This is the second part of my 2-part conversation with Briar Harvey about all things social media, online marketing, neurodiversity, mental illness, and accessibility. If you haven’t already listened to Part 1, you can listen here:

Read the full transcript

Briar Harvey 0:00
When you are neurodiverse, the ways in which you want to access information is often not accessible on the internet, we have all of this information at our fingertips and we are so easily overwhelmed.

Meg Casebolt 0:18
You’re listening to social slowdown a podcast for entrepreneurs and micro businesses looking for sustainable marketing strategies without being dependent on social media. I’m your host, Meg Casebolt. And I have a new book coming out called Social slowdown. It’s taking all of the 80 plus interviews that we’ve done so far in this podcast series, and turned it into something that’s a little bit more easily digestible. It will be available on July 27 2023. And it’ll only be $4 on Kindle and $9. On paperback. So I would love, love, love. If you could support the podcast by going on Amazon and buying the book. If you preorder it, I would especially appreciate that because that would help us get to a best seller status. Even if you don’t read it. That’s okay. So if you want to get your copy of the social slowdown book, head on over to social and get that today. And now let’s get back to the podcast, which 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.

Briar Harvey 1:31
Bro, Briar Harvey, I’m

Meg Casebolt 1:32
so excited to have you here on the social sled on podcast. I think I reached out to you a while ago. And we finally got our schedules to sync up. So I’m so thrilled to have this conversation with you about this wild intersection of social media, online marketing, neurodiversity, chronic illness, accessibility, and just burning everything to the ground because you have PMS. So thank you for being here.

Briar Harvey 1:59
I would just like to know that I am also fun at parties.

Meg Casebolt 2:05
You have a very tight gift game, you are like great on your memes. You have an email newsletter that I try my best to open. Because in part because you you really do bring the pop culture into it. So let’s start there. Because I think you have a really cool approach to how you’re creating content to tap into pop culture while also talking about things that maybe people don’t think about very often. So tell me really quickly, like, what do you do? Who do you work with all that good stuff?

Briar Harvey 2:38
Well, hello, I I am the founder of the neurodiversity Media Network, which is an accessible media organization that is built to allow for people to consume content in the ways that they want it. So Video, Audio transcripts, and also for people to teach the things that they really love going down the rabbit hole. We build master classes, and then learning paths. So you can come in and be like, I have 10 minutes to learn this thing. Let me let me dive in. And when you are neurodiverse, the ways in which you want to access information is often not accessible on the internet. We have all of this information at our fingertips, and we are so easily overwhelmed. I have spent my internet life cataloging things that are interesting to me. And I recently imported my old Evernote folders into notion. And all told that means I’ve saved almost 20,000 pieces of content.

Meg Casebolt 4:08
Have you read? Have you read 10,005? You know, like how much of that is cataloged versus most of its bookmark, you know,

Briar Harvey 4:18
interacted with, by me at some point in time. And that’s a reasonable question. I did just download a GPT app. It’s called Monica, that summarizes things for me. So I can go and I can hit I can get to the page and I can hit the button and I can read the summary and then go oh this is worth engaging with further or this is just another thing to add to like the data points.

Meg Casebolt 4:56
I love this because I think especially I think Everyone is overwhelmed and overstimulated it overstimulated by the amount of information that exists. And I think this is only going to get worse, as AI continues to produce low quality content at scale, which is not something I want to talk about with you today, even though I know you and I could definitely go down that rabbit hole.

Briar Harvey 5:21
But I will point out that a recent study indicated that approximately 70% of all internet traffic is AI or bots. So to sift through all of that to get to only 30% of real content is incredibly difficult for people. How do you know? How do you tell? I kind of have an intuitive sense for it? I bet you do, too. After years of SEO, I know what’s bought and I know what’s real. Come, most people don’t.

Meg Casebolt 5:57
And there’s also a lot of misinformation out there too. Right? You know, so even though there’s a lot of bots, there, there’s a lot of auto generated content. There’s also a lot of people who are using the internet to define their own agendas that are not objective agendas, you know.

