Hey friends! Today I’m here with Maryellen Dance of the Okay-ish Podcast to talk about comparisonitis on social media.

Maryellen is a therapist in New York who’s working to bring awareness to the dark side of social media that makes us feel bad about ourselves, feel the need to be present all the time online, and gives us a level of isolation like never before.

In today’s episode, we’re talking about HOW these social media platforms play a role in affecting us mentally and how we can navigate such a saturated online space.

We also cover:

  • vulnerability on social media
  • influencers and performative content
  • experiencing the imposter complex
  • how we can decrease our comparisonitis

Read the full transcript

Meg Casebolt 0:01
You’re listening to social slowdown a podcast for entrepreneurs and micro businesses looking for sustainable marketing strategies without being dependent on social media. Social media is a double edged sword. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected. But it also can feel like an addictive obligation. And it’s even more complex for businesses, your audience might be right there, but you’ve got to fight with algorithms to maybe be seen by them. So whether you want to abandon social media altogether, or you just want to take a month off, it’s possible to have a thriving business without being dependent on social media. This podcast is all about finding creative, sustainable ways to engage with your audience without needing to lip sync, send cold DMS, run ads or be available 24/7. Let’s get started.

Mary Ellen, I am so so excited to have you on the social slowdown podcast.

Maryellen Dance 0:55
Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here.

Meg Casebolt 0:58
So guys, Mariela, and I live in the same town, she is a therapist up the street for me, and I was looking at her Instagram feed recently, and was like, Oh, my gosh, I need to have Mariela to talk about this topic, because she’s on Instagram, talking in reels because that’s what Instagram wants, about why you don’t need to compare yourself to other people on Instagram. And it just felt like this really amazing subversive way of using the platform. It’s like, what’s Audrey Lorde like the tools that built the Masters House will not dismantle the Masters House, but like you’re trying to dismantle it from the inside out. And that’s really freaking cool. Using the stone to destroy the stones, and like a fantasy hideaway. I know you’re not actually trying to destroy Instagram, but But recognizing the limitations of these platforms, and the ways that they’re impacting your audience and the people you’re trying to reach. So talk to me a little bit about, you know, who are you talking to in your messaging? And what are they experiencing? Oh,

Maryellen Dance 2:00
my gosh, I have so much to say about this. Um, okay, so I have approximately 1000 things to say about this. So I have to target Instagram, specifically Instagram, because I still don’t really know how to use tick tock farewell. Because, oh, we’re getting hurt by Instagram or in Instagram. So like, it would be silly to like, I don’t know, go to some other platform and talk about it. Because they’re not on that platform. This is where they are.

Meg Casebolt 2:34
Yeah, the people who are gonna have to go in there. Yeah. Yeah, the people who are in there who are experiencing those messages of like, not being good enough, or needing to show up a certain way or look a certain way, like that platform has been cultivated to give that messaging to people.

Maryellen Dance 2:49
Yes. And it’s, and it’s working, it works so well. And we can say, all day, well, I don’t follow the people who do this, I’m sorry, they show up. Like the algorithm, the Instagram, it shows up whether we want it to or not, like things just show up. Um, and, uh, one thing that I really can’t stand is the people that say that they’re like, sending a good message, but they’re actually not sending a good message. So like, I say, I made a mistake, and I accidentally, I accidentally clicked on something. So now I have been getting a lot of like fitness people on my Instagram. And there’s a lot of fitness people that are trying to show like, this is like, this is a post photo next to like, this is what I really look like kind of thing. Mm hmm. Which is a step in the right direction, I think. But they’re still doing the post photo. Like, so there’s a lot of people on Instagram, I think that are like trying to do better, right, like, on the left side is hear me sucking in and on the right side is hear me, you know, not signing in. Okay, that’s trying to do better I get that. But that’s still showing people the message of you sucking in, people are still seeing that that’s still getting into our brains. So like, I also can’t stand because I hear this all the time that people are like, oh, yeah, like I do it differently. Like I talk about this, but in a different way. It’s like, do you

Meg Casebolt 4:30
if you’re still using all the same hashtags and showing up in all the same feeds then how differently Could you be doing it? Well,

Maryellen Dance 4:38
I actually was talking to a friend just yesterday about food tracking. So food tracking is like not healthy. I understand the point of it. I understand the purpose if you’re like trying to lose weight and you’re tracking food, but like it is psychologically like it is not a good thing to do like food is meant to nourish us. It’s not meant to be something We were down about and like obsess over. And this friend of mine was like, oh, but you can track in a healthy way. That’s the whole point. Like, again, I do understand it, like I get it, and I get the purpose of, you know, somebody is, needs to be on a healthier diet or whatever it needs to make awareness like I get that. But all these people are like, Well, I’m posting about this, but in a healthy way.

