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Breaking Free From Instagram Addiction with Kelly Mosser

Things we dive into in this episode: 

  1. Tips for breaking free from Instagram (and social media) addiction

  2. How to not miss out on all of the positive things that can come from Instagram 

  3. The all or nothing mentality with social media


Kelly Mosser is a startup strategist, founder of Hell Yes Media, and host of The Aligned Success Show. You can learn more about Kelly on her website and Instagram.

📌Episode Highlights

Tips to Help You Break Free From Instagram:

  • Unfollowing people who you don’t know or who’s content is making you feel triggered/stressed

  • Limiting the time spent on the app - can schedule specific times to use the app or set a timer for how long you want to use it

  • Make the app less interesting by making your phone black and white and turning the volume off.

  • Only open the app on your computer so that you’re less tempted to engage with the app on the go or during little moments of down time.

  • Try to slow down the way you engage with social media - What if you actually did have to label how each post made you feel? You're suddenly aware of the fact that you're feeling happy and joyful and devastated and triggered and anxious and jealous and scared in the same 18 seconds. And that's a lot on your nervous system!

  • Can you notice all of the light sides of Instagram (cute animal photos, funny memes, connecting with people) and all of the shadow sides of Instagram (triggering content)? Ask yourself which side is stronger for you when you engage?

  • Social media detoxes are the only acceptable type of detox. Take a few days off, see what you miss about it. Notice how much you reach for it and notice when you're going to reach for it, what is it that you're feeling and what void is it that you're trying to fill by picking it up? Take note of the aspects of social you actually miss and see how you can incorporate that in your life in other, more intentional ways.


How can I break free from Instagram if I’m afraid that I’ll be missing out on important events, pieces of education, and connection with friends?

  • Build relationships in more intentional ways by calling or texting the people you actually want to stay connected with.

  • Add peoples birthdays to your calendar so you don’t need to rely on social for important dates.

  • Let your people know you’re not going on the app and to tell you important updates via call/text or in person.

  • Join the email list of your favorite businesses or brands to stay in the know with their events, launches, offerings, etc.

Does my usage of IG need to be all or nothing?  I usually either delete Instagram or are on it all the time.

  • Your engagement with Instagram and other social media platforms does not need to be all or nothing!

  • You can’t go cold turkey off of Instagram when you’re still addicted to it. First, work on getting yourself less addicted and then you could go completely off of Instagram if that feels aligned. Do what you can to make Instagram less interesting so that it isn’t something you’re reaching for as much anymore.

  • Start to think about what purpose am you’re using Instagram for. Is it for sharing? Is it to filling space in your day? Is it for entertainment? Is it to make you laugh when you’re feeling sad? Is it to check to make sure that you’re still on target with my peers?

  • Try to fill the moments of decompression with other things (i.e. crossword puzzles, reaching, calling a friend, playing with your pet, going outside, making art, etc.)

Thanks for listening! 💖 Stay tuned to Caitie’s website for more episode updates and other exciting programs and resources.


Caitie: Also, one of the most objectively beautiful things about social media and Instagram in particular is that you share your art with the world and you can share your creations with the world. So strengthen the light sides of social media and get honest about the shadow sides of it and see if you can dismantle the shadow sides of it so that you can re-engage with it in an entirely new way. But I guess it's so important to acknowledge that this is an app that's designed to be addictive. And so we really do have to be so serious about it. It is important that you and I are having this conversation about the minutia of logging on your computer and setting aside only 30 minutes and all of these things, because we're working with a pretty lethal thing.

Welcome to Whole, Full, & Alive, a podcast helping you feed yourself, feel yourself and be yourself. I'm Caitie Corradino. I'm a registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, a body image coach and the founder of Full Soul Nutrition, a method that combines nutrition counseling with a powerful toolkit of somatic healing modalities. I have guided hundreds of clients to freedom with food, their bodies and every aspect of their lives. I've also been through this healing myself, and on this podcast, I want to help you eat with confidence, embrace your body, form aligned relationships and create a life that you're in love with. I'll share actionable tools, no bullshit stories and interviews that will remind you why you have everything you need within you to feel whole, full and alive. Are you ready? Let's get into it.

Hey, welcome back to another episode of Whole, Full, & Alive. Thank you so much for tuning into today's show. We are talking about something that has been a long requested topic for me to discuss on the podcast and I have a very special guest to discuss this topic with today.

But before we dive into today's show, I really want to invite you to get more grounded wherever you are in the world today with two deep breaths. Let's do two deep breaths today. So whether you are multitasking or only listening to the show, I wanna invite you to pull over, roll out your shoulders a little bit and take a nice deep breath in through your nose. Feel your back expand. And then exhale, release, let it go. And one more time, inhale through your nose, feel your chest, and exhale, let it go. Okay. If you are feeling like you need two more of those, I encourage you to take them at any point throughout the show today. 