Briar Harvey 6:13
So Elizabeth Gilbert recently announced that she was not releasing her latest novel, I don’t know if you heard about. It’s about Russians who flee the country under Stalin. And I guess I’m not entirely familiar with her reasoning. But the Twitter mob got a hold of it. And she decided that she didn’t want to offend potential refugees, specifically while the Ukrainian war was going on. The problem with this is, a lot of those 70% of bots are Russian. So realistically, there could have been all of those people that mob could have not been real at all, would have been bought, arguing with each other in order to inflame the idea. And now Elizabeth Gilbert, who I respect a great deal, as a writer, as a creator, is not putting out a work of fiction, mind you, his fiction, write historical fiction, because she’s worried about offending people. And I’m sorry, but that just goes too far. That’s it.

Meg Casebolt 7:38
That’s your that’s your cut off point is you don’t want to offend the bots.

Briar Harvey 7:44
And I think we really, we’ve lost the plot. We’ve lost the plot, we’ve lost the thread of communication, we’ve lost the nuance.

Meg Casebolt 8:01
Ever everything is just whack a mole, one crisis after another crisis, one, you know, the problem, you know, people getting trolled. And it like being I mean, I wouldn’t even say Liz Gilbert runs an online business, the way that so many of my listeners do. It’s like Liz Gilbert is first and foremost an author. And then she’s sort of a thought leader in the creativity space. So for her to make the decision that the pushback and the trolls and the cyber bullying could be like I appreciate okay, there’s, you know, there’s a war going on in this country, and maybe it’s not the right time to really something that could be construed as supportive of the wrong side. But the tyrannical side will say maybe not right and wrong, we’ll just call call a spade a spade. But, you know, what, what can we do if we, if we don’t want to engage with these bots, if we want to continue to run these businesses without feeling like we have to adjust? The I mean, how do we deal with this? You just took this really big stand and said that you’re going completely off social after years of being on it? Is that the solution or?

Briar Harvey 9:23
Okay, so very specifically, I said, I am quiet quitting social media. And

Meg Casebolt 9:29
I like this type of quiet quitting.

Briar Harvey 9:32
By that I meant that I still have to be on it. Right? I run personally, a media company that is as online as you can get, we build things specifically to be consumed online. And we do it in a way that it’s meant to be consumed as as many formats and on as many channels as possible. And I’m saying no, I’m not interested. So there’s a disconnect there, right? Understanding, I still have to be present online, I still have to continue to publish, I still have to continue to engage with my audience. I don’t have to have the apps on my phone, I don’t have to allow it to take over my time. And I don’t have to allow it to be. So this is possibly a neurodivergent thing. But I don’t have to allow it to take up so much mental real estate. And I think that, that’s the thing that we really struggle with is the amount of time we spend thinking about things, especially when you’re an entrepreneur, and own a business. I, I don’t work more than 35 hours a week, but I spend most of my waking hours thinking about my business.

Meg Casebolt 11:22
You know, I think about like, there are certain industries in which you tally your billable hours. And you are trained as an attorney that like if you’re thinking about a client case, you build that time to the client, even if you’re in the shower, if you’re thinking about it, you build it. And if I build every minute that I was, maybe not even thinking about my business, but like worrying or being anxious or think about what I need to create, or oh, I need to get back to that client. And oh, I have to spend that credit card statement to my bookkeeping service. And I do all the like, if I tallied up all of that time, it will go well over 10 hours a day, that I’m not sitting at my desk, but I’m thinking and, and processing that information. And then we add these notifications and these dopamine hits. And this this compulsion to check because we don’t like those things showing up a notification screen and the badges and the the this and that like and it takes it out of our autonomy and out of our agency and the these devices, these platforms are pushing their agenda on to us instead of us choosing when to engage with them. And I think that’s part of your, your quiet quitting. And this is part of like, in in writing the book I came up with, Okay, here’s the four things that you need to do to set your boundaries with social media because some people can just cold turkey quit, but some of us can’t. And so it’s like most of us

Briar Harvey 12:54
can’t. It’s designed to be addictive. very deliberately. Social media is engineered with Game Theory. And we know enough about how the human brain works. But I’m not Pavlov’s dogs here, I would prefer to have some autonomy around my social media usage. And for me, that does mean very hard boundaries. I can’t have the apps on my phone. And even with the apps not on my phone, I still have Facebook in my fucking internet browser on my phone. Right? Like it’s almost impossible to escape.

Meg Casebolt 13:43
Even before I started a business, I remember like I was raised Catholic, and I decided to give up social media for for went to be like, Okay, I can take that time and use it in a more productive way I wasn’t, I didn’t have a business that I had to promote. So it was easier to walk away. And I was doing exactly that where it was like, Well, I took Facebook off my phone, but like, my mom told me that my cousin posted this thing and I don’t want to miss it. Like the FOMO is so real. The addiction is so real that even if we turn off our notifications, even if we remove the apps, like there’s still that desire to not be left out. And it becomes that much more elevated for us as entrepreneurs because it’s not just, I might miss out on my cousin’s baby shower pictures.