Meg Casebolt 5:24
I’m sharing what my diet was and the way that I’m doing this, but like other people don’t have to do the same thing. And it’s like the implicit the implicit pressure of first of all me as the creator, feeling like I need to post that is a humble brag is a way of saying like, well, this is what I’m doing. So that’s I’m trying to set an example for you. But I’m going to tell you that you don’t have to do it my way. Because I don’t want to feel pushy, even though clearly, I’m trying to point out to you that this is the way that you should be doing things. And also, you should buy this course for me about how to do it yourself in my way. But you know how

Maryellen Dance 5:58
this course is like $8,000. Yet, can we talk about self obsession for a second?

Meg Casebolt 6:04
Yes, please. We’re obsessed with

Maryellen Dance 6:07
ourselves, I actually

Meg Casebolt 6:08
just run this stuff, if you’re in a conversation with somebody in person. So if you and I were like, go grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine, we talked about ourselves 30% of the time. And then it would be like each of those people was talking about 30% of the time. And then 40% is just like other things that come up on these social platforms. They’ve gone and done it. It’s between 60 and 70% of the time you’re talking about yourself.

Maryellen Dance 6:30
That’s fascinating. Yeah. Fascinating. Well, the the a few years ago, I don’t remember what year it was. But you know how Time Magazine has a person of the year? Yeah, a few years ago, the person of the year was you because of social media, right? At the time, at the time, there was Myspace, Facebook, YouTube, right? And like selfies. When selfies first started becoming a thing. I was like, this is the most narcissistic thing I’ve ever, like, Are you kidding me? Like, this is so ridiculous, like, what? And now it’s just like normalized. Like we are so self obsessed, that I think we’re losing sight of like, um, we can learn from other people and everyone’s different.

Meg Casebolt 7:14
person doesn’t need to have everything figured out and have it all packaged up for us, for us to learn from them in a conversation.

Maryellen Dance 7:20
Right? And at hand, like, what is it doing for people, you know, I really want to know, I really want to interview influencers, to like, assess their self esteem, because it can’t be good. Like, I’m saying it can’t be good. Like I don’t, I don’t get like a dopamine boost. If somebody likes a photo, I get a dopamine boost, if I’m sitting with you having a glass of wine and being like, oh my gosh, it’s good to see you. Like, let’s catch up, you know, that’s where my dopamine comes from. Like, it just doesn’t work that way. And so, you know, I have this theory, um, it’s not based on any facts, it’s just what I think. But, um, that like influencers actually have really terrible self esteem, because the primary way that they’re getting their self worth is from something that’s not meant to release dopamine release oxytocin, like all of these good hormones. Um, so like, how could you have good self worth? You know what I mean? Does this make sense? Like,

Meg Casebolt 8:16
if your self worth is based on you know, so if you’re a Kardashian, and you have been raised in a household where your brand is paramount, and people have their favorite Kardashians, and oh, I’m a Chloe person, I’m more of a quirky person. Like, that’s, that’s two of them. Right, Kim? Callie, I don’t know. There’s like,

Maryellen Dance 8:37
I still don’t understand why they’re famous. I know, that was a sex tape, but I still don’t really get it.

