MGU 130 | Podcast Farts

 

Did the search query, “podcast farts” bring you here? Believe it or not, there might be a decent chance that it did. While sifting through search queries in their Google Analytics, Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen found out that people are somehow finding their way to their website while typing in the search queries, “podcast farts” and “episode fart”. Whatever it is they were looking for, it shows that you’ll never really know what gets people to your door. What is “dare anxiety”? Can cats eat Beyond Meat? Do hotels charge if a kid pees the bed? Quirky? Definitely, but they are nevertheless bringing people to wellevatr.com. It just shows how mysterious the online world can be. Speaking of online, one of Jason and Whitney’s tangents in this episode is about Social Dilemma, where they touch on some of the most uncomfortable aspects of social media and what the future holds for it. Did you actually come here for farts, though? Just stick to the end. You know we’ve got you covered.

Listen to the podcast here:

“Podcast Farts” And Other Quirky Search Queries That Brought You Here

In this episode, we are going to dive in deeper to some of the weird, wacky, wonderful, befuddling, head-scratching and sometimes, side-splitting analytics, queries and things that we find online when people are attempting to find our website or topics related to our website. We had been doing this for a while.

I have to clarify something. I feel like you misunderstand the way that Google Analytics works.

Am I referring to the Frequently Asked Queries and misinterpreting them? Is that what’s going on?

We can see how we show up as a recommended website based on the search query. People aren’t necessarily looking for us. They may come across our website and/or our show when they search for these things. This whole time that we’ve been doing the Frequently Asked Queries, you have thought that these people were typing these things in.

That’s an uncomfortable realization.

I’m trying to understand how you thought Google Analytics worked because I’m a little interested in what you thought exactly people were doing.

This is how I thought it worked, that people were searching for terms and then our website would come up in the search result related to those terms.

You often phrase it as if people were looking for our site.

The whole time I was under the understanding that people would type in something like a stroller for hedgehogs and our show comes up. If you are finding our show with some weird-ass searches, welcome. No matter how you found us. If it’s your first time or 130th, thank you and welcome to the show where we clearly get uncomfortable from the get-go. I feel like us doing a deeper dive into some of these terms, I know we usually spend about 5 or 10 minutes at the end of episodes, but we’ve never dedicated an entire episode to delving deeper into seeing where these searches take us content-wise.

Our very first time that we talked about this, we did do an entire episode on this. You might say that this is a part two, but it always goes in different directions and it’s fascinating to me. The way that I look at these for anyone who wants to nerd out and better understand what we’re talking about here, you can use Google Analytics as a tool and there are some privacy concerns with Google. One great episode to refer to is Paul Jarvis‘s episode on data privacy. He runs an alternative to Google Analytics called Fathom Analytics. We are affiliates of them, but we don’t use them yet. We haven’t set that up probably because of a combination of laziness and overwhelm.

It has not been a huge priority because we haven’t been that concerned with data privacy in terms of our analytics, but there are a lot of pros and cons. If you use Google Analytics and you’re curious, I would read that episode. If you go into Google Analytics, you can sign up for a free account. One of Paul’s points is if it’s free to you, you’re paying some price. They use this phrase in The Social Dilemma documentary. It’s like, if you’re not paying for something, then you’re the product. That’s part of the concern with using platforms like Google. They offer a lot of free services in exchange for your information and being able to monitor your behavior and learn from you, which is creepy when you think about it. We’ve all gotten used to these things. One of the things that we can do is see some data on the people that are using Google as well. To us, we’re playing both roles in a weird way.

MGU 130 | Podcast Farts

Podcast Farts: The search queries, “podcast fart” and “episode fart” are leading people to click on wellevetr.com.

 

An important thing to bring up is that when you’re searching on a platform like Google, unless you have certain settings on, it can track you, what you’re searching for, how long you’re on websites, and what you’re clicking on. A lot of that isn’t used maliciously. That information is used by people like us to figure out what we can do more of, do less of, what people are interested in, and thus this episode is born. I go into the acquisition section of Google Analytics. You can go into a category called Search Console and within that is this page called Queries. This is where you can see the search query. That’s why we call our segments that we’ve been doing for a few months called Frequently Asked Queries. It’s fascinating because it shows this whole list of search queries within a certain timeframe.

You can choose whatever timeframe you want. The timeframe we’re using is the first three weeks of September 2020. The queries that came up in that time, that have led to potential impressions of our website, this website which is Podcast.Wellevatr.com. It’s super interesting as a website owner because you can see what people are clicking on, what they’re searching for, how you rank in Google, and you can be more intentional about the content you’re creating. This is often referred to as Search Engine Optimization. That’s a little behind the scenes for anyone who’s curious and/or anybody else who’s a content creator.

Google Analytics is cool if you’re okay with the data privacy concerns. If you’re not okay with it, checkout Fathom Analytics. I typed in September 2020 up until the date that we’re having this episode and I’ll be sharing some of the interesting queries that have come up. Some of them are very funny. In fact, I think we should start right off the bat. The one that stood out to me was the query Podcast Fart. After that, there was another term shortly afterwards that says Episode Fart. These both led to people clicking on our website.

Whatever gets people in the door. We did an episode where I did share one of my favorite fart stories of all time. They probably found that episode and hopefully, they stay until the end of that episode to hear that epic fart story.

Do you think that they were looking for episodes about farts or were they looking for the sound of someone farting on a podcast?

Maybe both. Is farting on a microphone in the same category as ASMR. No judgment or disrespect, people are into some fascinating fetishes and interests in the world. You sent me a TikTok of someone who had two Frenchies and someone set up a microphone under one of the Frenchies butts and was capturing “Frenchie fart noises.” Apparently, these people are into capturing fart noises.

