There are 61 social media apps present today and leading them are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and a handful others. Social media and the addiction to it actually started with Friendster and MySpace back in 2004, but it was Facebook that really put the social in social media. Are you one of the many who check their phones in the morning not for the email but for the likes you get from last night’s post? If you are, then that’s perfectly normal because that’s the culture that we live in today. But the thing is, as we feel connected, we also look disconnected. We go to restaurants and take pictures of the food first before we eat just so we can let everyone know we are eating something fancy. Learn how we should be conscious of the experiences around us while still being able to connect to the rest of the world.
This episode is around the concept of social media. It’s about my love, hate relationship with social media and how it’s such a huge part of my life, other people’s lives and how it’s getting more intense. 1.93 billion active users on Facebook, we’ve talked about that on the show, and my relationship to it. Arielle then comes back on the show, as a business coach and a life coach. She also talks about her experience of social media, how it works into her life, and we have an interesting conversation about the parallels between us of how we interact with this powerful tool.
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My Love/Hate Relationship with Social Media
This episode is all about social media and the use of social media. The core of our show is around my love hate relationship with the concept of social media. Every time I do an episode, I’m thinking about the show all week. I’m thinking about what’s going on, what I want to talk about and what’s happening. I do some research, I start looking at things, or start thinking about things, and of course in the last minutes all these thoughts come in that are totally unable to organize, but so what, the right things will come. In this episode, I was thinking about my long history, not so much with social media, which happened around 2003, 2004, with the advent of things like Friendster and Myspace, some of you people might not remember these sites at all but that’s where it started.
I think I’ve been hooked on the concept of social media way earlier. Here’s the history of me and this concept. The first time I did a computer program, I was in the third grade, I was ten years old, and I was building Dungeons and Dragons simulations with my friend David Show in the pet computer, PET computer. For those we have the floppy disk or the disk drive, that thing that’s like one terabit on your computer nowadays was an audio tape cassette. You’d actually have to save it, you have to verify it, so saving took like 20 minutes depending on how many lines of code. There was no graphics, it was all menu driven.
From there, my dad bought me the suitcase of a computer, probably when I was thirteen in 1982, 1983. We upgraded in 1985 to a little more, it was a Zenith laptop, and the basic form was word processing, instead of using a typewriter or handwriting, because my handwriting was horrible, we had a laptop. You could actually use a word processing too. I would write stories. I was a deaf story writer, I would write about sports, talk about my dog Teddy, how we’d have to put him to sleep, and I actually wrote a book, 100 page book when I was seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen called A Man of No Consequence, which was with the big twist in the tale, a heartbreak at the end. I won’t give any spoilers for my first novel at seventeen. Then when I got to college, we had these things called newsgroups. Around 1988, 1989, newsgroups where these things were people around the world via the internet could contribute their thoughts, and you could actually communicate with people in different countries and different cities.
There are all these topics, and some of the topics were millions and millions of newsgroups from woodworking to Star Trek to porn. It was like the first version of porn, you could actually download porn pictures. What you have to do is download these five files, you use a Unix code concatenate them, and then in the computer lab of USC with no one watching, you could sneak a peek at pornography. You could just go down to the store and buy a playboy for $3 or $4, but no, this was inventive, this was exciting, and there was this hit, because you were searching for pictures. You were searching for the perfect picture. I don’t even know what, but it was addicting. Then you have computer games like Netrek.
Anyway, that was the experience, it was the beginning of the dopamine validation experience. You’d post these things on the Internet, and then hope someone responds. Then I went through college, went through work and really my introduction to social media, the addiction started with this thing called Friendster, and Friendster was the precursor to Facebook. I think it came out 2003, 2004, and it was a way where you could actually build and create community from a profile. Very similar, not as deaf as Facebook. Facebook wasn’t as deaf as Facebook is now when it started, but it was just a way, and you know all your friends are on Friendster.
What happened is I started to advertise using it. That was the first thing I did, because I was starting OneTaste in 2004. We were trying to get people to our programs, and so you start to announce programs on an advertising tool to get attention. Which was great, because it was a whole new medium to starting our business, at the same time it became addicting like everything else. Then Facebook arose in 2006, 2007. If you’ve seen the movie, The Social Network, which some people say it’s total bullshit, other people say is totally valid. I think it’s somewhere in the middle.