We are going to be discussing a topic that might bring some tension into your body. It brings tension into my body a little bit. When I talk about it, sometimes we are talking about social media, social media addiction and breaking free from social media addiction, which is a really challenging thing to do. But today's guest has really bravely opened up about breaking free from social media and social media addiction recently in a way that inspired me so much. I knew she was going to be the perfect person to have on the show when we talk about this topic. Kelly Moser is with us today. She is a startup strategist. She is the founder of Hell Yes Media and she is the host of the Alliance Success show, which is where I heard her open up about social media in a way that haven't heard anyone else talk about it before. So Kelly, thank you so, so much for your time and for being here today.

Kelly: Caitie, thank you so much for having me and thank you for that lovely grounding exercise. I really needed to release my shoulders, so I really appreciate that. My toxic trait is hunching over my laptop, like a T-Rex, and I sometimes realize that my shoulders are literally touching my earlobes. So I really needed that, thank you.

Caitie: Yeah, oh my God, it's so powerful to just take a moment to sense into your body, feel the energy in the palms of your hands and the bottoms of your feet. Multiple times throughout the day, I noticed that I'm carrying tension in my jaw that doesn't need to be there. I forget I have a body basically, because we spend so much time looking at a screen, which is so relevant to what I wanna chat about with you today, but before we dive into this topic of social media addiction and the listener questions that I got. Can you just introduce your beautiful self to everyone?

Kelly: Thank you, Caitie. Yes, I am. So I'm an entrepreneur. I am operating mostly in the podcasting space. So producing my own podcast, teaching others how to leverage podcasting. So I like to say that, you know, the old adage I traded in my nine to five for 24/7 is definitely something that I've struggled with a lot. So that's kind of the, that's what led me to this conversation. Really it, I realized a few months ago after starting my own kind of healing journey, that I have been in a state of burnout for a while now. And when I really was asked to look at my life and look at my behaviors, I realized that social media was really contributing to a lot of the, a lot of the issues that I've been experiencing. So coming to this conversation from a very open place, I can't even tell you how much better physically, mentally, emotionally I feel spending a lot less time on social media. So I'm excited to go deep and share whatever I can to help your listeners, hopefully, you know, shift their relationship with social media if it is something that feels stressful. Cause for me, it really was causing me an enormous amount of stress.

Caitie: Yeah, yeah. Thank you so much for sharing that already. And I am curious, when did you kind of realize, what were some of the key things that made you realize that this was something you need to dive deep into?

Kelly: At first I had no idea that this was going to be part of my kind of healing protocol, but I was experiencing a ton of gut issues. After pretty much every meal, I was feeling nauseous. I felt like I could never really relax. My cycles were super irregular. So this was about seven, six or seven months ago. I was on vacation with my family and I was in beautiful Croatia at this gorgeous hotel. And I was in my hotel room for three days because I was just so sick. And I feel like I had gone through a few iterations of these kind of sickly episodes. And I'd just be like, oh, I just have a bug or, oh, I'm just, I ate something weird. But this was the one that really made me go, I feel like something a lot deeper is going on here. And I think I really need to start to address this. So I started, I sought out a functional health coach to help me. And we ran some tests. I did a GI map test. I did a cycle mapping test. And basically all signs were pointing to stress as kind of the root cause for everything that I was feeling. So then it was really like, I have to, I actually have to look at my day to day and I can't, I have, I'm gonna have to start to address some of the patterns that I know like overworking. I'm a perfectionist. I am always, you know, running circles around other people. And I always thought that was, you know, a characteristic that was favorable. I liked that about myself. And then all of a sudden it was like, those are the things that are really actually making me sick. So that's where it all came to a head. It's like, I feel like crap. I can't eat. I'm a mess. So yeah, that's where it all started.

Caitie: I think you shared two things that so many people can relate to and I feel like I know this because I hear people every single day who come to me as their dietitian share these kinds of sentiments. One is that no one ever wants to hear that stress is the root cause of their problems. It's such a hard thing to admit that stress is the root cause of something like everyone wants it to be something. And I hate to say that right like no one wants a disease literally, but people want things to be something else. No, it's not stress. It's not stress. It's not stress. And the reason for that is because when you finally dive into, okay, if it is the root cause is stress, then I actually have to heal from stress, which is a very nuanced and kind of messy process that will go more into to hear how you dealt with stress. And then another thing that you said is like, you know, I'm a perfectionist, and I felt like that was just part of my personality and I also find that so many people have a hard time accepting that certain aspects of their personality are actually coping tools. Certain parts of their personality are actually coping tools that are not serving them anymore that are actually stressing them out. And so I feel like those are two ways we can kind of break this down a little bit before we go into the listener questions, which I actually had the intention of starting the episode with, but now I'm kind of on a roll here. I'm curious, what does it look like? What did it look like for you when you finally were like, okay, yeah, stress is the root cause of this and social media is one of the root causes of stress. How did you figure that out? And then also, you know, if perfectionism was not just, you know, this inherent personality trait that you had and it was something you actually wanted to address, how did that come across in social media for you? And yeah, how did you start working with that?