Fetishes are fascinating. You go down these rabbit holes on TikTok, which is part of the delightfulness of that platform. You could search for the phrase TikTok on our website and you will find me discussing TikTok quite often on the show. If you haven’t already become a regular reader. I’ve said this before, it’s a platform I enjoy because people tend to be very honest and open. I learned so much on there about different types of people. To Jason’s point, if you can view it without judgment, you start to see the world beyond your personal experiences. They talked about this in the documentary The Social Dilemma, which we did a whole episode on. If you’re interested in reading, check that out.

In The Social Dilemma, they talked about how platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and most social media platforms are designed to put you in almost like a biased bubble, where you’re only seeing things that you like and often being exposed to people that are similar to you. I haven’t quite found that on TikTok yet. This is a tangent, Jason, I meant to bring this up to you and I’ll say this here. Since the uprising and the Black Lives Matter movement, this is bringing up many things to me. We’ve been asking for months and people in the Black Lives Matter movement have been wanting justice for Breonna Taylor. I saw Elizabeth Gilbert posting on Instagram that there was no charge to the person or people that killed her. Did you see this?

Yes, and I’ve been paying attention to the updates. One of the officers was charged with endangering neighbors, it’s a wanton endangerment charge, but the point is that no officers were charged directly with her death. I don’t know what a wanton endangerment charge means. Specifically, I’ve never heard that. One of the officers’ Brett Hankison is charged with three counts of wanton endangerment, where it’s apparently endangering the neighbors and manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life. It sounds to me like everybody who’s emotionally invested in this and wanted the officers to be directly charged in her death has not and may not happen. People are very much up in arms about it.

It’s a frustrating thing to see happen. There are a lot of injustices that are being brought to our attention and it can be challenging. It’s worth bringing these things up on the show even if it has nothing to do with what we’re talking about because we want to continue to be good allies and raise more awareness around this. I was in a networking group for podcasters and I was shocked. There was not a single person of color in the groups that I was in. For context, I was part of this online mixer for podcasters to find guests to be on their show. A lot of our guests come from these networking opportunities. Also, it’s an opportunity for us to be in other people’s shows.

Since June 2020, Jason and I have been aware of having diversity in our show. Not just in terms of race and ethnicity, but in terms of gender, sexuality, religion and all the different things that make us different. I’ve been talking about TikTok and what I meant to say before I got off on this tangent is that it’s easy with us on social media to get caught up in this biased bubble and not see what other people are experiencing and how other people are living. I don’t have anything against networking and promoting white people, but we certainly have done a lot of that on the show. I felt surprised that in this mixer, all the people that were in my health wellness group, and all of the people that were in the self-improvement groups, we broke off into different categories, everybody was white.

If you’re not paying for something you are the product. Click To Tweet

All but one of them were female. I was in this group of white females and I thought, “I am a white female. Why are all these other like-minded white female podcasters probably around the same age?” I found that interesting. It made me feel like it’s so incredibly important for us to seek out different types of people. Not just in this case, but beyond this and on all of these platforms when we’re consuming content. If we’re not careful, we can end up surrounding ourselves with a lack of diversity. I think that limits the scope of what we see. As they talked about in The Social Dilemma documentary, a lot of these platforms are designed to do that.

I start to track back on like, “How did we end up on this mixer?” I found this podcasting group on Facebook. Maybe Facebook is promoting this to a lot of white people for whatever reason. Maybe they’re not promoting it to people of color. Maybe not even purposefully, but as they talk about in The Social Dilemma, it’s a lot of algorithmic factors. It’s fascinating that I keep meeting a lot of white podcasters. I’m thinking like, “Why am I not seeing more people of color or more diversity in general in the podcasting world so far?” That’s such an important thing for us to notice. Once we become aware of it to take action, to make a shift because I certainly don’t want to continue that way. I don’t know how I got into the subject matter. What does this have to do with podcast farts?

What does anything have to do with anything? Part of the fun and the uniqueness of our show is we don’t know where it’s going to go. For you, dear reader, if this is your first ride, Whitney and I start with a direction or an aim, but we fill in all the blanks as we go. It’s not a fully improvised show, but it’s close. By and large, we will go through all kinds of portals, rabbit holes and dimensions. Oftentimes, we will diverge completely from what we started with but most times we somehow bring it back well to maybe some of the original points. I want to piggyback on what you’re talking about because having lived in a lot of different cities and neighborhoods within cities in my life, I grew up in Detroit. I lived in Chicago for three years. I lived in New York City. I lived in the Bay area. I spent a summer in London. I’ve been in LA for fourteen years and I’ve been in a lot of neighborhoods in LA. I moved a lot.

I’ve noticed that there’s an interesting biological and anthropological phenomenon that happens when you have groups of similar people living in an area. Part of it is what we grew up with. We’ve had many conversations in the show about nature versus nurture in terms of our evolution, growth and development. It’s interesting to me, piggybacking on what you’re saying about seeing many white women in the wellness movement in these podcast groups. I’m not trying to throw anybody under the bus or be disrespectful, but I get burnt out because it seems like people are talking and having the same opinion on the same things over and over again. One of the reasons that I’m slowly backing out of engaging with the wellness world to a degree is because I’m bored with the perspectives.

There’s nothing that’s interesting or diverse to me for the most part because it’s the same type of people with the same type of opinions parroting each other. We ask why that is. Part of it living in these neighborhoods and seeing the similar type of people like, from what I can tell, I haven’t knocked on every door. I’m the only partially white person. I’m partly Puerto Rican and Spanish, but my neighborhood looks to be pretty much almost 100% Latino and Latina. I’ve noticed that people seem to listen to the same music, have the same conversations, culturally exhibit the same things they’re interested in. You can extrapolate that to a lot of different things. Part of it is the cultural conditioning, what we grew up with, what we’re surrounded by, but biologically it’s the mirror neurons.