Facebook was first given out to college students, Harvard to start, where you couldn’t get on as a normal person, and somewhere around 2007 they released it to the world, and that was it. For ten years of my life, I’ve used Facebook pretty much every single day of my life. I don’t think I’ve done anything else in my life every single day for ten years. Brushed my teeth, I’ve done that. I’ve taken a shower, don’t even do that every day, but most days I do. The point is, is that for the non-necessities to survive in societal the world, I’ve used Facebook every single day. That’s an intense thought to realize how connected that is.
In OneTaste it was a big thing, we used Facebook to connect. It was really about spreading the word. Facebook to me was also a way to flirt. It was a way to connect with the ladies I was interested in. It was a way to see high school friends and got, “You used to call me the fat kid, and now you look like shit.” I have to admit that there’s a lot of guys on Facebook who used to make fun of me because I was an overweight kid, and now they look horrible, I look good. Facebook on some level is revenge. Then I’m feeling this hunter inside of me.
There’s a way I’m hunting on Facebook for the next new experience. What is that? What is that thing that I’m looking for? It’s like, “That girl is cute or that girl is connected to this,” etc. Then there was my business. Since 2014, I’ve been solo. I went off on my own and I started to build Kandell Consulting, which led to the debacle of LA Mother, which also led to the creation of Tuff Love, the podcast you’re listening to. If that would have been the only thing I was doing, Facebook would have had a presence, but then I’m writing this book proposal for Hay House. The main thing about the book proposal is this platform, you need to have a platform.
The bottom line is you can have the best book in the world, if you don’t have a solid platform to self-promote the book, the odds of you getting picked up for a contract is significantly less. If you want to sell your book proposal to a house, you have to work on it. For the last three and a half months, I’ve been diligently working on my platform. My Instagram have helped, it’s got 10,000 followers. I pay a guy, he helps me. My Facebook, friends, presence is going. My mailing list is awful, that’s a whole another story. Facebook Ads is coming. Where it was this high level of engagement, now it’s become this ridiculous level of engagement, because I’m just focused on the book proposal.
I feel a little sick about it, and I have integrity around my Facebook usage. I read a lot of people’s profiles that I really dislike. I disliked a lot of the way that a lot of teachers would promoters use it. There’s this questions of, “Please, people, stop asking questions on Facebook.” Let’s just give it a six month hiatus for people looking for attention to ask questions. I’m so sick of the questions. What turns you on today? What’s special today? If you can have one thing in your life, what would you do? What’s your favorite vacation? What did you eat today? Do you like blind dates? It’s bombarded by the questions every day and I just want to get rid of all them.
Then part of me thinks, “Maybe I should be asking questions.”The worst part is I’m jealous when they actually ask good questions, get a lot of engagement and I think I should just go on a train and say, “Fuck that shit.” There’s this addictive nature to it. I’m sitting alone with my phone in my pocket. It’s calling, “Check Facebook, check Facebook. You might have gotten a like, you might have gotten new friend request, some cute girls might have posted on it. There might have been some element of dopamine ready to happen. There might be a little hit of cocaine from the Facebook that might enter into my bloodstream, spike me up and inspire me. Then I can feel good about myself because someone likes me. Someone truly, truly likes me.” It’s a mix of my business and my pleasure. It’s a mix of the elements in my personal life, and they’re so in twine now that is just ridiculous.
One thing I notice is when I do a post and I get lots of likes, then I feel good about it. I feel successful. I feel like, “I am a witty, intelligent individual.” No, I’m a witty, intelligent individual without the likes. But there’s something about the likes that validates.” We’re back to that word of validation that has me feel good about myself. Then those days when I post something that I think is awesome, and I get 37 likes, three comments, and you’re like speaking out to the universe. “What’s wrong, universe? That was not good enough for you? Are you all asleep? Are you not like?” I actually get mad at the world for you not doing its job of liking my post, which is just simply ridiculous.
Then, I posted this video. I worked my ass off on, it’s about part of the 22 questions in 44 minutes. It’s about why do men say hi, it was really witty. I posted it and I try to boost it with an ad, and then all of a sudden no one could share it. Like there was some glitch in the matrix that didn’t allow friends to share it, which was the whole point. The whole point I did the video, on some level was to entertain people, second was to get women saying, “God, you’re so cute, it’s awesome.” Third is to share, so I get likes in Facebook on my platform. It’s just ridiculous how much energy I put into this. I’m always looking for that level of acceptance. I’m always looking for that level of connection, and there’s just some weird piece of it. Let’s converge a little bit. I did a little research and I found out, some interesting facts that I want to go to, but I also first want to tell you that there are a lot more social media apps and platforms that have I ever heard of.