Kelly: Yeah, well, for me, my first thought was, well, I run a business and a lot of that, a lot of my clients come through social media and a lot of my livelihood depends on me posting content to social media. So, that's a problem. It's not, you know, it's, it is, yes, I'm spending way too much time consuming content on social media, but also I feel like I can't get off of this app. And that, that made me really nervous when I realized, wait a second. I feel like I can't eat unless I'm on social media. I was like, wait a second, this has way too much control over my life. And so that was the first realization was, oh crap, I can't believe I gave this much power to social media because that's really scary. Because now I feel like I need to heal and I need to spend time off of this app, but I can't because then my business is gonna suffer. So that was really a huge realization for me, which I know a lot of other business owners feel too. It's like, I'm so tired of being on this app all the time, but I can't step away. So that was number one. 

Number two is I was realizing, I just started to pay closer attention to my body's cues and I noticed right when I went to click on social media, click on that little Instagram icon, I felt tension in my chest. I felt like my stomach was kind of dropping. And then as soon as I was in the app, it would go away. But I noticed, I was like, that can't be right. It can't be right that that's how I'm feeling right before I'm logging on. So then I was getting curious about like, what is the story that's happening here? And I realized that I was afraid to open my app and learn that I had been criticized, that somebody had, you know, disagreed with something that I had posted or had left a nasty comment or was commenting about what an idiot I am. And so that was really interesting to kind of slow down and get curious about the stories behind that, that physiological response that I was noticing. And I had to work through those, you know, outside of just noticing. It was like, okay, well, now I have to really come to terms with all of the power that this app has over me, my thoughts, my emotions, my behaviors. So that for sure was, um, was kind of the starting point of the work that I had to do was really, you know, first, why did I give this app so much power in the first place and second, what do I do now that it does have all this power? I have to, I have to work on healing that stuff from the inside because social media is not going to change. The, I'm never going to get rid of the threat of someone posting a negative or sharing a negative comment on one of my posts. So how am I going to cope with that? If somebody does, what does that mean? And how do I, you know, how do I navigate that? Um, Caitie, can you remind me what the second part of your question was?

Caitie: So I was asking about, you know, when you realized stress was the root cause, how did you realize that social media was contributing to your stress? And then I was asking, once you recognized that perfectionism was kind of like a coping tool for you and something that you really wanted to work on versus just letting it be part of your personality, how did you notice the connection there with social media?

Kelly: I felt like I couldn't really stop working and if I were to stop working, I would call myself lazy. I would call myself, you know, not, not caring enough, not trying hard enough, not caring about my clients enough, not caring about my success enough. And so I think that's where the perfectionist really came through. Perfectionism came through for me was through this lens of I have to be working all the time. I have to be producing all the time, creating results all the time, creating output all the time. Social media was such an easy way to feel like I was being productive all the time. Because I'd be sitting there on social media and I would tell myself that I'm doing research for my business. But really I was just getting my nervous system all riled up looking at other people's posts and comparing what I was saying to what other people were saying. And so that was really eye opening too, was to just realize, wait a second, I'm not actually doing anything productive on this app. My brain is telling me that this is helping me move towards my goals. It's helping me create the life that I want. But actually, I'm just dumping my time. I'm just dumping my time and energy into this app, and I'm not actually creating results. All it's doing is making me more stressed. 

So one thing I did was I unfollowed a ton of people, like a ton of people. Basically the only people I follow are people that I know in real life. I had created this huge community on Instagram where I followed thousands of people that I had never met before. And a lot of them were, you know, talking about growing their businesses and what they're doing and how they're succeeding. And that on some level, even if I wasn't consciously aware of it, that was getting into my psyche and making me feel like you're behind, you're behind. 

So I started by pairing back the content that I was consuming on social media and then I worked towards paring back the time I was spending on social media because when I got rid of some of that really activating content, I didn't feel as addicted to the app. So I didn't, I wasn't as, I wasn't looking for that kind of dys, I was looking for dysregulation when I, before, you know, before, when I had, when I was following all these other people. So that was the first step for me was just really curating what I was looking at. And then it became less interesting to, you know, less addictive and less interesting.