Meg Casebolt 8:42
I don’t really get it either. I watched like half an episode once because a roommate had it on a decade ago. And I was like, I can’t handle this badness. But I know they’re, they’re really popular and what’s her face, Kendall has like a makeup line or something, you know, like, and the benefit of being in that family is that you have this platform that you’re built into. And so everything that you create has to reach in some way or like you’re failing the family, like there’s a weird pressure for that level of influencer and the ways that they’re behaving and the products that they’re talking about, whether it’s you know, candles makeup, isn’t it, which I don’t know, if it’s whether it’s makeup, or you know, weight loss shakes, or whatever. And like the the hustle that they’re trying to prove that they’re entrepreneurs and their boss, babes. And like, I think that that approach to influencing has trickled down. So they’ve sort of set the standard of here’s how you are supposed to behave online and then other influencers who have gotten into it for exactly what you’re talking about here. I’m thinking about like, Rachel Hollis. Oh, like she went. Have you listened to the maintenance based podcast about Rachel Hollis when she got started? No. Okay. We will link to this in the show notes. There’s a podcast called maintenance phase that’s about like the dark side of weight loss trends. And they did a two part series on Rachel Hollis. And the first one is like, how she developed her brand and all of the things that she did in order to start to grow her audience so that she could get a book deal. And a lot of it is a lot of these like very kind of aggressive approaches to the ways that you’re talking about things online to make people feel less them in order to set herself apart as the pinnacle of how things should be right like, and that’s not the way that all influences are. But there certainly is a modeled behavior that is then trickling down into this online entrepreneurship space of like, here’s how you’re supposed to behave. And here’s how you’re supposed to present yourself.

Maryellen Dance 10:44
Well, when I understand there’s a lot of these influencers, Rachel Hollis, um, their lives are dumpster fires. Like, they might be rich, but like, I would not want to, I would not want to put myself in your shoes. Like I, I have no interest in living that life, you know, um, but they are the people that are like, live what I do, this is what I do. And I’m like, Wait, why are we following what they do? Like, they’re, they’re kind of can I swear? Yeah. They’re an asshole. Like, I like you’re like, I don’t like I’m not, you know, if I, if I really respect someone, like, let’s say, I have a boss that I like, really respect and look up to and they’re like a mentor, and I kind of want to, like learn from them and do things that they do, because like, I respect them, and I can, they’re, they’re intelligent, you know, that’s one thing. But they’re, like, follow what I do, but I’m gonna just put everyone down and be self absorbed and be a jerk. And it’s like, we will. What? Like, why are we following that? Like, why do we want that? I don’t get it.

Meg Casebolt 11:55
What are you seeing this showing up in the conversations that you’re having? Like, in the therapy room? Obviously no details or anything? But like, are people coming into you with expectations? I know, sometimes you’ll work with like entrepreneurs, but not exclusively, like, where people are coming in. And they’re like, why isn’t my why am I not more famous? Or like, Why? Why is this so hard?

Maryellen Dance 12:13
I’m less of that more extreme anxiety and terrible self esteem. I’m like, more things like, whoa, I’m like, why can’t I lose weight? Like, um, you know, I? Why don’t I feel like a girl boss? Like, how do I become a girl boss? Like, things like that? Where it’s like, um, it’s less of like a direct line and more of like, oh, I have a lot of people who are like, Well, other people are farther along in their lives than me. And I’m like, No, they’re not. Like, first of all, what does that even mean? Second of all, like, no, they’re not I have, I work with a fair amount of people and like, their 20s. That Oh, and I think that’s sort of a common thought for your 20s. You know, like, am I am I keeping up with the Joneses? Am I where I want to be? Am I moving towards my goal, whatever it mean, whatever it may be, um, but like, I get a lot of like, all these people have so many friends. And I’m like, no, they don’t look bad. They post about this person that was about this person. And they post about this person, and I’m like, at home texting my mom. And I’m like, okay. We don’t know why Mom is awesome. Like, and that’s happened to me before, right? Where I’m at home at, you know, nine o’clock on a Saturday night and I’m texting my mom being like, hey, ma’am, do you wanna hang out? You know, I’m on Instagram, and all these other people are like doing all this fun. Shit. And I’m like, uh, what’s wrong with me? Right? Like, some of that is just like normal thinking. But because we are literally because it’s literally shoved in our faces. And we learn by example. Like as children, we the, the primary way we learn is by what we see. You know, so like, mag, if you go home and yell at your husband, your kids are going to learn to yell at their husbands or spouses or whatever. Like that is the biggest, most effective way that we learn is we learn by watching and what are we doing all the time? We are watching things. So we can say to ourselves, oh, this is fake. Oh, this is fake. Or this is fake. But we’re still watching it. It’s still getting in there. Like we are still absorbing it. So it’s just it’s terrible.