Briar Harvey 14:27
I might miss out on money and money and have that can’t be leaving money on the table. Can’t be not hustling all of the time must be doing something wrong.

Meg Casebolt 14:41
And if I don’t respond to that message within 20 minutes, then the money will go away, right like and I think that’s where the boundaries come into play. And that’s where the mindset comes into play, where you can still choose whether or not to be on these networks, but you can choose how and when and where to engage with people.

Briar Harvey 14:59
Well, and The urgency is such a big piece of this, right? Because almost nothing in modern business, unless there are cats vomiting or food cooking, nothing is urgent, right? It is, those emails are still going to be there tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now. But the number of people I know who have been in the hospital for a serious medical procedure, who are still working is absolutely fucking insane. And that’s not a universal constant. But it certainly is a North American one, people in the US and in Canada have this tendency to work themselves to death, because that’s what the culture is created.

Meg Casebolt 16:00
It’s really I actually use that as an example in the book where I’m like, I was in labor. And I was checking social media between contractions. And I thought it through and I was like, Why did I do that? And part of it was like, This is my way to escape and to feel normal. And part of it is that I, I had a FOMO that like, I wanted to not miss anything, especially like, I didn’t want to miss out on somebody who could be giving me money, somebody who, like I didn’t. And it’s not even like I expected that that day. And I knew I needed to respond. But it was more like I didn’t want to be forgotten.

Briar Harvey 16:36
And that fear of being forgotten is a big deal. So eight years ago, I had my first five figure launch, which is such a big deal in internet world, right? Even the

Meg Casebolt 16:53
thing of like it is the five figure love

Briar Harvey 16:56
Oh, five figure launch in all capital letters. And two weeks later, I suffered a complete placental abruption and lost my son and very nearly blood to death, holy shit. The the decision that I had to make in that time was, how much of this do I actually live through online. And I have watched people, and I want to be clear here, there is no right or wrong way to grieve. And I think that if you choose to grieve publicly, there’s there’s nothing wrong with that. But that is not my way. And I couldn’t be online and maintain an online presence. While I was going through this huge physical and psychological trauma. I just couldn’t do it. And I had to obviously refund all that money, which turned into a whole thing. And there were there was a fundraiser. And that was a whole other thing. Like, despite not choosing to publicly broadcast it, I still had an online presence, I still had people who were in my community. And I had to make a lot of decisions about what that looks like, while going through this trauma. And nobody should have to fucking do that. Nobody. But that’s what social media has done to us is that we live all of our lives online. And we have to decide all of the time, how much we’re going to put out there. I don’t ever publicly share pictures of my children, because I think that they get to decide what their internet footprint looks like. And that’s been a very controversial decision throughout my career. And 100% has cost me money. Because I talk about neurodiversity, and I talk about parenting, but I don’t talk about my kids specifically, because I don’t want to and it’s set this boundary where people are like, Oh, well, if you’re not gonna breach that fourth wall for us, we’re gonna go elsewhere.

Meg Casebolt 19:39
Isn’t that wild? You know, just that like people. I don’t want to make any generalizations but there can be an expectation of full transparency, and a view don’t give every detail of your life in graphic detail. Then you’re not authentic, you’re not genuine, you’re hiding something as opposed to right, being able to choose what you’re sharing and have that privacy and have those boundaries that you’re articulating. And there’s a reason behind that. It’s not just like, wow, I don’t feel like sharing pictures of my kids. It’s like, No, I want, I want to respect their autonomy in the same way that I want my audience to respect my decision making and my autonomy. And that may not be the choice for everyone. But that is a choice that I personally am making. And you you will lose customers. But also, if you were to put all of your family’s dirty laundry out there, you’d lose customers for that, too. So it’s like, we almost need to set our own boundaries and articulate our own values, and then let the chips fall where they may.

