain and discomfort. We want to avoid being rejected or being ignored. We want to avoid disapproval and we want to avoid inferiority.

If you think about human behavior which is what we’re talking about on a psychological and anthropological level. You can distill most of the human activity if not all of it to this. People want pleasure comfort. They want attention approval and insignificance. They want to get the hell away from pain, being uncomfortable, being rejected, being disapproved of, and feeling inferior. It’s almost like I try to be mindful of these basic foundations of tribal human psychology and what’s running me. When I think, “If I only make more money.” You know that I’ve had a hell of a rollercoaster relationship with money. We’ve talked about it. Is this idea that if I get enough money, I’ll feel safe. I’ll feel secure. I’ll feel like I’ve “made it.” All of the hard work, the blood, sweat and tears will have paid off if I get a certain amount of money.

To your point, whether its followers, influencers, having the right waist size, having big enough breasts, having the right car, or having the right numbers in your bank account or your 401(k). As humans, were exploited by corporate and marketing companies and social media with this idea of the ever-present dangling carrot. If I get the next carrot, if I get to the next level, if I 10X my company, if I get more zeroes in my bank account, if I lose the extra 5 pounds, I’ll be. It is a never-ending, soul-sucking, anti-humanistic approach to life. Advertising companies know it, marketing companies know it, social media shares fuck knows it.

They’re using it to appeal to our base level of what they know we’re going to move toward and what they know we’re going to be repelled from. The best thing we can do is to try and become aware of when we are being manipulated and trying to chase that carrot of like, “I’m falling under the illusion that if I take this gig and I get my “big break” and make all this money, then I’ll be validated and I’ll never have self-worth issues again.” We know on a fundamental level that if you lose the five pounds and you make extra money, whatever the carrot you’re chasing is, if you have self-worth issues, your sense of self-worth is not going to be elevated by those things. It might make those self-worth issues worse of like, “Who am I to deserve this body? Who am I to deserve this money? Who am I to deserve this fame?” If you have unhealed trauma, all the money, beauty, success, and fame is not going to heal your trauma.

I feel like that’s why it’s important to talk about this. I’m sure that makes sense to people when they hear this, but we need to hear this over and over again because it’s easy to fall out of that thought process. Just like it’s easy to know that you’re eating fast food and eat it anyway. If you are marketed or manipulated in a certain way, it’ll override your logical thinking. For us working in this world of influencer marketing, it takes me constant self-awareness in order to snap out of it because I can easily fall into the comparison trap at any moment’s notice. I can easily feel like my self-worth is dependent on how many likes I get on a photo or video. What I’ve been trying to tune into our deeper connections and one-on-one with people.

Just because you have all of these things doesn't mean that you're any happier. Click To Tweet

I’ve talked about how I’ve been working on this project called Beyond Measure. What I’ve been doing with Beyond Measure is reaching out to individuals who have consistently communicated with me through social media, direct messages, comments, emails, etc. Any form of deeper connections versus a like or a follow, which don’t resonate with me as much as a comment or message, private or public. I’ve been creating individual connections and then a group connection, a community. It’s been remarkable. Now, there are about ten people in this testing period of Beyond Measure that I’ve been doing. Those ten people have so much more value to me than 17,000 people on Instagram or 100,000-plus people on Facebook or all these other metrics.

However, I can tell myself that I can know that, and yet, still, get caught up in how many likes I get. Part of that is that we’ve been conditioned this way for so long. “You can’t come to this party because you don’t have enough followers. I don’t want to collaborate with you because you don’t get enough likes on your posts. I don’t want to pay you to be part of this program or this campaign because your engagement isn’t high enough.” We’ve been hit over the head over and over again in this field that we’ve been working in. I’m talking about Jason and I, but perhaps the readers are in the same boat of being rewarded or not rewarded, punished, left out for numbers. I take big issues with that because, in the short-term, you can think of it as like, “You get it. We can only pay you this amount of money because that’s only the budget we have. We need to base our budget on metrics and our return on investment.”