Meg Casebolt 14:38
How do we you know if you if you still feel like okay, I can’t walk away from this right now. How do we reframe the messages that we’re seeing on these platforms to feel like less comparison to decrease the comparison itis of my life versus hers or to decrease that feeling of I’m missing out if I’m not on So I’m not going to be part of these conversations. What can we do to like, minimize that desire?

Maryellen Dance 15:06
Okay, so I have a I have a lot of thoughts on this. The first thought is unfollow people. And I have a tendency to love to hate people. I know that’s so bad, but like, Do you sometimes like follow those people that like, you’re like, you don’t love him but he kind of just like, You got to unfollow him like, it’s just not good for you, like just unfollow them. Um, those people that like annoy you, it’s not doing us got unfollow them. So that’s the first thing. The second thing is consent, consider the source. Right? Like, if Kim Kardashian is giving relationship advice, I don’t want to take that. Like her. She doesn’t seem you know, in like a stable place in her relationships. Um, oh, if somebody who is in like a healthy marriage that has been married for a long time, and they both report being, you know, healthy and happy, okay, maybe I’ll maybe I’ll listen to them. Like, they might have some good stuff to say,

Meg Casebolt 16:06
but also consider the source and consider the intention of the source. Are they trying to share something that is valuable as a way of providing some sort of information to you? Or are they gearing up for something that they are going to lure you into and use manipulative tactics to sell you it there, there are both around the internet, there are absolutely people who are like full of really great advice, and who has ways to work with them that are healthy, and that are thoughtful, and that are intentional. And then there are people who are going to prey on your insecurities in order to make more sales.

Maryellen Dance 16:44
Uh huh. And it’s really like, psychologically speaking, it’s really, really unhealthy. I use fitness as an example a lot, just because it’s like, it’s a really obvious example. And I think there’s a lot of like fitness influencers out there. How many fitness influencers have admitted that they are in recovery from an eating disorder a lot, how many of those influencers that are, quote unquote, in recovery from an eating disorder still have really really disordered eating and unhealthy views on it? All lots. And so like, we also have to consider that to like, if we’re considering the source, if we’re considering the intention, okay. They’re not trying to like, I’m not trying to sell anything on Instagram. Like, I’m a therapist, if you want to call my therapy practice, like, I mean, right now, my schedule is kind of full, but I have a lot of therapists that I work with, like, great, we can get you hooked up with somebody, um, and you know, if you need help, but like, I’m not, I’m not trying to sell any thing. And I don’t think it’s necessarily if people trying to sell something like, like, I get it, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. But like you said, how are they trying to do this? Are they trying to make you feel guilty? Are they trying to make like, if you’re looking at an influencer, trying to sell something, and you feel bad about yourself, that’s a red flag. That is a huge red flag. If you’re looking at an influencer, or even not an influencer, I’ll say a business owner on Instagram, and you’re like, Oh, I just learned something that’s interesting. I want to learn more great. But if you’re like, Oh, I feel bad about myself, I feel bad that what I’ve been doing hasn’t worked. I feel bad, you know, this, that and the other thing, huge, huge red flag. And with all these fitness, with what I was saying about the fitness influencers and eating disorders, and this not the other thing, we also have to understand. I don’t want to say that we can’t trust people. But like, we can’t really trust

Meg Casebolt 18:47
it was wondering how you were gonna work around that was like, No, it really is that we just you cannot trust people to tell the truth everywhere.