Briar Harvey 20:52
And I’m gonna be honest, a lot of this is very much a feminist issue. This is very gendered, right? Because men do not deal with these same kinds of questions. Do not deal with the damned if you do damned if you don’t. So I think a good example of this is Taylor Swift, whose fans are absolutely unhinged 99% of the time, and is constantly being criticized for not having an opinion about political issues. And my response to that is, what exactly do you want her to say? That isn’t going to alienate a percentage of her fan base, while also costing her money, while also potentially affecting things that she can do and say, down the road? And the more you are in that public sphere, the more scrutiny you face?

Meg Casebolt 22:12
Yeah, I have nothing to say. It’s like, you know, a lot of people will say, like, I want to have this huge audience, I want to be a household name, I want to be famous without recognizing that with fame comes that scrutiny and, and with a large audience becomes that many more chances for you to be publicly stumbling. Hmm. Be careful what

Briar Harvey 22:35
you wish for. And you probably shouldn’t read your own comments.

Meg Casebolt 22:42
I think the first time you and I talked, this was I don’t know, a year or two ago, we were talking about my business and like where I wanted to go, and you were like, you have paths that you could follow. And the choice you need to make is how famous you want to be. And if you choose to be famous how to use that fame, and obviously it stuck with me, because it’s been a couple of years. And it’s still a question where I’m like, you know, I’ve made that decision of, I want to be a thought leader, but not a household name. I want to influence the industry without being so controversial. But I then get these placements that are earned media of like, being too far gone. And then because that elicits trolls, that elicits the cyberbullying that elicits like, not just like, with all positive attention comes negative attention. How famous Do you want to be like, it’s a really interesting question that nobody, and what does fame look like? And what does fame get you? And how does it benefit you? And how does it How was it a detriment?

Briar Harvey 23:40
So it’s been, gosh, almost a month now. I feel like I can spoil it. The series finale of the marvelous Mrs. Maisel was absolutely spot on to this question. And Midge talks in her final monologue, about how she wants to be really famous. Because if you’re really famous, you don’t have to know who you are or where you’re going. Somebody else is going to remember those things for you. Surely, I’m going to be honest, that kind of fame appeals to me, but you do have to be aware of what the trade offs are. And most people, especially when it comes to online fame, haven’t asked themselves those questions. And I think that the comedic stylings of Oh god, what’s his name is Matt Parr, the Tick Tock guy, you probably have no idea. I

Meg Casebolt 24:49
have no idea what you’re talking about. And I love being able to say that.

Briar Harvey 24:53
So there is a tick tock comedian who recently went on tour A huge portion of his tic tock audience is middle aged women. A huge portion of his in person tour has been mocking and degrading those same middle aged women shows. And there’s been quite a bit of backlash, because this is what happens when you don’t know who your audience is, and what’s important to them. And the larger the audience gets, the more you don’t have control over it. I think another good example of this is Selena Gomez is fans who are also completely unhinged, and have been very publicly threatening Hailey Bieber. Because they’re mad that after almost a decade, Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber broke up and are no longer the perfect couple. And obviously, that’s Haley’s fault, not. And again, this is where the misogyny lives. Because it’s not ever Justin’s fault. They don’t attack him. They attack Haley. And it’s been it’s been a massive thing to the point where Selena had to come out and make a statement, like, I don’t actually approve of this behavior. But she has no control over these people. And there are literally millions of them. What do you do with an audience that big, and it’s just gonna get worse. I recently started a media network. I wanted to

Meg Casebolt 26:54
get back to this because I’m sorry, I didn’t, I didn’t, I sort of missed the transition into the creation of the media network. So I want to talk about that, too.

Briar Harvey 27:02
So last year, I was doing very done for you work. And I had a thing where I had a client default on a huge contract, and it cost me a lot of money. And I was very close to throwing in the towel and quitting my business altogether. And a friend of mine, Marissa Lowen. She’s a fabulous coach, she has this place called the catalyst. She’s like, come in, we’ll figure out something different. And she was like, what do you really want to be when you grow up? Briar? Like what? And I’m like, Oh, well, actually, I’d like to be a smarter, sexier, Joe Rogan, please. like, Great, let’s figure out how to build that. And that’s what we’ve done here. But it’s not new. It’s not different, really. And as I grow, I’m looking at other networks that have built themselves on YouTube on substack. There are all of these places where there actually is a way to create fan based networks that are paid for by paid subscriptions. Patreon started at all those years ago, and now we’ve just made the system better. And anyone can do this now. Like, the majority of my job is not actually podcasting or talking to people. At the moment. It’s downloading files, and then uploading faces.