On a logical level, that makes sense, but when you’ve heard, “No,” over and over again for years, it starts to make you feel like, “If I want to make enough money to pay my bills, to have a Tesla, or buy a house, I need to change the way that I’m doing things. If the way that I’ve been doing things authentically isn’t working, then perhaps I need to cheat. Perhaps I need to fake it until I make it. Once I faked it enough and made it enough, I can stop the faking.” What I’ve observed is that some people continue to fake it because they never feel enough. Once they get a taste of what that fake fame gives them, they continue it because then the carrots get farther and farther away. There are more and more carrots. The carrots are bigger like, “I can pay my bills easily, but I could get a better house. I could get a better car. I could go on more vacations. I could do this or that. I could be on a TV show. I could get a book deal. I could get a second book deal.” There’s always something more to go for. That’s why some people continue to fake or cheat, whatever else they’re doing. It can also get muddled because even if you stop faking and cheating, you’re still left with that residual effect.

We’ll never call out this person. There’s one person behind the scenes and sometimes we’ve referenced this person who will always be nameless because we’re certainly not here to call out somebody in particular. Even by bringing this example up, I suppose we’re calling them out. I think of this person frequently because I used to trust this person. Once I learned how much this person was manipulating, cheating, and faking the system, I grew resentful and I lost that trust. I lost my respect for this person. For me, it felt unfair. It’s no longer a level playing field when somebody has much higher numbers than they’ve bought or that they’ve achieved through some of these practices, like participating in these group buys, sweepstakes, contests or whatever else.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with those things, but the way that they’re being used has a challenging ripple effect. I feel sad about it because I would like to trust this person. I would like to have respect. Perhaps, I could choose it. I could be conscious about it and forgive them, but that ripple effect is hard because it affects me, you, Jason, and it affects this person’s followers. It affects the whole industry. This person getting rewarded for that behavior. Suddenly, those rewards are not as accessible to me, Jason or a lot of other people because why should we receive those rewards when we don’t have those numbers even if we didn’t cheat our way to them?

I take a big issue with that because I don’t think that that’s not the way that I want to live. Going back to something I’ve said a few times in this episode, some people want to live that way. Some people are okay with that. They have different values. They have different ethics. I guess, we, each as individuals choose how we want to operate. We have our outlook on the world. If somebody doesn’t fit into that outlook or that operation, they’re not a fit for us. This person is not a fit for me in my life, because I don’t agree with the way that this person is operating. That makes me a little sad because deep down, I know that this person has a good heart. I would love to have him in my life. It’s true of anything. When you see different sides of somebody that you no longer resonate with, you have nostalgia for how you used to view them, and who they used to be to you.

I think that this industry brings out the best and the worst in people. You’ll see a lot of talent coming from people on social media. Sometimes you see people doing things that don’t feel talented to you, but they know it works. They’re like, “I can do the least amount of effort and get the most amount of reward for it.” You can sit there and go, “I put so much effort into this and I’m not getting rewarded that way. That doesn’t feel fair to me.” It’s hard to see people getting the things that you want by putting in what you perceive as a lot less work and time.

There are trade-offs to this. I believe there are energetic and spiritual trade-offs for these decisions. Here’s what I mean by that. Jason Horton talked about this in the article. We talked about the existential crises and identities of content creators. This is a great interview in a previous episode. If you want to check out any of the previous episodes we’ve mentioned or the resources during this episode. To piggyback on an element of that conversation we have with Jason, where you can start to see what type of creative thematic content gets the most views.

MGU 133 | Lure Of Quick Fixes

Lure Of Quick Fixes: There’s a big difference between a following that’s organic and authentic versus a following that’s purchased and very contrived.

 

You start to try and have a version of gaming the system like, “If these are getting a million views, I should keep doing more of these.” The point that Jason Horton brought up, sometimes he’ll put a very low effort piece of content out and it’ll get drastically more views and engagement than something he spent weeks working at the YouTube studio in LA. He’ll be like, “Why should I go to the YouTube studio to spend weeks producing and editing something when I can shit something out and it gets tons of views.” The danger of it as an artist is that when you “try and game the system,” and you’re like, “If I keep doing more of this style, that’ll get me more money, fame, influence, numbers,” but there’s a tradeoff for the payoff.