Maryellen Dance 18:55
Well, and we also can’t trust that I actually see this with um, so I personally, I personally think that it’s, this is just my personal opinion, I think it’s unethical for therapists to not go to therapy themselves. I like, in my opinion, that’s like a dentist not brushing their teeth. Like, I don’t understand how that can happen. Um, and I even see there are amazing, amazing therapists out there. But like any job, there’s some like, not so great ones out there. Right. And so I even see some therapists that are that are like, Well, I had trauma and I worked through it. And so that’s why I’m a therapist. And it’s like, okay, that’s really cool. And that’s really lovely. But like, I don’t know what that means. Like, are you actively working on yourself? Are you actively self aware? Are you not bringing that into the therapy room when it’s about me? Like because that’s not appropriate, right. Like, people who say like the fitness influencers who Like I had an had an eating disorder, and I don’t anymore. First of all, if you’ve been in recovery for an eating disorder, you know that the words you use are in recovery, not like, oh, it’s done. It’s gone. It’s done with. Um, so like, that’s a red flag, but also like how, how do I know that you’re not like relapsing? How do I know that you’re in a healthy spot to be giving me healthy advice, like, you don’t know that we don’t know this. And so oftentimes, I think people really do have good intentions, but it’s hurting other people. So like, someone could have the best intentions. And they’re saying, like, Hey, you should track your food. And then you start obsessively tracking your food and then like, not eating, and then like, you know, just like snowballing into your own disordered eating like that is really, really dangerous. So like, I think that, yes, I think that looking at the intention behind it is important. Like, are they trying to sell me something? But I also think looking at every everyone has stuff, right? Everyone has their own downfalls. And so I would rather follow someone that’s like, Hey, I have information to share, I want to educate you, then, hey, do it how I’m doing it. Because why would the way you’re doing it work for the way I’m doing it? Like we’re different people, like why would that work? If you have education, if you have knowledge, if you have a degree, if you have, you know, research, whatever? I’m way more likely to follow that. Yeah,

Meg Casebolt 21:27
it does. One of the things that I’ve been thinking about is like, is this person providing? Or are they performing? Yes, yes. Like, are they providing information that I can use and build into my other knowledge about this topic? Or use some critical thinking and apply something here? Or are they performing to show me how good they are doing what they are doing? Or showing up in a specific way? You know, like, what is the the goal of this content that’s being created? I love that. Oh, my God, horses steal if you want it perfect. Just have to cite cite me everywhere I Well,

Maryellen Dance 22:04
providing or performing, providing or performing. I absolutely love that.

Meg Casebolt 22:10
I got it on a poster on my wall to remind myself of that question, because I said it. I think too much. I’ll order recently. And I was like, I should write that down.

Maryellen Dance 22:20
You should you should trademark that. Um, I think that it’s hard to because right now, vulnerability is like, really trendy. And so I’ve seen a lot of influencers being like, this is behind the scenes like this. You know, I’ve seen like pictures of influencers, like, like crying like, this is me having a bad day. That’s still not real. Like, I appreciate it, I get what they’re trying to do with it. But that’s like, what is what is the purpose of that to say they have bad days? Okay, well, if you don’t have a bad day, then you’re a robot like that doesn’t exist. So I guess I just like, it’s still so performative to me, right? Just like with those, this is me sucking in. And this is me not sucking. And that’s still performative. Like just be just like, be yourself, just.

Meg Casebolt 23:11
And if you’re in a space where you can’t talk about something up, don’t talk about it. You don’t need to show up every day, and share every thought that’s on your mind and cry on your Insta Stories, and show that you’re feeling something. I saw this a lot. Two summers ago, when George Floyd was murdered, and people were like, let me let me send her my white girl experience about how hard it is, you know, and it’s like, no, this is not the goal of these platforms. But every because of the self obsession because of the fact that people don’t know how to process their own emotions. They show up on these platforms, because they’re going to get sympathy. They’re going to get people going, oh my god, girl, that must be so hard for you.

Maryellen Dance 23:53
I guess what I don’t understand. And this goes back to like the self absorption thing. No one cares.

Meg Casebolt 24:03
This is your your friendly neighborhood therapist. No one cares about.