Caitie: Yeah. So just to like kind of give some context here, Kelly has like, we have like 10,000 followers, right? More than that. You have a lot of followers. Like you had built a big following on social media during the pandemic, right? Through reels and bite size content that got a lot of people in your community. So the fact that you unfollowed thousands of people and have really made this choice to only engage with Instagram, what, like 30 minutes a week and like mostly from your desktop, it's a pretty big deal. And I think that this is something that feels like a big deal for someone, even if they just have a personal Instagram to really set boundaries in social media and engage with it in a way more distant way. But it's even bigger deal for someone like you who really does run a business on Instagram. And so I do feel like you're such a good example of someone who was truly convinced that they needed this app for just logistical reasons, business reasons. Like I need this. 

And so I wanna say, I think what I'm trying to say in a very long-winded way is if Kelly can break free from this, you can too. You really can, and you really can pare down even if you're convinced that you cannot. And so I'd love to dive into the questions that I got from people who listened to this podcast about breaking free from Instagram and get your perspective on this because you are you still in that place where you're engaging with it roughly 30 minutes a week?

Kelly: Yeah, the only thing I do is I go on, I look at the memes that my husband has sent me because he's a big meme sender. So I always have to stay up to date on what he's sending me. I'll check in with some potential clients because people do still reach out saying, hey, I'm curious about working with you. So I do use it mostly for the messaging feature, but I'm not consuming any content on Instagram anymore. Zero. That's been a huge change for me. It used to be hours and hours a week of just consuming, consuming.

Caitie: So, the first question that I got from someone, and I feel like it kind of does tie into what you're saying too, is like, they were afraid that they would start missing out on important events and pieces of education and connection with friends if they were to break free from Instagram. They want to, because they don't really post anymore, but they feel like there's gonna be some sort of missing out of information, events, and things that they learned about on social. So how does that feel for you now that you're saying you don't consume any content?

Kelly: This is a great question because it's actually something that I did encounter. So what I wasn't expecting was when I, when I kind of got rid of all the time that I was spending on Instagram, I now had all this time that I didn't know what to do with. So I decided that I'm going to have to be really intentional about how I feel that time, because otherwise I'm going to just find another, you know, ridiculous useless hobby. I'm going to, I found for the first few weeks, I was like, obsessed with Reddit because it was like the next, you know, the closest next thing where I felt like I could get information, stay up to date. 

So then I was really intentional about, okay, I've got five more hours in my week at least probably closer to 15 to 20 hours that I used to spend just consuming content, telling myself that I was working. What am I going to do with that time now? I'm actually going to pick up the phone and call the people that I say that I want to keep tabs on. If I'm saying I'm, you know, if there are people that you're worried about not keeping up with as much on Instagram, call them. Build that relationship in other ways. Do something more productive where you're actually maybe talking to the 10 people that you really do care about staying connected with. 

That said, I did miss a couple birthdays because I didn't see, I didn't see, you know, oh, it's so and so's birthday. And I did miss some birthdays of close friends that I felt really bad about. And that just made me go, okay, you know what? I'm gonna get out my calendar and add people's birthdays to my calendar so that I don't miss it. So I was really trying to think about what, if I'm telling myself this story that I'm gonna miss out on stuff, I need to find a backup plan so that I'm not actually missing out on these important relationships. So I'm actually now spending so much more time actually having real conversations with my friends that otherwise we might just be sending little stupid memes and videos back and forth to each other on Instagram. Now I'm having, like, I call one of my dearest friends who I don't typically speak to on the phone. We text a lot. We talk on the phone for like an hour every other week. So that relationship is so much stronger now that I'm not just, you know, relying on seeing her Instagram stories and then the birthday thing, the milestones thing. 

One of my friends had a baby and I didn't know about it cause I wasn't on Instagram and I was like, well, you know what? She could have texted me if, if she really wanted me personally to know that she'd had this baby, someone could have texted me a picture of the baby. So I think now also my friends are realizing, Oh, Kelly's not on Instagram. She probably hasn't seen that. So it's just a relearning of how to engage with people, especially the people that you really care about. Because those are the ones you're probably trying to keep up with on Instagram anyway. So yeah, that was a tough thing for me too, but it's so worth it to engage in more meaningful ways.

Caitie: Yeah. And what about educational content and learning about events and things that you maybe want to take part in as a human or as an entrepreneur? Is there something, an element, that you feel like you're missing from, were missing from Instagram that you were able to get from somewhere else? Something I'm actually thinking about is like, I'm selling your treat right now. And I'm like, would people know about my retreat if I didn't consistently post about it on Instagram? I don't know. And people probably do benefit from seeing stuff like that on Instagram. I'm curious what you think about that too.