I’ve talked to other friends of mine that are musicians, content creators, artists and some that are mutual friends of ours, Whitney. You start to lose your authenticity and your creative spark, your mojo because you start producing for your audience and not for yourself. You start producing things for the likes, the comments, the engagement, and the vanity metrics instead of being true to your own heart. This is a dangerous slippery slope because if you do this for enough years, you might get to the point where you’re like, “I don’t want to fucking do this anymore,” because you’ve been doing it for the numbers, for the fame and the metrics.

You’re not expressing authentically what you want to do anymore. We’ve seen this with many artists. They get locked into a record deal, a book deal, or something where they’re working with potentially millions of dollars, or God knows how much money on the line. They feel pressure to make a certain kind of art or “product.” We’re in an age where the artists and the content creators themselves are sometimes more of a product than what they’re even creating. They are the brand. They, as a person, have been commodified to a point where they feel the pressure to be a certain way, look a certain way, dress a certain way, make a certain kind of art. I think you potentially give up a piece of your authenticity and a piece of your soul doing that. I think that your heart and your soul, at a certain point, start to try and get your attention and be like, “Don’t do this anymore. This isn’t authentic. This isn’t what you want to be doing.” When you get to a certain level, there’s so much money and fame and so much pressure that a lot of people can’t turn back. That’s a scary place to be in.

It reminds me of the Disney version of The Little Mermaid. I don’t know if this is true in the original fable, but Ariel wants to be a human badly. She’s inspired by the love that she has for this human man so she trades her voice for a pair of legs. It’s interesting to look back on that movie as an adult because we see it innocently. We think, “This mermaid wants to be where the people are and she wants to live like them. She wants to be in love with this man.” You see her make that choice of that love and that experience. It is important to her that she’s willing to be mute.

She goes to the land. She falls in love with this man, and he’s about to marry her. She’s manipulated again. Somebody starts using her voice to get something that they want. I forget why that sea witch did that, what was her motive that she’d stolen this mermaid’s voice and makes herself a desirable. Maybe she wanted what this girl had. I have no idea, but it’s an interesting thing to point out is we are sacrificing something in this example. I grew up watching that movie. Maybe in some ways, I’m thinking, “My voice isn’t important. I would rather be adored because of how beautiful I am and having the legs.” If you think about it in that sense, it’s almost like women trading their intelligence, which is their voice or their personality, or these things that make them special.

Ariel, the mermaid had this incredible singing voice, but she gave that up so that she could have the love of a man. A feminist perspective on this might be like, “That’s bullshit.” A lot of us are doing that. We are trading our voices, our authenticity, our true talents, our gifts for something else. We are often trading it for love because social media makes us feel important. It makes us feel like people care. I see this so much on TikTok. When you were talking about YouTube, TikTok now is my YouTube. I go on TikTok for hours and I just watch videos. I’m entertained and educated by them. There’s a lot of benefits to TikTok. I have posted videos on there and received a high number of likes for a low amount of effort.

I’ve received a minimal amount of likes for a ton of effort. I’ve experienced that a lot. Strategically, TikTok is something a lot about from a marketing standpoint, but from a consumer standpoint and then a social study and experimental side of it, I do witness many people in there getting a taste of going viral almost every day. There’s somebody on there who gets a viral video and all of their other posts are based on that viral video. I’m not going to call out somebody, but I will give another vague example without stating exactly who this person is. There’s a user on TikTok who I saw a video of theirs that was interesting. There’s a lot of interesting stuff on TikTok. I didn’t think that much of it, but then this person starts posting videos about the response they received.