We hear a lot about mirror neurons and what we are exposed to, the people we’re exposed to, the conversations, the mentalities, the religious beliefs, the political beliefs, and piggyback this to how the algorithms and the AR are designed with social media. If we keep seeing the same voices, the same faces, the same people, saying the same things over and over again, not only does that become potentially reinforced in us psychologically and in our neurons because of the mirror neuron effect, but it’s dreadfully fucking boring. I’m bored with having the same conversations with people online over and over again. To your point, the reason I’m saying this is I’m craving for different perspectives, even if I disagree with them. Why am I having a reaction to what this person believes? My reactivity or my response to those things is far more interesting than having people that look and act like me parroting the same shit back to me over and over again. Does that make sense? Do you feel like that at all?

I do. I noticed that more within myself. I’ll find myself feeling unsure about what to post on social media because I don’t want to add to the noise. Especially, as I’ve been developing my newer social media accounts, I’ve been using the name Eco-Vegan Gal on social media since 2008 or 2009. It’s been a number of years and I want to move away from that. I created some new accounts under my name, which is Whitney, although I had to shorten it because of the character limits for social media. My new accounts are Whit Lauritsen. I was announcing that on Instagram for the first time. It finally felt like, “I’ll mention this. I’ll slightly put it out.” I don’t like announcement posts in general. I feel like a lot of them are people trying to get attention. I’ll catch myself like, “Am I trying to get attention here? Does this feel authentic? Does this feel helpful to other people?”

That’s what it comes down to. I feel like so much of social media has become very cliché, and maybe that’s because we pay close attention to it. It feels cliché to us because we’re immersed in it. We see so much of it. We see so much of these people, but I don’t know how cliché it is to the average person on social if maybe they’re not as exposed to as many wellness, self-help, personal development type of people. I don’t know the answer to that. What’s tough is when you’re in something trying to look outside of yourself, whether you’re identifying as a certain type of person, for me as a cisgender white woman. I’m still finding my comfort with that. I identify as she or her. I find that interesting too when people put that in quotations. I don’t feel the urge to tell people how to refer to me as, but I feel like we’re going into this time where it helps to clarify and not make assumptions, which is neat.

For me, being exposed to a lot of other white wellness women, I do start to see a lot of these clichés that you’re mentioning and that you feel bored of, Jason. I find that constraining because I don’t want to add to the noise. I want to do things in a way that feels authentic to me, but what feels tricky is having spent the past few years trying to fit in versus trying to be unique. A lot of us are conditioned to model ourselves off others. This episode went in a direction we certainly didn’t intend, but we’ll run with it. Who knows? We may never get back to the queries. We’ll see. We’re grateful for the reader for jumping on this ride with us and going in a direction that none of us foresee. It’s the way that we roll. Did you finish watching the Paris Hilton documentary?

No, I couldn’t stomach it. I don’t give a shit. It’s not about Paris Hilton. It’s about, I don’t need to see any more examples of how American society, but any modern global society, you could look at celebrities in South Korea, celebrities in Italy, it’s everywhere. They particularly magnified that here in America for decades now. Paris Hilton was maybe credited with the first person for being famous for nothing. They made fun of it at the beginning of this documentary. She wasn’t famous because she was talented or made any dynamic or innovative creative contribution to the world or anything that would typically the past generations be like, “This person is famous, rich and influential because they’ve done something innovative, mind-blowing and new.”

Since her, we have a never-ending rash of influencers and reality celebrities that are famous for no other reason other than we’ve given them attention. I started watching it and I’m like, “I don’t want to watch this. I don’t need to know any more about this woman’s life.” I already have enough of disdain for the way that our fame and celebrity machine work in America. It’s gross. I stopped watching because I’m like, “Why do I need to watch this?” I already have a very definite opinion of how this machine works. She’s probably the most modern example of, “We’re going to take a person who is a rich heiress to a fortune, who has not necessarily contributed anything of great cultural value and make her even more famous.” Why do we do this? We’re obsessed with fame and influence in this world. I don’t understand why we feel the need to deify other human beings.

MGU 130 | Podcast Farts

Podcast Farts: It’s intriguing why we are so obsessed with fame and influence and why we feel the need to deify other human beings.

 

It’s not just Paris Hilton, it’s celebrity in general. It’s fascinating to me how people deify. They almost make other humans godlike. I had a conversation years ago with my dear friend, Ron who was one of my original vocal coaches. It was when I got my first celebrity chefing client. I was nervous about it. I was like, “I’ve got to impress them. It’s my first celebrity. I’m going to meet all these people.” He’s like, “Jason, they’re just a working actor.” It gave me a moment of reflection of, “Get out of your head of deifying and making this person like a god. They’re just a working actor.” He wasn’t saying that to diminish them. He was saying it to break me out of this bizarre way that we put people on a pedestal. My long answer is, I didn’t want to watch it because I don’t care about Paris Hilton. I don’t care about her story. For the most part, celebrity and influencer culture, I’m at the end of my rope with it all. I think it’s stupid.

I encourage you to finish watching it because the documentary addresses a lot of the questions that you’re bringing up. The ending is completely different than the beginning. It felt at times a little all over the place, but the filmmakers tried their hardest to tease the ending towards the beginning of the documentary. They bring it up a little lightly, but it was surprising how it ends in a lot of different ways that I wouldn’t want to spoil for you or the reader who hasn’t watched it yet. It was major food for thought for me, I’ve been reflecting on it for days since I saw it, similarly to how I did with The Social Dilemma. I was glad that I watched the two of them around the same time because they touch upon this idea of how we construct ourselves to be a certain way in order to get some needs met.