Kelly: Yeah, and I mean, it's not that you never have to, it's not that you can never post on Instagram or you can never go on. It's just, I think being a little bit more intentional about what you're doing when you're on the app. So for me, there's my yoga studio. I used to get a lot of updates from them, from Instagram, and I realized, you know what? If I'm not gonna be on Instagram, I gotta make sure that I'm on their email list so that I do get the updates. So I think as far as keeping yourself abreast of what's going on, really identifying those businesses or brands or people that you want to stay up to date with and just get on their email list is one way. And then just maybe carve out some time where you can, you can also schedule so many things now on Instagram. If you are, you know, in a position where you need to be posting for your business schedule stuff, like just schedule it out. So then you don't have to worry about going on and checking. And you know, that, that to me was really helpful.

And I also just realized like, you know what? It is important to stay relevant, I think, especially if you have a business, you want people to know what's going on. Having some sort of presence just to stay top of mind for them is great, but I'm leaning a little bit more into emails to do that, and I also noticed that what would really drive me to go and pick up the app is after I had posted something, because my brain was telling me, you've gotta monitor what the response is to this post. So the less I posted, the less I felt compelled pick up the phone and go to the app, which was kind of an interesting discovery because I didn't realize that's how I was using it, but I really was using it to kind of manage response to what I was posting. So the less you post, the less you're gonna feel like there is to manage. But yeah, just schedule time, schedule time to go on and promote or schedule time to go on and consume. And just make sure that you're checking in, you know, with the accounts that you really want to hear from and not just whoever, whenever.

Caitie: Yeah. Do you actually schedule the time that you go on? Is it like in your calendar to go on?

Kelly: It's not, I typically check like shortly after I log on to work in the morning, I just check to see if we've had any messages come in overnight. And then I'll pretty much log out until the end of the day and I'll only access Instagram from my laptop. So I don't have the app on my phone anymore. If I have to send a voice note sometimes, I re-download the app, but then I delete it right away. So it's to the point now where I don't miss it. I don't, you know, but it took a while to get there. So I think that's a great idea. If you're in those early stages, just schedule some time for yourself to go in and then when the timer's up, just log off.

Caitie: Yeah, yeah, damn. The next question that I got is kind of, we kind of already set this up pretty well from some of the stuff that you were saying, but someone asked if it needs to be all or nothing, if it needs to be that you either delete Instagram or you're on it all the time. They really struggle to not make it all or nothing because it does feel addictive in the way that a drug feels addictive.

I'll share on my end too, that I was recently having a conversation with someone who had also decided to kind of opt out of Instagram in a very similar way to you still posts about his business to kind of just make it apparent that his business is still open, but doesn't go on Instagram himself anymore because he was like, I realized that it was no different from a drug. Like I literally open it just out of impulse all the time. I'd get an itch, literally an itch and I would open Instagram. And as I was hearing him talking, I was like, I kind of feel like this too. I had a realization towards the end of last year that I would fill all dead space with a check-in. It was like, yeah, as soon as I got off a client call, as soon as I was getting up to go to the bathroom, as soon as I was getting on the subway, it was like, this is how I fill my transition time. And I was like, what would I have done before if this didn't exist? How would I fill the space? And so I am curious what you think about this idea of does it have to be all or nothing when it is so psychologically addictive.

Kelly: Yeah, it's totally to me. I'm I don't use the word addiction lately, but I was definitely addicted. I think and I mean, I don't fully understand all the mechanisms of the brain and dopamine and you know what really keeps us coming back to habits that are not as great for us. But for me, the first thing I had to do was I couldn't just go cold turkey off of Instagram when I was still addicted to Instagram. I first had to get myself less addicted and then I could go completely off of Instagram. So for me, it was about making Instagram less interesting. That was the first step. So that, I would really encourage anyone who's listening to this to think about what purpose am I using this for? Is it like Caitie, like you were sharing, is it to fill space? Is it for entertainment? Is it to make me laugh when I'm feeling sad? Is it to check to make sure that I'm still on target with my peers and, you know, achieving up to my standards, that I'm on the right pace, that I'm moving fast enough. And then I think, I think that really is the number one thing. 