Meg Casebolt 28:42
It’s so true. So much of it is just the back end, garbage

Briar Harvey 28:47
back end bullshit. And I am working with a guy who’s building me something that’s called an autonomous agent. It’s a piece of tech I’m very excited about. It’s like, if chat GPT and Zapier had a baby. So you whatever it is, you give it a programmed list of I want you to do these things. And then you talk to it like it’s an assistant. It runs off and does it and it’s built into a self learning loop. So it doesn’t you criticize it and it’s chat gptc It can’t hurt its feelings baby.

Meg Casebolt 29:30
Dies though I’m always like,

Briar Harvey 29:32
oh your time. Thank you.

Meg Casebolt 29:35
Like, the like human giver syndrome is so deep. Yeah, I can’t cuz I’m like, someday these robots are gonna take over and they’re gonna go back. You’re gonna owe me

Briar Harvey 29:47
that I was polite. That is correct. Also, I recently read a research paper about the autistic need to personify inanimate objects. So this, in fact, is very much a neurodivergent thing. But my job is back in stuff. And because of that, I’m saying that anyone can build a media network. And five years from now, the legacy media is going to be deeply hurting, because people don’t trust it anymore. More people trust their Instagram influencers than they trust any legacy media publication. And that’s true on both sides of the aisle.

Meg Casebolt 30:40
We don’t terrifying, isn’t it?

Briar Harvey 30:43
We don’t trust the New York Times any more than we trust Fox News. And frankly, I’m kind of with you, they’re on both sides of the aisle. None of this is media or news. And because it is so easy to do. There are going to be soon 1000s, maybe hundreds of 1000s of media outlets, where we’re all independently publishing the news. And that’s even more terrifying, because how do you verify truth? Who’s watching the watchers when everybody’s got a smartphone? I don’t know. So for me, then the answer was? Well, I don’t know. But I know all of these smart people. Let me pull them all together in a room. Let me help virtual room, a sub second room, full room, a sub stack room. Let me pull out all of their best pieces of knowledge into a master class that people can then go to to learn from, because they’re learning from a vetted, trusted expert. All I’m doing is the vetting. I don’t have to know, I just have to show up and ask good questions you’re curating? That’s correct. At an incredibly high level.

Meg Casebolt 32:21
Yeah, I think people forget, the curation is just as important as creation, especially when you know, the right questions to ask and you know, the right people to ask those questions to.

Briar Harvey 32:31
And again, for me, this all started with 20,000 pieces of data that I have been collecting online for more than 15 years. Now.

Meg Casebolt 32:44
When you say it that way, and it’s only 1000 a month, that’s only what, three a day.

Briar Harvey 32:50
No big deal, no big deal.

Meg Casebolt 32:55
And so you decided, I want to bring together these brilliant minds, I want to create a independent space where people can get this curated, vetted information. I want to be, you know, not an arbiter of truth, but a person who shares what I believe to be as close to the truth as we can get based on the research and the science that’s behind it. And you’ve decided on, instead of going, you know, I’m going to create this on my own website, or I’m going to put all this information in a Facebook page, you decided on substack? What What was the thought process behind choosing that platform? So are any of the things that I just said?

Briar Harvey 33:38
That’s a good question. substack specifically, is, I think, really ideal for neurodivergent people, because it removes so much of the decision fatigue, I do not have to set up a Donations platform. I don’t have to deal with an email service provider.

Meg Casebolt 34:03
So the Creator substack is the best choice because it is sort of an all in one. When you said that I thought it was for the consumers for the people who were like engaging with the content you thought so but as the creator you like it because you don’t have to say, Well, should I use WordPress or SquareSpace and should I put in this plugin or this plugin?

Briar Harvey 34:24
That’s correct. Although both are true as a consumer substack makes it easy for my for me to read, watch, listen, all in the same place. And it gives me the ability to go to a place where content is valued. So substack recently rolled out its own Twitter clone. It’s called notes and the way notes works is very much a, here’s this thing that I read that somebody else wrote. And I would like for you to read it. Now, the culture is very, very different. Because the expectation is we’ve all kind of gathered there to learn and grow and do things together. As opposed to, here is this thing that I wrote, and I’m going to relentlessly self promote it. And that actually doesn’t get you very far. On substack at all.