That’s a huge thing with Paris Hilton and uncovering who she is and why does she do what she does, and why does she create this character? I was surprised to find out that that’s not who she is. She gets deep into where this character came about and how the media has shaped her. I was very fascinated by it. I was never that into Paris Hilton. My sister was though and I think part of the reason I watched it is because my sister looked up to Paris Hilton and wanted to be her. She would buy anything that she could that either was exactly what Paris Hilton had or look like her. She would style her hair and her clothes like Paris Hilton. She was interested in her. That had a ripple effect on my sister’s life and the way my sister uses social media. A lot of us are influenced by people like that. I’m fascinated by the psychology of it all.

Without doing spoiler alerts if you can, I am curious now that you’ve had days to digest Social Dilemma, which we’ve done an entire two-hour episode on Social Dilemma. For you, dear reader, if you want to dive into our thoughts, musings and psychological dissection of how we interpreted that documentary. Having a few days to digest both of them, piggybacking on the Paris Hilton documentary on the backend of Social Dilemma, you watch that one first. Can you give me any high-level things that you’ve digested and interpreted post watching both of them?

It’s causing me to step back and examine my motivations and noticing how other people operate. I’ve been working on for a while now, not judging other people for their behavior. One of the reasons I love psychology is that if I can understand why somebody does what they do, I’m a lot less judgmental. I’m a big why person. We’ve talked about this before there’s a wonderful assessment you can do called The Four Tendencies and mine is the Questioner. This leads me to constantly ask why. I see that as a strength and sometimes a weakness, but I noticed that in my perception of the world, whenever I understand why something’s happening, why somebody is doing something, why I want what I want, it makes it easier for me to create either course of action or to understand something.

I love seeing documentaries like these two we mentioned because it helps me understand other people’s behavior and have compassion for it and be less judgmental of it. It is easy to see someone like Paris Hilton and have all of these judgments. This documentary was such a gift because she explained why she does everything that she does and I love that. It’s like, “I got it.” Now I view Paris Hilton completely differently and maybe that helps me better understand my sister, why was she drawn to Paris Hilton, what do they potentially have in common, or how is my sister shaped to who she is now based on somebody like that, that influenced her? I find that interesting.

In The Social Dilemma, understanding how these platforms work is helpful as well. That’s why I wanted to start off this episode talking about Google Analytics and being transparent. How do we get the information that we get on people and what is the potential downside to using a free platform? The more that we can understand those things, the easier it is to make decisions. Lastly, since I started talking to other people, either directly one-on-one in conversations or in group conversations online, I’m finding more people are wanting to get off social media. I got together with someone I hadn’t seen in a while. He said that after he saw that movie, he put a limit on his phone to use social media for only 30 minutes a day. He’s already considering doing even less than that. This is somebody who was pretty much addicted to his phone. He’s on it constantly and knew it but yet allowed himself to indulge in being on his phone, whether it was social media, playing video games or whatever it was.

The more that we can either become aware of this solves awareness as we talked about it in our Social Dilemma episode, but then maybe we might choose to do something like putting limits on it. I know, Jason, you talked about getting a different phone, for example. Long story short, ever since that documentary came out, I’ve been hearing more people discuss these things. It makes me wonder what is social media going to look like in a few weeks. It’s not to say that radical change is going to happen that quickly, but enough of a shift is starting to happen that we will notice it within the next month or so. Especially, as we get closer to the holidays and towards the end of the year, and reflecting on what this year has been like, we’ve got a lot of changes ahead of us. We have this huge election, which is coming up incredibly soon for us in the United States, but certainly has a ripple effect across the whole world. We have COVID that we’re still dealing with and there’s a lot happening that has given us opportunities to have these conversations and reflect more on our behavior and what we want to do about it.

It is an interesting thing to think about what social media is going to look like moving forward. What came to my mind was late 2019, if I’m not mistaken, Instagram was talking about taking away the number of likes on photos and they never did. What happened to that? I remember that was getting a ton of press maybe in the fall, end of 2019. Everyone was like, “What’s going to happen if Instagram takes away the likes?” It died in the water. I remember there was a potential date when it was going to take effect and then it never happened. It’s one of these things where it gets discussed by digital ethicists and some of the guests that were in this documentary, The Social Dilemma. There are people within these companies that want to do better, that want to create more ethical products and products that honor the humanity of its subscribers or users.

When you have a business model that is generating billions of dollars of revenue, what incentive does a corporation have to stop doing what they’re doing? If you have this massive megalithic corporation like Facebook, who also owns Instagram or Google, who also owns YouTube, what ethical incentive do they have from the top down when there are hundreds of billions of dollars flowing. They’re like, “Why stop?” One of the positions they posited in the movie was when you have a publicly-traded company, you have the concerns of shareholder value and stock price. You have a board of directors who wants the corporation to succeed. You have these internal and external pressures coalescing to create maybe a zero-sum game.

I bring up that Instagram example because I personally was all about the idea of taking likes away and taking the numbers out of it. There was even a potential idea that they were going to maybe even take away the follower counts. I thought how different would it be if people were posting almost like the early days. You were talking about in a previous episode how fun, open and playful it was. We weren’t doing it for business reasons. We weren’t doing it to pattern numbers, to try and get business deals, book deals, record deals or any of the stuff that people do it for now. If we were to take away follower counts and we were to take away the actual numerical metrics of it, I wonder how people would respond and engage with these platforms differently if we took all those metrics away.

It is very easy in social media to get caught up in a biased bubble and not see what other people are experiencing. Click To Tweet

The question is in terms of ethics, how do we create a bridge? I don’t want to stop with caring for my own engagement, whether that’s getting off social media completely, or getting a different phone, or muting all of my accounts, all of these things I’m considering or some combination of them. What I feel motivated to do is add to a conversation of how do we create influence on these corporations to change things? It’s almost like a mirror of the vegan movement where we can change our eating habits and our consumption habits on an individual level or maybe on the level of our families, but to go beyond that, to write companies or support politicians that influence reform in those industries.