So for me, it was filling space for sure. And the second was that kind of comparison thing. I wanted to make sure that I was, I felt like I was doing okay. So the first thing was to just get rid of anyone who made me feel like I was not doing okay. Like that is not healthy for me to look at no matter when. And then for entertainment, I've found other ways to stay entertained. I am reading more now, I am doing more crossword puzzles. I got the New York Times Crossword Puzzle app. Because we do need those moments of decompression. I don't think we have to tell ourselves, you can never relax after a client call. It's, what else feels relaxing to you? Is it going for a walk? Is it doing a little stretch? Is it hugging your dog? Is it doing a crossword puzzle? Because my brain does like to stay stimulated throughout the day. So I think, I don't think it has to be all or nothing, but I think as before you try to go to nothing, see if you can make Instagram less interesting to you. Because then it'll be easier to avoid picking it up after, whenever your triggers are to pick it up, it'll be kind of easier to replace that with something else.

Caitie: I think that's such a good point. First of all, making it less interesting to you is first the key. Because, yeah, if it's anything that's easy and convenient and stimulating is obviously going to be your first go-to. And you can't blame yourself for that. And it's getting really, really honest about the purposes that it's serving for you. I think I really struggle to get honest about the purposes that Instagram serves for me, because it does make me laugh lot. And I do exchange really funny reels with my brothers. And I do legitimately connect with people on Instagram that I haven't spoken to in a little bit who send me a DM and are, you know, commenting on something that I'm doing in my life. And we have a nice little engagement, but then I'm like, I also do feel like it's serving as a way for me to create a brand for myself in a way that I don't even want to be doing.

It's a way for me to have control over the way that people see me, which as I near my third decade, I realize that's something that I really don't wanna do anymore. I feel like I spent so much of my 20s building an identity for myself, and while I wanna spend my 30s dismantling that identity, dismantling ego. And I feel like Instagram, if ego was an app, like it's Instagram. And it's like, what better way to control the way people see you, what better way to create this rigid identity for yourself so that you can ensure that people will see you in a certain way. And that's my shadow side of Instagram. And I feel like we all need to sort of look at maybe you know, we do have light sides to Instagram. I think it's so valid that funny videos are funny and cute animal videos are comforting. And it's a nice way to exchange with friends and see the first picture of their baby and all of those different things. And I do think we kind of all have a shadow side. And when we go to the shadow side, it's like, is that overpowering the light sides? And I would venture to say that for most people it is. What do you think about that?

Kelly: I think for me it definitely was, and I was kind of masking that under the guise of like, I'm connecting with people, it's the funny videos that I love, but for me it really was just avoiding the other stuff. I think it can be really helpful too, like if you're not sure how you're using Instagram, try a little fast for a few days and see what you actually miss. See what you actually miss? Do you actually miss connecting with people that you talk to once in a while? Do you actually miss those animal videos? Because if that's just, if you can just get honest with yourself and if you are really only using Instagram for animal videos, then that's awesome. Spend 20 minutes every evening, just binging all the animal videos that you want. But I would bet that that's not all we're doing. You know what I mean? Like there's, there's more, there's more to the story. Cause I feel like there are other apps that are less addictive where you can watch animal videos. You can go on YouTube and watch 20 minutes of animal videos, but we're not, I'm not doing that quite as much. So yeah, I think just trying a little detox and see what actually at the end of the day, you're like, oh, I really wish I could just go on and spend 20 minutes doing this. My brain is asking for this for some reason. Yeah.

Caitie: Yeah. I always say that I think that social media detox is the only acceptable type of detox. I'm like very, very anti all or nothing culture and it comes to wellness. And I feel like social media detox is necessary. And at the same time, I also like that point you made earlier about making it more, making it less interesting. So it's like, how can you kind of do both of those things? Take a few days off, see what you miss about it. Also notice how much you reach for it and notice like when you're going to reach for it, what is it that you're feeling and what is it, what void is it that you're trying to fill by picking it up? And then also taking those days off and seeing which aspects of it you miss can be, can be really, really valuable too. And then accepting, it does not have to be all or nothing though, too. You can still have this app on your phone.

 And I think it is also like one of the most objectively beautiful things about social media and Instagram in particular is that you share your art with the world and you can share your creations with the world and you're still an entrepreneur. You're still a creative entrepreneur. You're still creating things and putting out your words and your ideas. And I, I love what you have to say on the internet, by the way, you posted a video a couple of weeks ago that was like, oh, I forget what it was. Something so simple is one of those just like espresso shots of truth that I was like, yes. Oh, everyone will tell you that you can't do it until you do it. And then they'll just tell you you're annoying. And I was like, yes, I'm so glad that Kelly is still on the internet. And so I think it is important to strengthen like the light sides of social media and get honest about the shadow sides of it and see if you can dismantle the shadow sides of it so that you can re-engage with it in an entirely new way. But I guess it's so important to acknowledge that this is an app that's designed to be addictive. And so we really do have to be so serious about it. Like it is important that you and I are having this conversation about like the minutia of logging on your computer and setting aside only 30 minutes and all of these things, because we're working with a pretty lethal thing.