One source I found had 90. This one for 2017, these 61 Social Media Apps You Should Know for 2017. It’s on the Facebook event. You can actually read this article. There’s 61, and there’s the usual favorites on there, there’s Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, Google Plus, Skype, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit, Foursquare, YouTube. There’s the general ones, but there’s a lot of really interesting ones on there I never heard of. There’s QQ, what is that? There’s Xing, there’s Xanga, there’s Funny or, there’s Tout, there’s Mixi, there’s Douban, there’s Skyrock, there’s Flixster, I guess it’s for movies and there’s CafeMom. Then I thought, “Am I not doing my job by spreading the message of Tuff Love on all 61 of these apps? I need an assistant.” For the first time, I can confront the four apps that I handle. I can’t handle the 61. Then there’s a question, “Am I not doing my job?” There is that one person on QQ who’s looking for the inspiration of how to say more on high when they’re flirting on dating apps. I can’t be responsible for everyone, I’m doing the best I can. That’s the way it is.
Here’s some facts for you nerds out there like me who want to know some numbers. As of March 2017, there’s 1.94 billion active users on Facebook. How many billion people are on the planet? Was it 5 billion, 6 billion, I don’t even know, or 7 billion? A lot of people getting born, but 1.94 billion, that’s a lot of people. They should each give me a dollar to do this show, and then I would be very happy. Just once, just send me a dollar. 60% of active users are on the phone, so we’ve migrated from the desktop to the thumb. This should not be a huge surprise to people, because we’re sitting in the dentist office, bored for point one second, and we’re reaching for our phone to check Facebook. Of the 1.94 billion, 307 million are in Europe, which I actually thought was a low number. I don’t know the exact statistics of population, but I expected Europe to represent more, but so it is. There’s 83 million fake profiles.
That weird, sexy woman is one of 83 million. We are surrounded by fake profiles. Here’s my question. One, how many people actually fall for the fake profile? You fall for it, I never do. I’m the sleuth. I’m checking each friend request, that’s a fake profile, and saying, “No, you’re not real.”Here’s another one that I can identify with. 50%, one half of people 18 to 24, look at Facebook upon wake up. I snug with the Morgan in the morning, but the point is that I do check my phone in the morning when I go to the bathroom, I’d take my phone with me. It keeps me company. I check CNN, see what Trump’s doing. I look at Facebook, I look how many likes you’re doing, and then start the day. Yes, I’m one of those people. Instagram has a mere 700 million users, it’s catching up, Facebook owns Instagram, and Twitter has 328 million users, active users. Twitter, it has a little niche. I never understood Twitter. I’m still trying to get more likes, because that’s what you do when you’re building your stupid platform.
What do we do about this? This is getting more intense and more. Everyone knows as we go into restaurants and we don’t see people talking. We see people talking through their phones. We watched people go to concerts. They’re not watching the concert, they’re watching their concert through the phone, recording it, and then posting on Facebook just to ensure that their friends know that they got out of the house and they’re not total losers. That’s why we go to concerts nowadays. It’s not the music, it’s so we can take the video to post it and to get the likes. It is ridiculous.
Now I have to say for the record, I’ve been to a few concerts, I’ve never taken a picture. I’m proud of that and it’s not because I’m cool, it’s just because it’s really embarrassing to watch other people do it. My point is that we are now relating deeply into our phone and I think there’s a piece of it. One thing I’ve tried to do successfully, I believe is when I’m home with the kids, the phone goes away. This is a big piece of the puzzle. When Morgan comes into the room, when she’s around the house and she wants to talk to me, I close the laptop, I put the phone away immediately.
I am trying to demonstrate that she has the highest priority in my life, not this electronic thing that sits beside me all day. My point is, I’m trying to take the steps. It’s just about consciousness. Everything becomes a habit. Everything becomes something that we’ve become unconscious about. If you want to pay attention to it, start to look at your relationship with social media. Start to look at where you’re the victim of your profile and your likes. Start to look at those little details of how you can escape the black hole of the Facebook participation. I don’t have any answers from you at this point, because I’m not great at this, but this is something that I’ll be working on. Perhaps I’ll do an episode on how I killed Facebook in my life, how I conquered and caged it, and put it in his place. That is the rant for this episode.
Arielle’s coming back.
Hello, my dear.
You’re the winner. You’re the third time on the show. Twice as a coachee, once as a guest star. You hold the Tuff Love world record. Let’s talk about you and what’s going on. What do you want to talk about social media?