My whole thing with the digital economy is to move not only beyond my usership and my consumption of it, but are there some things that I could do beyond that, that can have even a broader influence? I don’t know what the answer is to that yet. I feel like our mutual friend, Adam, I’ve been having ongoing conversations with him, and maybe there’s a branch of this whole digital wellness, digital detox or dopamine fasting, all of which we’ve talked about on the show, maybe that’s going to become a new major branch of the wellness industry. It’s certainly fascinating to see where it’s all going to go. I’m all for having more of these conversations and for all of us collectively to see how we can influence the whole system change. In my opinion, the system has got to change and it’s got to swing back toward a more humanistic and ethical approach. What is that going to be? I don’t know. Maybe that’s a good pivot point to go back into some of our FAQs here.

I’ve continued going down the rabbit hole of the queries and there are a surprising number of queries related to farts. I feel grateful for the first couple of queries we mentioned. Who knew that a fart query was going to turn into a deep social media discussion? I certainly did not anticipate that, but a couple of others that stood out to me. One was this phrase, dare anxiety. I’m curious for you, Jason, what you think that means? Was that a misspelling? Does someone mean to write “dear anxiety” or this is what I thought that meant. It’s like when you are playing truth or dare and you get anxiety before having to do a dare or you’re getting anxious before you even hear what the dare is. I’m curious, Jason, what was your relationship with the game truth or dare? Do you remember any extreme truth or dares that you or other people had to answer or do?

I played truth or dare probably less than 10 or 15 times. I don’t even know. It’s been a while, high school was a long time ago. There was never anything totally crazy. There was taking your clothes off and running in the street. There was definitely make outs and the grabbing of boobs. There was nothing crazy that ever happened. I feel like my teenage truth or dare games were pretty tame in comparison to what. I haven’t even had a conversation about through truth or dare in two decades, but nothing ever super wild happened for me.

I have a sense of anxiety thinking about truth or dare, but it was simultaneously that feeling of excitement. That game brings up good memories as well as anxious memories. I don’t have any major that comes to mind. I am somebody that often enjoys sitting back and watching instead of participating. If I could simply watch people play truth or dare, I’d be a lot happier than having to participate in it. The truth always seems like it would be a little bit easier, but what if somebody asks you something embarrassing, which they tend to want to do because it’s like, “If you don’t choose the dare, we better ask you an embarrassing question or something that we know that you don’t want to answer.”

When I was playing truth or dare, there was also the double dare, which I don’t remember exactly what that entails, but there were board games. There was that Nickelodeon show Double Dare. It’s something interesting about seeing people do uncomfortable things. It ties into the topic of discomfort because opting into that game requires some bravery. It requires you to get uncomfortable. Often, the dares would seem extreme and would involve nudity, not in a pornographic way but like, “You’re going to have to moon the room.” Stupid types of things like that of streaking, which were more amusing than anything else. It was pushing boundaries. I definitely enjoyed when I was younger doing things like seeing how far you could get somebody to do something. I also think it’s interesting, Jason, that you equate that with high school, but who’s to say that truth or dare has to be limited to an age. Why couldn’t you play it now? What would truth or dare look like for you now if you and your friends were going to play truth or dare?

I feel like hot sauce would be involved in some capacity. Here’s a guilty pleasure of mine. I don’t watch these often, but when I do, I go way down the rabbit hole of people eating super hot peppers and hot sauce. On YouTube and Instagram, there are videos of people that will eat ghost peppers, Trinidad Scorpion Peppers. The hottest pepper now is a Carolina Reaper. That’s the world record holder. Some of these videos are absolutely hilarious. It feels like, “Why do you find so much pleasure in watching somebody in pain?” It’s because they’re doing it to themselves because they know what’s going to happen and they do it anyway. The ego of some of these people and then their reaction is hilarious to me. It feels like an adult version of truth or dare for me would involve ridiculously hot peppers and making people eat them. That would be part of it for me. That’s maybe revealing a devious trickster part of myself. For some reason, hot sauce and hot peppers is the first thing that came to mind.

It is interesting when I looked up dare anxiety, I realized it is a technique. Dare itself is a way to end anxiety and stop panic attacks. It’s a wellness technique that you can use. Now that I’m reading about that, it does sound familiar. If you were looking for that, I hope you found it. I’m sure you did because if you type in dare anxiety, we showed up pretty far into the recommended results that you can get on Google. It’s interesting the more you learn. Another one I’m curious of, you know this off the top of your head, Jason, “Can cats eat Beyond Meat?”

I have no clue. I assume that they could, I don’t think that one would want to exclusively have a cat be eating a plant protein. One of the things that I made sure that I did, before I adopted my oldest cats, Lynx and Clawdia, I consulted with multiple vegan veterinarians. These were veterinarians who their personal ethics happen to be vegan. I also consulted with Jackson Galaxy when I first met him. He loved my cat from hell. A cool guy, a great musician too, and also vegan. I consulted with our friend, Armaiti May and Jackson Galaxy. There were two other vegan veterinarians. I said, “I’m thinking about adopting cats. I’m reticent to feed them a flesh diet. What do you think?”

Every single one was like, “Technically, you could feed your cat a vegan diet but the alkalinity of the food is going to tremendously stress their endocrine and their urinary system to the point where you will have to add an acid booster.” They said you have to add an acid supplement into their food and you’d have to get their kidneys checked quarterly. I’m like, “I’m not going to do that.” They’re biologically designed to eat animal products.

One thing people may not know about me and I get questions from time to time on social media about this, I personally follow a vegan lifestyle and have done so for many years. My cats are not vegan. They will eat some food. My cats, Julius and Lynx love greens. They do eat some plant food, but not exclusively, and nor do I think it is advisable based on the information I’ve obtained. That’s a long way of saying, “Your cat could probably eat Beyond Meat,” but I wouldn’t necessarily give it to them every day as a food source.