Maryellen Dance 24:09
Your feelings are very important. Your feelings are very important. Everyone’s individual experiences, feelings, it does not negate someone else’s, even if it’s different. You know, I unfortunately have people in my office all the time that say things like why no other people have it so much worse. Like, okay, yeah, it’s important to have that worldview but like, that doesn’t mean your feelings aren’t valid and important. One I mean, no one cares. What what is the benefit for you or for other people to be sharing? Every time you take a shit? Like I don’t understand, like, that need like, it honestly makes me really sad that people feel this need to be present online all the time. Like that makes me really sad like I, why do we need that? Like,

Meg Casebolt 25:06
I feel like there’s a level of isolation that has happened in our society that obviously became worse in the past two years with, you know, literal isolation where we are all like you cannot leave your houses, right lockdowns and things like that. But even before that there is a people are less likely to connect in person because we have these screens between us. And even with the screens between us, they may not be conversations that we’re having. They’re one sided dialogues going back and forth, like it is, it is monologue to monologue. There’s no such thing as a one sided dialogue, that’s not a thing, Meg, it’s like, we’re just monologuing at each other, and then sometimes commenting on each other’s monologues. It’s not a dialogue, it’s not a conversation. But if you aren’t actively having a conversation with somebody and you want to feel seen, then you can go broadcast instead of you know, entering into conversation or relationship you can broadcast out to the world. And if you get those likes, and those hearts and those what, you know, whatever those reactions are, then you are seen.

Maryellen Dance 26:11
Oh, that’s so sad. Because that seems like such a band aid scene, you know, and it makes it makes me sad that people you know, feel that they can’t connect with other people. Because connecting is like something we all need, like connection being seen being heard being validated being accepted. That’s something like, those are just like human needs. And I think

Meg Casebolt 26:35
especially in like the online space, it’s like, especially if people build up a big brand, then it can be a little intimidating to be like, Hey, can we have a coffee shop? Can we do a podcast interview together? Can we figure out a way to work together? You know, like, it’s almost like people enter a different stratosphere once they hit a certain level of like, internet fame, which is not really a fame. But you know, there have been times where I’m like, oh, man, I would love to have this person on the podcast, but they don’t know who I am. Why would I reach out to them? You know, like, there’s a an imposter complex that shows up for us in all of this, and that it makes us feel even more isolated. Because there’s an even more we got talking, we were talking about, like, current college kids, because you’re also a college professor, like how they’re like, Oh, my anxiety is so much that I couldn’t study today. And like, almost using anxiety as like a blanket. Helplessness. Yeah. And I think I see that sometimes with other people where it’s like, well, it’s easier not not that we’re trying to, you know, make excuses for things. But it’s always easier to go post than it is to do cold outreach, or to deep connection, it’s easier to be faithful and enroll online than it is to be really vulnerable and put yourself out there and get potentially get to know

Maryellen Dance 27:53
when it’s hard, like making friends as an adult is a really hard thing to do. But, you know, making connections, it’s really, really hard. Um, but it makes me you know, it’s really sad that that fake vulnerability is so prevalent. Um, and I think it’s also leading to self absorption. And when I say self absorbed, when I say self absorption, I’m not saying that the person is not a good person. No, you know, oftentimes, we’re really self absorbed when we’re, we actually have, you know, really poor self esteem, or we’re feeling really bad about ourselves, you know, it depends on the situation. But this self absorption of, oh, these people are interested in hearing about every detail of my life like that is that that’s kind of what I meant when I said that people don’t care. Like, what is our view of the world? Like, I think we’re, we forgotten that we have important views, we have important things to say that are not just you know, what kind of coffee we got, or what type of like skincare we use, like we as human beings, we all have important things to say. And we’re not saying those important things. And we’re saying all these other things that just lead to this self absorption of look at me Look at me. And it’s like, well, that’s not making anyone feel better. Like that’s not making you feel more connected.

Meg Casebolt 29:20
And I think these platforms are meant to be shallow, right? There’s not a place where you can go deep, it’s like you have 140 characters on Twitter, you have, you know, 60 seconds in a real to make your point. It’s not a space for long form content. It’s not a space for like getting in deep to a situation that has multiple viewpoints, or that you can really talk about nuances. That’s not what these platforms are for. These are entertainment platforms. And they’re intended to be quick and clever and engaging. But you can’t always engage in something that’s deep, right. And so maybe finding a new place to hang out, that gives you a chance to express what is valuable, what is important, maybe it’s about moving your videos from. And this is what we’ve done is like we move the videos off of Instagram onto Youtube so that we have a bit more of a nuanced conversation, and then we pull pieces of them, and put them on Instagram as a real but not the whole thing. Because you can’t you can’t go that deep on that platform.