I mirror a lot of what you’re saying because so much of the platform that I’ve built for my business as a coach has been through Facebook. Last summer, I was writing a lot of posts about sex. It was the intention to get a lot of attention. The posts that I wrote were very evocative and it did receive a lot of attention, and I got really hooked by it. I’ve always been addicted to technology, but ever since I started experiencing what you were talking about, it’s like, “I’m building a following now. People are interested in what I have to say, how can I use this?”There are those embarrassing moments where I post something and I don’t get a like right away, so I’ve actually copied a post like deleted it, and then posted it again.
You post something, it goes to the top of your friends feed around with the Facebook algorithm, but if you don’t get immediate validation, you’re deleting and then reapplying?
Sometimes yes, I’m outing myself. That’s an experience that I have. Then feeling into the energy of why am I making a Facebook post here? Am I doing it purely because I just want to draw in attention? Is it something that I’m truly inspired by? Am I feeling into the energetic of what is my intention for the post, like how does that actually impact how people receive it? I’m in this place where it’s also the posts that I share tend to be super vulnerable, and to the extent where it doesn’t actually impact me when I share it. I almost feel people value what I’m saying less if I’m just putting it out there for everyone to see.
I’m glad that I’m on this show right now because I’m really feeling into the extent to which I utilize Facebook for sharing vulnerably, and if that actually negatively impact my business. Because people don’t actually need to pay for the things that I am posting on Facebook. Then there’s a place where I’m not actually enjoying it as much. I want to post things that I think are fucking hilarious, or something that doesn’t have to be so impactful, and thought provoking to go on my Facebook page. It’s just noticing my energy is getting drained more than it is getting replenished, and I have a lot of embarrassment for how much hours cumulatively on the bit per day, just looking at Facebook. I want to shift that, so I’m on the call with you to get worked a little bit.
I’m writing about this, it’s called We Create Optimize Social Media Profiles. We write the profiles that will attract the most attention. There’s a real live case reality if you write something on social media that goes negatively, that could affect your business. This is not like, “I can just write whatever I want and then let the chips fall where they may.” No, we live our reputation as coaches and educators based on our reputations. If we write something that’s askew, it could really destroy a business.
I have a colleague of mine, his name is Eric. He’s a yoga instructor in San Francisco. He wrote the misogynistic post, and he got flamed on top of flames, got kicked out of jobs. People who apply for jobs, their social media profiles are checked by their employers. It really is you’re airing your dirty laundry, there can be a detrimental effect. First thing I want to say is there is some reality to your hesitation based on what is.
What I will say to that is I’m actually not worried about what I’m writing negatively impacting my business. I feel like my business is such that it’s all about really getting congruent with who you are and sharing from that place, and not being afraid to speak your truth. Then how do we actually get connected to it in a way where we’re not leaning anyone, we’re not attacking anyone, where I do get triggered though is when people will post things like comments on my posts that challenge my perspectives. I feel the part of me that’s totally clenches up because I’m worried that I haven’t seen every single perspective available and that I look silly. Then there’s also the piece of I am offering these things into the world and I don’t necessarily have the desire to spend hours responding to people about them. That’s another thing that comes up for me.
What I do is I try to post provocative things. I always try to personalize them because my life is very interesting and exciting. Just being in relationship with a powerful woman brings up a lot of stuff. Then co-parenting two children, which I’ve never done before, brings up a lot of stuff. Then there’s the multitude of people I coach and how they show me things. I really do believe that I encounter quite a few things that are useful to the world.
Then I try to post in a way that’s positive, authentic and open for interpretation. I like controversy because I like to wrestle. I don’t like to look like an idiot, like I once misquoted someone, and I applied a quote to someone who shouldn’t know, and that felt stupid. It’s Facebook or I got an email with some quote. The point is that detaching your ego from how you look on social media is the name of the game.
A lot of the way that’s been playing out for me is when I post things, I really desire for it to come across as me acknowledging my own humanity and my own areas where I have shit. One of the things that triggers me with what I see a lot of coaches doing these days and how they post, is I feel the energy with how they’re posting is like, “This is how it should be. I’ve got it figured out.” There’s an energy to it, or I feel that was the trend for a while. I read it half the sentence in, I’m immediately like, “I know where this person’s going, I know exactly what it is that they’re going to say, and I get off put by it.”It’s like how do we convey powerful truths while really getting connected to our own process around it so it feels authentic. That feels very important.
Let’s call it pedantic. It’s in a lot of teachers, educators come across as pedantic, this is the way it is. The Catholic Church does this, this is the way it is. If you have a different opinion, you’re dumb and you’re wrong. People communicate that in definitive statements. You can get the same statement in a way that’s open for interpretation to discussion, and three for modification. That’s my hope when I post and I see a lot of people not doing that is “I just want to state this and this is the way it is, and fuck you if you disagree.”I think you’re reading into those pedantic, definitive statements.