As human beings, we're designed to look for shortcuts. Click To Tweet

This is very cliche on TikTok, “My last video went viral. I never expected it. Thank you so much.” There’s a lot of thank you videos, which are always interesting to me because somebody is sharing their surprise at how many people like them and their content. You can see them getting a taste. It’s like when a kid tries chocolate for the first time or sugar, and you see that literal expression on their face of the joys of sugar, like, “This exists? How exciting it is.” If you ever try drugs or alcohol for the first time and you get that taste of feeling elated in a way that you’ve never experienced before, it’s exciting and triggering. We see that on social media and you see it a lot on TikTok because it gives people a sense of power and this ability to go viral easily.

It seems accessible unlike other platforms like Instagram, which feels almost impossible to go viral on. On TikTok, you’re playing the slot machines and at any moment, you can hit it big and you see other people around being at the casino. They even said this in The Social Dilemma because these apps are designed to replicate that feeling of a slot machine. The programmers use the slot machine as inspiration for some of the social media networks. I see this on TikTok because you go on TikTok and you swipe your finger down just like you would pull the little handle on a slot machine and suddenly a new video pops up.

Is this going to be the video that makes you laugh? Is this the video that makes you cry? Is this the video that makes you feel something? As a creator on TikTok, every time you post something, you’re rolling the dice. Is this the video that’s going to make me go viral? If I go viral, is this going to give me that sense of validation and worth that I’ve been craving? Going back to this woman creator on TikTok, she had a viral video. Every video that she’s posted has been based on that viral video. It’s like, “Look what this viral video did for me.” I see this a lot with music artists on TikTok as well.

There are people whose songs blow up on this app and suddenly they’re getting all this attention. They have a following, they have likes, they’re getting paid money because you can make money on TikTok directly and indirectly. These musical artists are becoming famous on the music charts. There was one example I saw of someone who was number one on iTunes all because of TikTok. This is very common, which makes this platform appealing. I’ve seen people quitting their jobs because of TikTok. I’ve seen small businesses on Etsy selling out and suddenly, making all this money. It’s common that you can go on there and be reminded day after day, that it’s only a matter of time until you too go viral. It’s only a matter of time until you too can quit your job. It’s only a matter of time until you get all of the success that you’ve been wanting your whole life.

All you have to do is keep playing the lottery, keep playing the slot machine, keep rolling the dice over and over again. I think many of us are craving that. We’re craving the money. We’re craving the adoration. We’re craving all of these feelings that we see other people getting. It’s a slippery slope because none of it’s guaranteed like the casino. There’s more working against you than for you. You have higher chances, but you could lose a lot. I think that’s a huge tie into what you were saying, Jason. You’re putting a lot into this and not being guaranteed anything. Just like we see people who play the lottery, somebody could win millions of dollars and seem like their life is set.

Statistically, people that win a lot of money in the lottery or at the casinos end up losing it fast and their lives are no better because of that money, because their lives have been based around not having that money. That money doesn’t last that long because they don’t know how to save it. They don’t know how to keep it. Unless somebody is very strategic, it’s not going to be there long and they may end up even worse off than they were before because they owe taxes. Maybe they’re depressed or maybe they thought that this would change their life and it didn’t. I think social media is similar in a lot of ways to that.

According to an organization called the National Endowment for Financial Education, close to 70% of people who win the lottery go bankrupt within several years. There’s an interesting article in the Washington Post about the myths about being a lotto winner. It talks about here, “Harvard Medical School professor Sanjiv Chopra in a TED Talk said, ‘Winning a $20 million lottery ticket won’t make you happier. He cited research showing that happiness fluctuates with positive or negative changes in circumstances in the short run. Over time, people tend to revert to their own happiness set point, worse than not improving people’s lives. Many stories abound of lottery winners destroying them. One winner of more than $300 million in the lotto, for example, believed that his generosity to his granddaughter funded her drug habit that eventually took her life.’” It’s heavy.