Maryellen Dance 30:30
Right? It’s not what it’s meant for. It’s meant for how often are people buying things off Instagram? How often are people taking advice off of Instagram, like so often, and, and I feel like we need to remind people, not everything you read on the internet is true. It’s just not. And we forgotten. I truly think we’ve forgotten that. And we forgotten that, you know, the internet is puts up a facade, no matter how, quote unquote vulnerable, we’re being on Instagram, that’s not truly who we are. Like, it’s just not like, cry on

Meg Casebolt 31:11
Instagram, but probably they’re like doing multiple takes and like refreshing their mascara so that way, the cry lines look really good coming down their faces, you know, like, there is something not everyone is like that, obviously. But you know, there, there’s a performative aspect to all of this, that then we internalize it as part of our self awareness and self concept and self worth that can be really harmful.

Maryellen Dance 31:34
Yep. And also people’s opinions are just that their opinions? And can I learn from other people’s opinions? Absolutely. Do I want to widen my view so that I can understand someone else’s opinion, even if I don’t agree with it? Absolutely. But opinions aren’t right now. We are taking opinions as gold. Yeah, as gold, you know, and I see it as a therapist. So I’m gonna not get into this too much, because I’ll just get upset. As a therapist, I see it a lot with life coaches. There are life coaches, on Instagram, and in the world. Just FYI, life coaching is like not a thing. I mean, it is a thing but like you can anyone can put a sign on their door that says their life coach, and there’s no

Meg Casebolt 32:23
certification process, there’s no governing body that makes sure that you are regulated in the way that a therapist has for life. Correct.

Maryellen Dance 32:32
Technically, there are like life coaching certifications, there’s something called the international coaching Foundation, something or ICF I don’t know what it stands for Federation better. Yeah. Um, that kind of tries to govern a little bit, but they can’t stop like Joe Schmo from just saying they’re, they’re a life coach, even if they haven’t been through it. And I don’t know enough about this governing body to know enough about how much they govern. So like, I have a license from New York State, I have to get that license renewed every three years. In those three years, I have to be doing continuing education, like stuff like It’s like pretty strict continuing education,

Meg Casebolt 33:13
based on scientifically backed trainings. No, yeah. You know, yeah. Not to say that, or like not like, manifest your dreams, trainings, but like this, let’s go look at scientifically backed, peer reviewed journal, you know, like, these are people at a profit soil level or above who are actually doing the research in a, you know, double blind study for what’s going on, or, you know, this is REAL science, not we will feel good Crystal

Maryellen Dance 33:49
1000 1000 1,000% And, and I am also very far from perfect, I put my foot in my mouth, I say the wrong thing. I like Joel, I don’t know what I’m talking about half the time, like, so like, even though I am governed by this, like, I’m always learning, I’m always growing. And so there’s a bunch of these life coaches online, that are that are using really, really strong mental health psychological terms, like abuse, like narcissism, like trauma, PTSD, PTSD, all of these things. And that’s really dangerous, that’s really dangerous. So it’s really someone who has PTSD or someone who has trauma can really easily be re traumatized by talking about it. And so like, I go through training all the time about how to like work with people on trauma and not re traumatize them. Like because it’s it’s very hard to do. Um, and all these people are talking about these really, really dangerous things with literally no no about it. And it’s scary. Like, it’s truly just scary. I’m sure that like doctors feel similarly, or maybe nutritionists or like people, you know, um, because there’s all that stuff too. Um, it’s just scary because it’s, it’s hurting people. And, and, and we’re all All human beings are vulnerable. But like, someone who has a mental health diagnosis is considered to be like a vulnerable person, right? Someone who has a physical health diagnosis is considered to be a vulnerable person. And so like these, these people are preying on these vulnerable populations to sell something, and, okay, whatever, you want to sell something, I don’t care about that. But like, you know, as a therapist, as a doctor, as whatever, it’s it’s do no harm. And like this is doing harm, like this is hurting people. And it’s just, it’s really scary.