MGU 130 | Podcast Farts

Podcast Farts: It is an interesting thing to think about what social media is going to look like moving forward.

 

I wonder if somebody is looking for it to be a food source or, “I gave my cat Beyond Meat. Is that okay?” This one is interesting and also random. I’m pulling out some of these queries and to see how Jason answers them, “Do hotels charge if a kid pees the bed?”

I don’t know. Now, I need to search for it. How do I know? This is bizarre? Why would we pop up in a search query for that?

I don’t know. Perhaps one of our guests talked about peeing the bed. We had a number of parents on the show. It’s interesting to see inside the mind of Google because it makes you wonder how many results you get when you’re searching for something and how many of them have absolutely nothing to do with what you’re searching for and how frustrating that could be. We also get a lot of extreme queries that I will never read out loud. Not because I’m a prude or anything. I think it would be fun to read some of these, but they are very X-rated queries that I will keep to myself for being considerate of other people’s boundaries without knowing what their boundaries might be. I could certainly create a whole collection of extreme queries that people type in. Most of them are sexual that I’m referring to. One is suicidal sounding and it makes me feel compassionate for somebody wondering, are they considering suicide or are they searching for things out of curiosity? It is a fascinating look into the psyche of the average person online.

I found some interesting stuff about peeing the bed. Apparently, if you happen to stain the sheets or mattress and it looks like it is “normal behavior,” hotels won’t charge you, but anything that they deem potentially abnormal, I don’t know what that means, they have the right to charge you. I suppose peeing a bed is a bit hard to say whether that covers the normal activity or the abnormal activity category for a hotel chain. It led me down a rabbit hole of looking at what people find in hotel rooms and what you find using a black light. It is not surprising, but also disgusting. Not to dissuade people from staying in hotels, but all kinds of fluids and genetically related things people are finding in hotel rooms.

Another benefit to sleeping in your car like I do, not full-time but while I’m traveling. In fact, we’ve done a number of episodes on my experiences of getting ready for a cross-country road trip and camping. We did summary episodes and I’m sure we’re going to address it again because at some point, I will be driving back to Los Angeles from the East Coast. I’m sure I’ll have many more stories to share. I already do have a few as a side note, I cannot say enough about how awesome it is to have the ability to stay in my car, which gave me the sense of simultaneous safety and vulnerability. It’s been an interesting opportunity for me to examine myself because I feel safe in the car in terms of what you’re speaking of.

I get full control of the mattress I’m sleeping on. I know where it’s been. It was brand new when I got it. It’s the Tesmat for anybody curious. We have a discount code for them for $20 off. I cannot say enough about Tesmat. It is one of the coolest things that I own. They gave it to me, which was such an incredible gift. It’s very generous of them. They’re affordable. They’re around $250. If you want the privacy screen, which is an important element of this. All in all, it comes to $300, $350. If you have a Tesla, you can pick this mattress and the privacy screen based on the model that you own and set it up. If you don’t have a Tesla or you’re not planning on getting one, you can look into different options for your car.

There are a lot of mattresses that you can use. Some go into the backseat of the car that blow up so you can sleep across the whole backseat and make it comfortable. There are all neat ways to sleep in your car, whether you’re doing it like I am as a temporary way to avoid staying in hotels, or maybe you travel a lot, and you need an alternative to hotels to save money, or maybe you are living in your car. Whatever the reason is, there are many creative ways of making that happen. I’m bringing that up because having a great mattress makes a world of a difference. A lot of people are starting to live in vans, buses and they’re converting them. Through this experience, I’ve started to think about that myself.

I had this dream for many years of traveling around and living in a non-permanent way. I remember in 2011 or 2012, I met this couple that was always on the road and they would live in different Airbnbs and Vrbos and all of those different options. I thought it was cool. They do a long-term rental and they’d stay for however long they could. When they had to leave, they would pack up the car and move to another place. This was also back when working remotely was much rarer than it is now because of COVID. Working remotely is accessible to many of us. After or around that same time, I got into trailers, specifically the teardrop trailer and I had this dream of driving around in a car with a teardrop trailer attached to them. They’re cute if you’ve never seen them before.

I saw this one image in Sunset Magazine and I’ll never forget it. It was like this little trailer in a campground, and it was this beautiful photo. It had this great impression of me. The teardrop trailer was well designed and it had the stove in it. What’s interesting is I let go of that interest. I would definitely camp in a teardrop trailer if the opportunity presented itself, but I’m not seeking it out as I thought I would. My car is maybe not the same dimensions, but the teardrop trailer is a small thing and that’s the whole point of it.

I feel like I’ve fulfilled that destiny of camping in my Tesla because it’s pretty small, but it’s also as roomy as you need it to be. I camped in it in my friend’s driveway as an alternative to sleeping in her home because I was trying to reduce both of our exposure to one another. When you’re in somebody’s home and touching all the different parts of their living space, breathing the same air on that regular basis, not to be paranoid, but trying to be mindful. You think of a hotel as Jason is bringing up and all the different surfaces that you assume get cleaned, but maybe never do. Coming back to the part of our discussion about making assumptions, it’s important for us to have awareness about how clean our spaces are.

That also reminds me of a TikTok I saw. A woman that used to work at a popular chain of fitness studios that are considered elite because they’re expensive. She said it was eye-opening for her because she could not believe the type of behavior coming from seemingly poised women with a good sense of etiquette and lots of money. It didn’t matter how much money somebody had or how posh they seemed, they would still do some crazy things. That led her to realize how unhygienic most people are. She said that it’s an incredibly important lesson for us now because if you’re somebody that doesn’t believe in wearing masks or you are reckless when it comes to not washing your hands or sanitizing yourself in whatever way, maybe you should rethink it. COVID aside, when you’re in a public space with other people, you have no idea what they’re doing there or where they’ve been.