Meg Casebolt 35:39
It’s the curation of additional valuable content, it’s sort of like on medium, being able to give out claps and organize, you know, and endorse things in that way. But more of a sharing platform than an endorsement,

Briar Harvey 35:52
right. And having done those things, has allowed me to build relationships with other creators who have a larger reach and network than my own, who are now I’m in talks with to share other things and do other things with So collaboration is kind of the name of the game at sub stack. And that is part of the reason I chose it. But truly, it was, for me, the creator, the I would like to build this thing. And I could build it from a bunch of disparate pieces. Or I could go to this platform that’s done most of the work for me. And until it’s not working for me, substack will be what I use, okay?

Meg Casebolt 36:42
Until the algorithm shifts, or the ownership changes, or the shareholders adjust, because, I mean, I’m a huge fan of Reddit, and I’m like, oh, no, give you a run anymore.

Briar Harvey 36:53
Let it anymore. My god, I’ve had to go to Tumblr for my mean.

Meg Casebolt 36:59
I haven’t fully loved Reddit, I know I should. I know I should. But where else am I going to get my like Monster romance recommendations.

Briar Harvey 37:08
This is this is legit.

Unknown Speaker 37:11
thing for but I don’t want to go find it.

Briar Harvey 37:14
The only reason that I have successfully quit Reddit is because I’ve never used the Reddit app. I’ve always used Apolo because of its accessibility functions. And that’s a big part of what the strike was about. Not even so much this API, it’s that third party apps were the only ones making Reddit accessible, right? And so I have I have rheumatoid arthritis, I do not type or write particularly well, which brings me down, right, it’s one of my favorite things to do not being able to use my hands in this way hurts me. And I’ve spent the last decade having to deal with adaptive technology to figure out talk to text features, and they all suck like not actually that great. And so you’re really forced to deal with things that that don’t work that you then have to hack into to figure out other ways to adapt my current when I’m writing stuff. I will record into otter. Okay, and then I will take that transcript and dump it into chat GPT and have it clean it up for me,

Meg Casebolt 38:45
all those items and us and ways that you’re repeating things. And

Briar Harvey 38:48
yeah, I don’t actually have many vocal fry issues after years of podcasting and being on stage talk to and talk to texting, and an arms are not actually my problem, but creating a coherent sentence still. And chat GPT is great at knowing what I meant, not what I said.

Meg Casebolt 39:13
And then you’re taking those same files, like you said, downloading, uploading getting them all into the right places, but I think some of us, especially those of us who don’t have the physical, chronic illness or disabilities don’t recognize how difficult it can be to navigate some of these platforms, without having third party software to do it with it without like, if, if I were to say to average listener, hey, go figure out how to listen to this podcast without listening to it or go try to find something on social media without a mouse do it only with you know your fingers on the keyboard using those keyboard shortcuts or close your eyes and figure out what’s happening on Instagram. Like most people have not put those limitations And into effect, personally. So they don’t think about how to create in a way that is accessible to people who need those accommodations.

Briar Harvey 40:11
That’s correct. And accessibility is continually an afterthought. So we are 48 hours in to the launch of the threads app, which is metas, Twitter clone. It’s still not got any accessibility tools built into the UI? Of

Meg Casebolt 40:35
course not. Because why would you do that for a huge portion of your population?

Briar Harvey 40:39
Right? Nobody, nobody needs all text. Nobody needs to be able to have this read to us. And it’s shocking. That after I mean, we’re up to I don’t know, 30 40 million people have downloaded the app in the last 48 hours. I’m guessing a percentage of those really do actually need those tools.

Meg Casebolt 41:06
But it’s always an afterthought. It’s always an afterthought. And it’s almost like until the disability community comes out and says, Hey, we need this thing. Like the developers have completely forgotten that there’s a population out there that could maybe need these things that they talk about in conferences.

Briar Harvey 41:23
I speaking of threads, I read a thread this morning, a woman who was trying to get ADA accommodations in her new house. And the builder says, uh, we don’t do that. And I was like, I hope you raise hell about this. Because these accommodations are required by law, regardless of whatever bullshit they’re trying to do here, raise a stink. And the issue here is that the advocacy required to make these changes is often done by the people who are least equipped to have to advocate for themselves in this way. When my son died, I was uninsured. And it was theoretically covered by Medicaid. And I just had to go and fill out some paperwork. Now. I am autistic, and ADHD. And I just lost a child. And y’all wanted me to go and fill out a bunch of forms. It never fucking happened. And this is the reality when it comes to accessibility. We don’t realize that this is what we’re asking of people at times when they are just not equipped to be able to take on these tasks.