“A 2009 article in the International Journal of Psychiatry reported that cases of two German patients who were hospitalized for depression after each winning the equivalent of $500,000.” It’s a long article. There are some fascinating mythologies that go into this idea again of a quick fix. If I get a million followers, if I win the lottery, if I lose the weight, if I have my face look a certain way, this is getting to the deepest most manipulatable parts of our human psychology and our desire. I mentioned those four dual basic urges. I think it’s not enough, Whitney, to have the awareness that we’re being manipulated. It’s like, “What do we do about it?” We don’t necessarily have any concrete answers per se. This seems to be an ongoing, deeply passionate conversation that ties back into our mental health, our emotional wellness, our physical wellbeing, which is the foundation of this show and our work with Wellevatr. If we know we’re all being manipulated and we all know that a lot of the algorithms and social media architecture and software has been designed specifically to manipulate us psychologically, what do we do about it? How do we have a healthier relationship with it? How do we get out of the proverbial matrix that wants to appeal to our weakest psychological points and help us buy into this thing of, “if I get the carrot, I’ll feel better?” We know it’s not true, but to your point, Whitney, we also know that cigarette smoking is not good, tons of alcohol consumption, being sedentary and eating crappy food, but we do it anyway.

MGU 133 | Lure Of Quick Fixes

Lure Of Quick Fixes: It’s really important for us to step back and look at the long-term effects of our decisions.

 

This gets to the deepest heart of everything about being human and being in a world where we are bombarded by constant marketing telling us we need this one thing and that’ll be the key to make us feel better. The research shows it’s almost like being a drug addict. It’s almost like on a fundamental level being addicted. I’m certainly reevaluating how I want to move forward with my social media usage, whether or not I want to get off of it completely. I know I mentioned this previously, but I’m curious as we’ve been delving into this, where are you at with it? Do you want to limit your usage? Do you want to be more mindful of your usage? Where are you at in this conversation around it? Do you have any further clarity around how you want to move forward with this relationship with social media?

I’m in an experimental phase. I suppose we always are, but for me, the experiment is making sure that my needs and priorities are taken care of. If I can pay my bills, I feel pretty good about life. I can feel good even if I can’t pay my bills. I certainly go through ebbs and flows financially. Number one, it’s like, do I have the money that I need to survive and get by? How is that tied to social media? For us, as being content creators, I do often make money by promoting products and partnering with brands. When those opportunities come to me, which they do almost every single day, there’s a lot to evaluate. How does this money feel to me financially? Does this meet my worth? Does this meet the time and effort that goes into it? Am I taking less money than I know I’m worth? Why or why not?

I had an opportunity come up to me and this brand said they didn’t have a big budget. There are times when I would be happy to work with a brand with a low budget because it’s ultimately not about the money. There are times when I want to stick to my guns and ask for what I’m worth and won’t accept anything less. That’s constantly fluctuating. A lot of the times, that’s determined by how important a project is to me and how much money I need to make. From a financial standpoint, there’s a big consideration for me when it comes to social media because this is part of our livelihoods, the work that we do. I will say this because I guess you can’t make this assumption.

It’s important for me to make money ethically. I’m not interested in faking things in a quick fix. There are times when I feel maybe not desperate, but I border on feeling a little nervous about how I’m going to pay something. I have to make different decisions, but it is extremely rare for me to make a financial decision out of true desperation and do something that’s out of alignment with my ethics because I don’t want to live that way. We talked about OnlyFans in a previous episode. Sometimes the OnlyFans feel appealing, but it doesn’t feel in alignment with my values and my ethics to go in OnlyFans and show videos of my body or my feet.

I’ve seen a couple of times on TikTok of people making all this money by showing their feet or by selling their panties or whatever else. I know I could make some money doing that, but that doesn’t feel right to me. It doesn’t mean that it’s not okay for other people to do that from my perspective. I don’t want to “resort” to that. I think social media and the internet in general can draw us into all these questions about why we’re doing something. These basic urges and needs, the financial side of it. I try to evaluate my decisions based on how that impacts my finances. There’s then the side of my self-worth. It’s like, “Am I posting something to get people to validate me? Do I need somebody to tell me that I’m pretty that day? Do I need somebody to tell me that I’m a good writer in my captions? Do I need somebody to tell me that I have a cool car or that I’m doing cool things?”