Kelly: Yeah, yeah, I really think that in 30 years, that generation is gonna be like, I can't believe that you guys were on social media every day, just the way that I look at my mom's generation and I think, I can't believe you were smoking when you were 17. I think we just don't, we also just don't know enough yet about the long-term effects of, you know, having social media constantly on. And I think as we learn more about that, it'll be easier. I think also right now it's hard because we don't have that clinical evidence right in front of us that says, this is bad. We're starting, those studies are starting to come out more and more. And I think that makes it easier to say, you know what? Yeah, this is a health thing. This is, this is actually better for my health if I spend less time on this app. But until we really have that data in hand, I think it's the same, you know, as it was for all the smokers in the seventies, they didn't know it. Maybe they had an inkling that they didn't feel great when they were smoking, but they didn't have the data about all the long-term effects too. 

So one other thing I'll share that really helped me actually now that I think back to the very early stages of trying to cut my social media use is I made my phone black and white. And so all of my social media apps were black and white. And for my brain, it made everything so much less interesting and addictive. So that could be like step number, really number one. If you're, you know, looking to cut back a little bit is just make your phone black and white. And you'll find that without all the color and stimulation and, and turn social media on, turn your volume off when you're looking at social media too. And you'll find that you're just looking at black and white images and in silence. And that's maybe not actually all that interesting. So little, little baby steps.

Caitie: Yeah. I mean, I think we need so many more inventions like that in the world now, right? The same way we needed to pass smoking laws about people not being allowed to smoke in restaurants and on airplanes and all these different things, right? We needed to put these precautions in place. I feel like we need to put this, yeah, black and white filter on our phone or make our screen red or whatever it is that people do to get ourselves to disengage with this thing that yeah, has not been studied yet. We don't yet have all the research for how it impacts our brains. And it's so interesting that, you know, Instagram had risen so much in the time that the pandemic was happening too, because I think that was just a prime time for so many people to become so much more potently addicted to Instagram. 

And it is an addiction. Like anything else, I don't want this to be laced with shame. I feel like it's so important that people don't feel shame for being engaged with Instagram, especially people who can be really proud of the fact that they've built beautiful businesses by getting clients on Instagram and that they've spread great messages and writers have shared their poetry and photographers have shared their photography and people have created content that has allowed really important information and art to, to spread much further and wider than it would have ever had before. And we can't not acknowledge the fact that this app is changing the way we think. I have dreams about Instagram. Like I dream in social media sometimes. And I'm like, what would I be thinking about in my subconscious if I didn't have this app? I've had dreams before that like I don't know, I just know that social media is involved in the dream. Like I'm looking at my screen in the dream, which is evidence that so much of my reality happens in these squares rather than in the 3D space around me, which terrifies me, which has made me really, really think about this in the past year.

Kelly: It’s so true. And I think you do such a beautiful job of helping us recognize that there is so much good that comes from these apps. And we do get to see my cousin's kids that I wouldn't, they wouldn't text me. I don't text them every day, but now I get to see them. It's like these really cool things that we get to experience. And also I think Instagram, it's not obvious when we've crossed over to that kind of dark side because the dark and the light, I think, are woven right into each other. You might see one post that is a light post and makes you feel really good and is really life-affirming and supportive. And then the very next post could be one of those darker posts and could trigger that kind of darker, the shadow side of why you're on that app. So it's really hard to, there's no line. It's really hard to, it's got just so much curiosity and self-awareness and just saying, what am I feeling when I'm looking at this post? Okay, next one. What am I feeling when I'm looking at this post? What's this bringing up for me? Is this helping?

And also I think so much of the content now, as a content creator too, the advice to content creators is you need strong hooks. You gotta make people, you gotta activate people. You've gotta trigger their nervous system. So that's what the content creators are doing, a lot of them. And so it's by design. If you're feeling off or dysregulated when you're looking at an Instagram post, just know that it's, whether that person who created it was aware of it or not by design that it's, it's making you feel that way. So I think the, the rise of people are recognizing what makes people stop and engage. And a lot of it is make it sensational, make it controversial, make it polarizing. So I think a lot of what we're actually seeing is designed to put us in a not, not great mental state.

Caitie: Yeah, yeah, it's so sneaky. And it's also so hard to have an awareness of what's gonna trigger you, right? Obviously very explicitly triggering content about what's going on in the world and polarizing politics and all these different things. We all know that stuff is triggering, right? But we don't know that we're triggered by another person who works in the same industry as us sharing their breakfast. That happens to that stuff is also really bad for your brain. We don't know that we're triggered by some of the things that were triggered by because it also moves so fast and you're not like, oh, how does this post make me feel? It's like pause and now we'll move to the next post. It's like, boom, post, especially with the ease of scrolling that's occurred with reels and with TikTok. It's like everything's coming so fast and you have no time to even grab the thought or grab the feeling, label it and sit with it. 