Meg Casebolt 43:02
Yeah, even without the traumatic piece of it. You know, like me making appointments for my ADHD kids with my ADHD, I’m like, You do realize that the kids who have the needs the most have the parents who hereditarily probably have those same needs and have built coping mechanisms, but like, when, when the like, local hospital system was like, Okay, well, we aren’t opening our books right now for patients past four months and your appointments in six months. So can you call us in two months? I’m like, No, I’m just never going to see you again. It’s just not going to happen. Yes, I can set the reminder. Yes, I can do all the things that I know I’m supposed to do. But that picking up the phone for anybody else, but not the people who are coming to this clinic and you should know better, you should know

Briar Harvey 43:51
better. My youngest is now six and still doesn’t have an autism diagnosis. Because when we were starting to get him into early intervention was March 2020. And they were like, well, we can see him on Zoom. I was like, Are you fucking kidding me? You want me to sit my three year old autistic son down with you on a zoom call? That’s how we’re going to do therapy. So obviously, that never happened. And still haven’t gotten that diagnosis. Because that would require more executive function from me at this point in time to go back through which it’s not early intervention. Now he’s aged out right

Meg Casebolt 44:56
now. He’s a school age and I have to go through the school district and get Uh, the neurological testing and the IEP, isn’t that Yeah,

Briar Harvey 45:04
right, and we homeschool. But that’s still true, I still have to go through the school district, even though we’re not in school, and the amount of work and process that takes like, Sorry, kid, you’re just you’re stuck with me at this point of time. Because this is not going to happen in a timely enough fashion for it to be helpful for him. And like, this is a frequently untold story of services throughout the pandemic. And even now, because of the backlog that I know a bunch of folks whose kids have just completely slipped through the cracks, because there was too much demand pre pandemic, and now they’re overwhelmed.

Meg Casebolt 46:07
It’s a real problem. And I mean, I don’t want to go too far into, like, neurodivergent, disability advocacy, even though you and I are both clearly passionate about it. But I think to bring it back to our conversation about marketing, a lot of times the ways that people are finding out about these services, or finding out what it is that they’re supposed to be doing is they’re finding these online communities where they are learning from other people in the same space. I have a good friend from childhood who works at my kids school in the special ed department. And she reached out to me and was like, Are people talking about special ed in the local moms group, because we’re getting a lot of inquiries about special ed in the school. Because the Facebook group, we’ve had a couple people who are like, Oh, here’s who you need to call, here’s what you need to do, right. And so when we’re in these online spaces, and advocating for each other and educating each other often, and the communities where people need to be online, the most the chronic illness communities, the neurodivergent community, that neurodiverse communities, they have to be online. And those are the social media is a space that is not built for those brains and those bodies like it’s a very awkward situation.

Briar Harvey 47:25
And yet, there are more of us online often than there are neurotypicals. So it’s estimated that approximately 70% of entrepreneurs are neurodiverse.

Meg Casebolt 47:39
I hadn’t heard that number, I want to dig through your archives of 20,000.

Briar Harvey 47:46
Information. Each of the links, I can

Meg Casebolt 47:50
go into the neurodiverse Media Network, I may find it there.

Briar Harvey 47:59
But additionally, the CO morbid nature of neurodiversity is that more than 30% of us have multiple diagnoses. And so I’m not going to say that ADHD is cool. But certainly in online spaces, it’s become a little bit more tolerated as people talk about their superpowers, right? 88. Right, I’m ADHD, that’s fine. Now the minute I tell you that I am also autistic or bipolar is the minute people start going home. I don’t know about you. So some things

Meg Casebolt 48:50
are diversity.

Briar Harvey 48:53
Yeah, and if there was a bingo card I’ve lost. Part of the issue here is that it’s really undeniable in the ways that we’ve benefited from social media, the communities that have been created and nourished and sustained. The problem is, is that people are not really aware of how to build or cultivate community, and so many of them will reach this tipping point, right? We’re watching it kind of in real time with Reddit with Twitter. They’re kind of not exploiting so much is imploding. They’ve lost key essential leaders in their network. A bunch of mods have quit off of Reddit, too. Twitter users power users are on the decline. And because there are now I believe it’s eight, including threads, Twitter clones, I don’t know, I got blue sky, and spill, and threads all that I’ve gotten access to within the last two weeks. Like when you divest the network, it loses its collective power. And part of the value is in that ability to come together as a group, when the local moms group is saying, This is what you need to know, this is who you need to talk to. And this is how you have to go about getting these accommodations for your kids. Everybody wins. When, three months later, somebody posts some stupid about some bullshit. And the