That type of validation, I was drawn to that before. There’s part of me that still is but when I check myself on it, I don’t want to be dependent on that. If I’m going to post on social media or interact with people on social media, I want it to come from the heart. I want it to come from someplace there at that moment, when I’m doing something on social media, it feels good and it feels right. I think each of us has a different relationship with what feels good and feels right. Ultimately when I’m on social media, I have to check in with myself. Am I doing this for a reason that feels good or right to me? Am I saying yes to working on this project for money? Am I saying yes to working on this project because I believe in this brand or this person that I’m partnering with? Hopefully, the answer will always be yes or, “I don’t believe in it but I’m going to do it because the money is good.” That does not feel good and feel right to me.

In terms of consuming social media, which is another part of your question, Jason, it’s like, “Why am I here?” I try to ask myself that as frequently as possible. I talk a lot about TikTok. TikTok is a huge source of entertainment for me. I enjoy watching TikTok in the morning. Sometimes when I’m lying in bed. I enjoy watching it before I go to sleep. I enjoy watching it when I need a break for the day. I use that instead of YouTube, Netflix or other platforms. I go on TikTok and I feel fulfilled after X amount of time. I try to be mindful of how much time I spend there. I also try to be careful about what I’m consuming and social media has given us opportunities to curate our feeds based on who we follow, based on the content we interact with. We can tell most of these platforms to mute somebody or something that we don’t like. On TikTok, there’s a feature called Not Interested that you can tap on.

If you see something you don’t like or you don’t want to see, you can say, “I’m not interested.” Facebook does this too. I don’t know about Instagram, but you’ll see less of it. You can curate your social media experience. Usually, I will stop using TikTok, Instagram or whatever platform when I have a moment that doesn’t make me feel good. When I see a girl and I fall into the comparison trap based on our appearances, “That girl is prettier than me. I wish I looked like her.” When I start having those thoughts, that’s my cue to leave. If I go on there and start feeling envious of somebody’s possessions, experiences, relationships or whatever else it is, that’s my cue. When I start feeling judgmental over somebody, that’s my cue. I say, “I’m not coming from a place of kindness or compassion. I need to stop using this platform right now. I’m going to go do something more productive with my time. Maybe I’ll go read, meditate, exercise or create something that feels good to me.” I go through a checklist, whether I’m creating social media or I’m consuming social media. For me, that helps me stay very imbalanced insane with it.

It’s such a wonderful answer, Whitney. That was a lot more thorough than I expected. Not because I know you aren’t well versed in how to care for yourself, but that was full of many great tips that are a wonderful reminder for me, especially from an emotional side of things. If I start to feel jealous, angry spiteful, desirous of what somebody else has, that’s an immediate cue. I want to thank you for giving me all those tips and those reminders. Speaking of one thing you said, you mentioned about putting heart into your posts and coming from your heart. We have some wonderful free resources for you on our website, Wellevatr.com. We have a free video series about how to put more heart into your social media. This is one of the many free resources along with some great eBooks about how to reclaim your sense of autonomy, your sense of heart, your sense of mental wellness around social media.

This is something that Whitney and I have been passionate about for many years as we are continuing to extend ourselves into the wellness space and including, and not limited to digital wellness. If you want to take advantage of diving into those free resources, go to our website. At the top of that website, we have a free resources section. We have two video trainings and several eBooks that you can download and enjoy for free. If you want to dive more into this digital wellness journey with that. If you want to join us and dive deeper into the wellness and the digital wellness journey, you can follow us at Wellevatr.com. We’re on all of the major social platforms that we mentioned in this episode, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and Twitter.

We will be posting more content. We’re still figuring out what we want to do with our social content for Wellevatr to be transparent. We want to come from the heart. We don’t want to be part of the noise in the wellness community, parroting or regurgitating a lot of the same stuff that’s already out there. One of the things that we’re re-examining to not only our individual relationship to social media but how we want to move forward with our brand Wellevatr so we can put out unique and uplifting and authentic content for you to enjoy. With that, thank you for joining us and we will be back again soon with another episode for you to digest.

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