Meg Casebolt 35:57
It’s really scary. The internet is really like a wild west. Yeah, everyone’s out guns blazing. And the loudest voices are not necessarily the most knowledgeable voices. Yep. I think we could both rant on that one for a bit longer. But I do want to respect your time. Anything. Oh, you know what, I want to talk to everyone about Mary Ellen’s podcast, if you are enjoying this conversation, and you want to be able to go deeper and hear her thoughts on a lot of this and kind of start to deconstruct the ways that these things are showing up in your life. Definitely go check it out. It’s called the okayish podcast, which I love that brand.

Maryellen Dance 36:37
I didn’t come up with it. I didn’t come up with it. And I think it is brilliant. Oh my gosh. And it totally shows what I’m trying to say like one of the things I hate about Instagram is all these life coaches that are like, do you want to live an empowered life? And I’m like, Nope, I just want to like be okay.

Meg Casebolt 36:53
I just want to be okay, ish. Like, on a day to day basis. I want okay, ish to be my baseline.

Maryellen Dance 36:58
Right. And we can also, one more thing I say, I think people are trying to sell unrealistic things, right? Like it is unrealistic to feel empowered every day. It is unrealistic to feel super like energized every day, it is unrealistic to you know, not feel bloated, after you eat, like, you know, like, these things are just like unrealistic. And people are like, it’s unrealistic to never get a pimple again, right. And these people are like selling all this stuff. And then when we fall short of perfect because they’re selling perfection. And then when we fall short of it, we’re like, what’s wrong with me?

Meg Casebolt 37:32
Is that right? It becomes a personal responsibility as opposed to a societal pressure.

Maryellen Dance 37:36
Correct? Yep. Yeah, absolutely.

Meg Casebolt 37:40
So if this conversation resonated, absolutely, go over, listen to the okayish podcast. That’s the space where in addition to being able to kind of be in the subversive space on Instagram, you can really hear those deeper conversations. It’s really important for all of us if we are trying to change the conversation around a specific topic that we have to have a place to both reach people and to go deep into the conversation and not always be shallow. Right?

Maryellen Dance 38:09
Yes, absolutely. Well, I love having conversations like this, I think it’s so important. And I always want to be learning and kind of like, expanding what I already like, expanding my views. Like, I would love to talk to someone who thinks that Instagram is amazing, right? Because I want to hear those views. I want to understand where they’re coming from. So thank you for having me on for this conversation.

Meg Casebolt 38:33
And I do want to say like, I think the Instagram can be amazing, I think that it is a tool, it is neutral. In the same way that money is neutral and you can use it in a good or bad way. It’s the way that you are choosing to engage with and use the tool that can be great or it can be problematic, and you can make that choice. There. There’s your empowering message of the day.

Maryellen Dance 38:55
You beautifully said

Meg Casebolt 38:59
but if you feel like you don’t know how to navigate that, then that’s okay, too. It’s okay to not be sure.

Maryellen Dance 39:06
Yeah, absolutely. And it’s okay that you’re continuing to grow and that I mean, I am I sometimes I get sucked into those, you know, Instagram threads that are not healthy.

Meg Casebolt 39:18
It’s okay, sure. Well, thank you so much for your time if people want to get to know you and hear more about you what’s the best place to find you online?

Maryellen Dance 39:27
Um, any anything that is titled okayish podcast so my Instagram is okay as podcast please don’t compare yourself to me because I don’t know what I’m doing. My Instagram is okay as podcast I have. I have the the podcast that’s on wherever you can listen. I have a new YouTube channel which I think I have like seven subscribers clearly am going big place your hot

Meg Casebolt 39:53
well, I’ll go subscribe. You’ll make it up to eight. Yes, we’re increasing your YouTube views by 12% Today, think Holy Cow mouth and slice that information however they want do I want on this podcast and my YouTube went up by 12% in a day. I’m gonna

Maryellen Dance 40:11
put that in my media kit

Meg Casebolt 40:15
Thank you, Mary Ellen, it has been a joy thank you so much for listening to the social slowdown podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe or come on over to social slowdown.com and sign up for our email list so you never miss an episode. We’d also love if you could write a review to help other small business owners find the show you can head over to social slowdown.com/review Or grab that link in our show notes for easy access. We’ll be back soon with more tips to help you market your business without being beholden to social media Talk to you then

Please forgive any typos as this transcript was automatically generated by otter.ai.

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