It makes me want to go to a spot that doesn’t especially talk about social media but it feels relevant, a spot more about leadership and teacher roles, and social media as opposed to social media itself. The thing that it makes me think of is the role of teachers and the role of leaders these days. I feel like you and I have similar experience of having a lot of leaders feel like guru roles or this I’m showing up as this perfect being and presenting it as such. I feel like there’s this way where I want to show up as a person who shows their humanity and shows their vulnerability. It feels very important to me these days. That’s really what I was feeling from this conversation.
What are your judgments around those people? Because I feel that’s filtering into the conversation.
Yes, it’s not so much what my judgments are of those people, but more what I did to my level of self-worth because of how I perceive those people. What I did was I would put up teachers on a pedestal, and as a result give my power to them, and feel if they didn’t give me the answer that I wouldn’t be able to find it within myself. I feel get wound up having me not listen and check in with a lot of my boundaries and yes to things because of someone who I had put up on a pedestal said that it was good for me. Then I wound up going through the experience and then as I actually got connected to what my true yes and my true no was, I wound up having a lot of resentment and feeling violated. I held a lot of anger for those people and just a lot of judgment for people who are human, who are perfect. It was challenging for me, so I have a lot of fear of showing up as that person because they don’t cause the same trauma eventually.
We like to be authentic and real, and we don’t like to be like other people. We’d like to be unique, we like to be special. There’s nothing wrong with that. When you have a fear, when that fear is driving your approach, that’s where things get skewed. The second thing is, I hear inside of you a lot of anger, judgment and resentment towards those people, but there’s probably an anger, resentment and judgment towards yourself that hasn’t been totally cleared yet.
I actually feel I’ve done a lot of beautiful healing around it. Yes, it is really important to me that I have as an open mind and a willingness to hear other people’s perspectives as possible. That just feels really important to me. There a deep fear of being wrong, and being wrong in front of a lot of people and feeling silly for being wrong in front of a lot of people, that’s a terrifying fear.
All you can do every step of the way, is be good to yourself, be kind to yourself, do your best, when you miscue, apologize. If someone comes up with an alternative viewpoint, say, “Thank you, I appreciate that. “ I’ve done a lot of posts for people have been totally opposite my viewpoint and I’m like, “Thank you for taking the time to share your viewpoint, because that’s valuable, and I’m here to learn.”That’s all we can do. That’s all we can do and it’s to learn from our mistakes and to improve.
Be constantly humbled.
The flip side to know, people out there are really lonely and depending on Facebook, that’s the irony of it all. We live in the most isolated history of people living alone in the history of the world. There’s a book called Going Solo that I’m reading, you look at the statistics of people living alone, it’s insane. People need social media to feel connected at this point, for better or for worse. When you do offer some great insight, you can inspire someone to face the day and feel connected. You can change someone’s life. It’s the balance between the two to know that you’re doing good in the world and that’s an important role.
Then the one other piece which really does just have to deal with social media is I really feel how being so actively engaged in Facebook takes me out of my reality. When I’m in the present world, we’re constantly attracting, we’re constantly creating magic and there’s this feeling of when I’m really present in my own reality. I become a magnet. There’s a really powerful gravitational force. When I’m totally sucked into Facebook for a considerate amount of my considerable amount of my day, I really notice how it always makes me feel less confident in my physical reality because I’m less grounded in that one.
It’s all about the balance. Social media is here to stay. Laptops, iPhones, screens, they’re here to stay. It’s our job now to find that healthy balance between the two, and it’s difficult. It’s a really difficult thing. It’s going to be a continual more challenge, because the manufacturers want us to get hooked. They really do, because they can sell more products. It’s on us to go against the grain to find the balance so we can live the life we truly want to live. Go out there and find the balance of how to find this in your life. I’m grateful for people who rate me, people downloading. Please spread the word. I’m working on my book platform. It’s about the reality of life. If you’d like to love me up a little bit, just go to TuffLove.Live. Go to iTunes and give us a like. Thanks so much for being here. Go forth, find your balance of your technology. Go relate. Go out and be in the sun, and enjoy.
Thank you so much for joining us for Tuff Love. I really appreciate you being here for the conversation about social media. Arielle, thank you so much also for giving your two cents about your list of social media, grateful as always to have you share your life on Tuff Love to me and to the audience.