We construct ourselves to be a certain way in order to get some needs met. Click To Tweet

This is one of those things where having traveled a lot for business and speaking appearances, you get to see a lot of people’s behavior in public restrooms, as an example. If I had $1 for every time I saw a guy go in a public restroom, be that 1 or 2 and not wash his hands and walk right out of the restroom. I’ve had debates with guy friends of like, “If you pee and you’re touching your own penis, why would you wash your hands?” “I don’t know. Maybe because you’re spreading your dick germs over everything else you touch after that and do people want your dick germs? Probably not if they had a choice.”

What about the surfaces you touched before touching your dick? What are you putting on your penis?

I’ve had guys push back on me. I’m like, “What fucking reality are you living in? Wash your hands.” If anything, I hope that one of the silver linings in COVID is that people wash their hands more. It’s not to the point of being a germaphobe or I’m going to remove any kind of innate immune response from my body or my inherent microbiome that’s on my skin. If you go to a public restroom wash your hands afterwards.

That leads me to a curiosity because this woman I referred to on TikTok taught me a new phrase and I’m curious if you’ve ever heard it before, it’s called a waffle stomp. Do you know what that is?

No, but I love the alliteration. It sounds so good to say.

I’m not going to say what it is so you and the reader would have to go look it up since you don’t know what it is and for anybody who’s never heard this phrase. I will preface it by saying it’s a very unsanitary thing that apparently a lot of people do in public showers. I’m not going to say the name of the chain that she worked at of fitness studios, but it’s a chain that I associate with women that I would imagine had a lot of etiquettes. She said it was incredibly common for them to see the aftermath of a waffle stomp.

I looked it up and one of the first articles that came up was, “Recent study finds that 1 in 30 people poop in the shower.” What in the absolute hell is going on?

This is the TMI section. For anybody who’s still reading and gets grossed out, you could fast forward a moment or a few minutes, but in case you’re curious and you like stories like this, I’m going to share it just like Jason shared his fart story, which comes full circle because that’s how we began this episode. Maybe that means we’re getting to the end of this one. We never know when these episodes are going to end. I was trying to think like, “Have I ever done that? Have I ever been tempted? I don’t think so.” When I was hearing about the waffle stomp I’m like, what would compel somebody after they take a fitness class or before perhaps to say, “I’m going to shit in the shower.” Why?

To me, the compassion would be, “Maybe it’s an emergency.” Maybe you didn’t think you were going to have to go to the bathroom and then you are in the shower, the toilet is far away, you’re wet and you’re thinking, “Maybe I can do this in a way that no one will notice.” I’m assuming that’s what a lot of people are thinking about. Unless it’s some guilty pleasure they have. If I was cleaning up after myself and maybe there was something left over from using the bathroom. Although one time, the memory that came up for me is I was dating someone new, years ago.

We are sharing a hotel room and it was small. I was embarrassed. I remember I was going to take a shower, but I went and used the toilet first while the shower was running. I remember I felt bad because I was wasting water. I used the shower as a way to cover up the sounds of me going to the bathroom because I didn’t want him to hear and I was so embarrassed. I didn’t go to the bathroom in the shower, but I jumped in the shower immediately afterwards to take shower. How about you?

I’m reveling in this statistic. As we do, it’s our commitment as bizarre, unnerving or disruptive as the researches which is on RuinMyWeek.com that links to a British study. Apparently, this is the Metro.co.uk that 30 people in this study admitted to having pooped in the shower, which is the waffle stomp, in case you dear reader had not made that connection of what waffle stomp is. I don’t feel a sense of judgment, but maybe this is a more normalized thing in human society than you and I thought. If 1 in 30 people have admitted to doing it in this study, maybe you and I are our outliers. I will admit to doing one thing. I have peed in sinks when I’ve been in a situation where I had to pee so bad that the walk to the restroom was longer than me going to a sink and urinating in a sink. I have urinated in a sink before, but that’s as far as I’ve taken it.

MGU 130 | Podcast Farts

Podcast Farts: Your cat could probably eat Beyond Meat, but you wouldn’t want to give it to them every day as a food source.

 

That does bring back one other poop story that I’m way too embarrassed to admit on. I could tell you if you’d like. I don’t mean to be a tease, but it’s like one of those boundaries. It’s a similar story in which there was a sense of urgency and I couldn’t make it to the bathroom in time and I did something that I’ve never done again in my life, but a lot of people can relate to that. There’s so much shame around using the bathroom that we’re afraid or we might assume that we’re the only ones that have done some of these things, but those statistics are very eye-opening and recognizing people do things that we perceive as strange or odd, but maybe it’s normal to them.

Coming back to the hygiene side of it is you can’t assume that people are courteous or people are living life the way that you do. That’s the big thing with me when it comes to being precautious with COVID. I don’t want to make any assumptions. There’s a lot of shame around our health in general, COVID or not. A lot of people feel like they need to do certain things to keep up appearances, but we have no idea what people do when we’re not around and when we’re not looking. We’re watching out for ourselves and others by making our decisions. That’s part of the reason I’m cautious. That’s why I have been using hand sanitizer. I used to be so not an anti-hand sanitizer, but I avoid it because I thought this is going to do me more harm than good.

Now, I use hand sanitizer very frequently, especially if I’m around other people and the same thing with washing my hands, wearing a mask, washing surfaces, and keeping my distance. It’s awkward sometimes. Sometimes, I’m afraid that I’m offending somebody, but I believe that it’s important to take it seriously. I’m also trying not to judge other people for their decisions because we’re each entitled to it. We have to remember there’s a ripple effect. When you hear stories like this, even if it’s not COVID-related, it does show you that there are bacteria all over the place. Even if you’re not a germaphobe, you might want to be a little bit more mindful about what you do. For example, make sure you wear a pair of sandals or flip flops when you get into a public shower. That’s the biggest lesson we can get from this.