Meg Casebolt 51:09
it’s the snow days, it’s the parent teacher conferences. There’s always others

Briar Harvey 51:15
day shockingly, I have witnessed a number of internet groups implode on major holidays, it actually happens a lot, but like three or four on Father’s Day, because what happens is, is that these groups who are largely populated with women are feeling very emotional on these holidays, where they’ve already been expected to do so much emotional labor that is unrecognized. And here they are in their support group, where they expected to have a good reception. And it didn’t, for whatever reason, largely because it’s internet communication. And not everyone speaks sarcasm, it didn’t land correctly. And now we have World War Three going on in the group, and everybody’s mad at everybody else. And then the next week means that there’s for spin off groups. And like, I was moderating communities on message boards before there were Facebook groups. But I have watched this same scenario play out so many times. And really, it’s about people not understanding how collectives operates. We just don’t understand that community has rules, and we don’t get to determine what they are. The community determines what they are. There’s a really great piece that I read, and I’ll send you the link for this too, about something called the trust thermocline. And basically, major brands and communities have a certain amount of trust that is extended to them by the community. But when it gets breached, beyond a certain point, there doesn’t seem to be any way back. And so Reddit going into this IPO here, breached and let’s be honest, it’s Reddit, you’ve been on Reddit for a long time. I’ve been on Reddit for a long time. This is not the first time they’ve really gone down these waters. But I think this time, it’s really gonna stick for them. There are they’ve lost so many of the influential leaders of the community who were unpaid mind you, moderating subreddits that were full time jobs, right? It’s a thankless fucking task and the more people that you have been, by the way, you needed third party tools to be able to do it properly. None of which exist now. Like, those people are gone, that knowledge is gone. And the damage it’s done to the collective is I think, probably irreparable at this point in time.

Meg Casebolt 54:37
But who knows where those spinoff groups are gonna go? Who knows which of those tools is going to become the next Haven versus the next blab or Colombo Haven at Haven is not a social media network for what it’s worth. I just meant a place that people escaped to a refuge right and and like you’re saying, every time that we split, we weekend. But also like there’s a reason that there are antitrust laws, there’s a reason that we don’t want monopolies like Facebook has gotten too big and too, too powerful. And that’s why some of these other meta platforms are coming out. And that’s why it’s so hard to build an online community on a platform that you have no control over.

Briar Harvey 55:23
Yet another reason that I chose substack was because they have, at least up until this point, been very transparent about the ways in which they intend to moderate the community, which is very hands off, there are a lot of people who are very unhappy about the fact that they are publicly ship canning, everyone who doesn’t quite fall in line with a particular view of thinking. But substack view is, that’s what the block and the mute buttons are for, you get to curate your experience. And by doing that, we get to have a diversity of thought, that allows for people to come in and experiment and feel like that they can say things that might be controversial. The other part of that is, is that I can also pull my list at any point in time, I have the ability to take my subscribers with me to some other sandbox later, I can take my data, I can pull it all and go someplace else. That is not true with anything on meta. That’s not true on Twitter, these these play, let’s not even get into tick tock and China and like, people are like, Well, China, I mean, what’s the difference between giving China your information and giving metta, your information, and I’m like, if you can’t see the difference, then I don’t know what conversation to have here. Like, America has problems. This is true. But we are currently like right now the Supreme Court is hearing cases about whether or not your data on these platforms belongs to you, or whether it’s publicly searchable. We’ve got China using this data to create a social currency score, where if people don’t like you, they can downvote you into worse housing. That’s not even on the same level of comparison. And we won’t talk about the Uyghurs or the genocide, or you know, the slave labor everywhere else. We won’t talk about the fact that they’re abducting women from Pakistan and India in huge numbers, because they killed all of their girls like we want to talk about China. I think when this is the situation around your data, deciding where you’re going to put it, deciding where you’re going to speak and deciding where your platform is, then becomes a very important question.

Meg Casebolt 58:29
It’s a question of your values. It’s not just what’s easiest. It’s not just where are my audience congregating? It’s with which platform? Do I feel like I am cultivating a space that is safe for my audience. Thank you so much for listening to the social slowdown podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe or come on over to social 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 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 or errors, as this transcript was automatically generated by