If you feel comfortable wearing shoes, wear shoes into a public shower, for that added layer of protection.

I’m too busy looking through our analytics and wondering why many of them are related to farts. We’ve created a monster. For example, on this one page I have, “Let go one fart version, liquid fart, and love is like a fart.” These are three different hits that are completely unrelated, but all about farts.

I feel like there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle now in our quest here on the show through the first 130 episodes. It’s funny, the seemingly innocuous things that we’ve talked about because we’ve talked about some challenging subject matter here on the show. I feel like we’ve done a good job of balancing it with humorous, wacky and bizarre. We cover an incredible amount of ground. If that brings some new readers in who are interested in potty humor, all are welcome on the show.

I often wonder how uncomfortable we make our editors feel. We don’t personally know the editors because we work with a team that assigns our show to different people, I assume. Perhaps the editors doing this can tell us the story, “Are there several of you or is there one of you?” I don’t know. I wonder what do they think when they’re reading our episodes, how often do we make them uncomfortable? I also wonder like, has there ever been a case where they’re trying to reassign our show to somebody else because they’re so uncomfortable? They dread reading this because we have three episodes a week and what if every time a new request for editing comes through on their end, “Do I have to edit the show? Can’t you do it, Suzy?”

“It’s my mom doing the editing.” It’s funny you bring that up because who knows? Do we ever know the full ripple effect of what we put out into the universe and how it affects people? We never fully know. Perhaps, this show has pissed people off, stoke their curiosity, made them scratch their heads. Maybe they think we’re a couple of complete wackadoodle bizarros. We’re going to keep going until we don’t want to do it anymore.

Rest assured, we’ve got more on the way. We’re not planning on stopping anytime soon. This show is an exercise. First of all, you and I are branching out creatively, but also doing what we feel in our hearts to do and not giving a shit about the response. We’re not completely disassociating ourselves if people were to be angry or want to throw a coup and overthrow us. I feel like part of the thing I’m getting from this experience is giving ourselves permission to talk about, explore, research and pontificate on whatever we want. I feel very liberated as a result of that.

I do too and this episode is the perfect example. It’s funny you were talking about your mom and I’m continuing to scroll through all these queries. There were several that were about mom farts. Do you think somebody is specifically looking for videos or audio recordings of mothers farting? That could be only a fan account. What’s interesting is, there’s something for everybody out there. Only fans are such a fascinating case study because there are a lot of people that go on there and help fulfill all of these fetishes. There’s a query that’s “myfart” as if it were like MyFart.com or @MyFart as a username.

I’m not even sure what to say anymore. I feel maybe we’ve taken this as far as it wants to be taken now.

Never assume that people are living life the way that you do. Click To Tweet

You don’t want to hear any more fart queries?

I think I’m good.

That says a lot because you’re someone who enjoys these, but you’ve had enough.

I’ve reached my fart quota.

I imagined that the reader has if they’re still reading. I wish in real-time we could know when somebody’s had enough.

Maybe we need to do a radio show. Honestly, maybe that looks legit. If you guys want to delve into more of our bizarro tangential curious cacophony of subjects and it is one of your first episodes or maybe it is your first, you can dive in to all of our episodes. This is our 130th episode. We’re doing three episodes a week. We definitely have tons of subject matter. Some of it, a deeper introspective peek into the inner workings of race and economy, mental health, spirituality, our physical health, our relationships, we cover a lot of ground that is a very serious subject matter, but then sometimes we’ll talk about poop, farts and crazy stories.

We want to give you our version of the totality of the human experience as best we can. We’re never going to be able to do that because of the depth and the breadth of the human experience, but we’re trying to do our damnedest to deliver that to you here on this show. For more, you go to our website, which is Wellevatr.com and it will take you to all of the episodes and all of the show notes for those episodes. Whitney, if you wanted to jump in, you have the floor.

I wanted to say that perhaps these queries are giving us a look inside the lens of fart popularity. You, dear reader, probably have an interest in farts and that’s okay. We want to take the shame away from being interested in farts, whether it’s for humor, fetish, curiosity, or wanting some people to talk about something openly without being embarrassed about it. I myself have come quite a long way because in the past I wouldn’t have been caught dead talking about farts especially not with Jason. When we first started dating, God forbid, we ever discussed this. I was so embarrassed about it. We talked about this in a previous episode. I’m going to give myself a pat on the back for coming out of my shell a little bit and talking about something that used to make me blush.

I commend you on branching out and being more comfortable with something you were previously very uncomfortable with. As we close, I also want to point out the absurdity of the colloquial phrase “Caught dead doing something,” because if you’re already dead, you don’t mind being caught. Being caught dead, isn’t a bad thing at all.

Isn’t the phrase like, “I wouldn’t be caught dead,” as in that’s embarrassing. I couldn’t even be caught doing it dead because it’s extreme?

You were in the process of doing it, you passed away and you died while in the process of doing the thing?

MGU 130 | Podcast Farts

Podcast Farts: It’s really important for us to have awareness about how clean our spaces are.

 

Your point is why would you care if you’re dead? That’s what makes it extreme is because it would be embarrassing that you could potentially still care even after you’ve passed away.

We had two totally different interpretations of the same phrase.

This is how we started the episode. Full circle once again.

That’s how we do it. Thanks for getting uncomfortable with us. We appreciate you. Thanks for the shares. If you want to review this episode, by all means, go to Apple Podcasts and give us a review. We have a bunch of glowing reviews. We have over 50 now and one shitty review. Please make it glowing and don’t add to the shit. Thanks.

Unless you want to talk about shit in your review as a compliment, then that’s the type of shitty review we would like to read!

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