And so I guess as we're kind of wrapping up here, right? One thing can be to try to slow down the way you engage with social media. What if you actually did have to label how each post made you feel. What happens then? You're suddenly aware of the fact that you're feeling happy and joyful and devastated and triggered and anxious and jealous and scared in the same 18 seconds. And that's a lot. It's a lot on your nervous system. 

And yeah, so can you try to slow down on social media? Also, as Kelly was saying earlier, how can you make it less interesting? Can you unfollow a lot of people? Can you put black and white filters on it? Can you only go on your desktop because it's way less sexy to be on Instagram for sure. And can you acknowledge all of the light sides of Instagram and all of the shadow sides of Instagram, ask yourself which side is stronger, try to strengthen that light side and say, you know what, if I'm only going to engage in the light side, I only need to be on this for a particular amount of time. Cause usually the shadow side of Instagram is what has us on there so much. Cause it gives us this perceived control over something. Or just that addictive engagement with something that we probably shouldn't be engaging with. 

So yeah, those are just some steps, some things, some ways to sort of get your wheels turning and to know that Kelly and I are both doing this active, breaking away from Instagram without deleting our Instagrams. And I'm still posts on Instagram a lot. I just literally don't look at posts anymore. And people are upset with me because I don't like their posts anymore. And one of my friends literally said to me, I always engage in their content. I always comment and you never comment on my posts. I was like, I'm sorry. I just actually don't look at stuff anymore. Cause that's just part of my process right now. One day when I actually have the energy to unfollow people that I don't know I actually will probably be able to look at content again, but right now I'm just not there if that's like where I am.

Kelly: I think it's beautiful wherever you are in your process. Even if you're at just the very early stages of recognizing, maybe this is something I want to spend some energy focusing on is kind of divesting from social media. That's a beautiful place to be because you're way ahead of maybe where you were a year ago. And you're way ahead of where a lot of other people are in terms of awareness. So just baby steps. And I'm celebrating everyone who is looking to go on that journey.

Caitie: Yeah. And it's such a journey to explore your relationship with anything, like with literally anything, right? With food, with your body, with dating, with your mother, with whatever it is that you're exploring your relationship with. So try to view this as just another one of those things. I think social media is relatively new to the human psyche. So I do think that sometimes we look at it as like, oh, it's just a superficial thing. It shouldn't be that deep. It's just me posting pictures for likes and it's like, sorry, it actually is a lot deeper than that. It is this tool that has literally changed the way our society functions and receives information and processes our experiences and develops a sense of self. So we actually do really need to take it seriously. And I love that you were brave enough to bring this conversation to the forefront in your business. 

And I also love that you, you do just evolve so genuinely and so organically in what you do. And if you have like a few more minutes, you have like two minutes past two? I just would love for you to share how you're, you started your business during COVID and you were doing a lot of tarot readings during that time. You had a, just a very different business to what you have now. And I want to hear you talk about that for a moment, just like very briefly, the overview of how your entrepreneurial journey has evolved too, because I think this idea of permission to evolve and permission to explore and open up about whatever is most important to you in this time is something that a lot of people could use too.

Kelly: Yeah, of course. Yeah. So I started my business. I was working full time and I started a business because I had really fallen in love with tarot as a way to connect with your subconscious. So not as a fortune telling tool. That was never what it was about for me, but I would pull a card and it was a, it was a healing modality to pull a card and see what it brought up for you. And I found it when I shared that with other people they had awesome breakthroughs and that was so exciting. So it was a combination of like tarot as a self-discovery tool and meditation as a self-discovery tool. That's what I was really focused on in the beginning. 

And then I started connecting with a lot of other business owners who were in that same kind of sphere, sort of alternative wellness. And they were asking me questions about business. So I was like, yeah, I can, you know help you with your operations and get your email list set up. And here's maybe the messaging that you should work on for your business, and this is how you should market your business. And so I kind of found myself living in that world for a while. And I started a podcast kind of serving that same group of people. And then I started getting asked questions about podcasts. And I want to start my own podcast. I want to be on other people's podcasts. So that's how I landed in kind of the podcasting niche.

For me, it was always just like letting unfold whatever was in front of me, whatever. I always pay attention to what people are asking me about and what, because that's where I feel like I can be of the most value and of the most service if I'm just answering the call to whatever questions I'm getting and what kinds of people are reaching out and what they're looking for support with. So I've just kind of followed those little nudges and I would not be able to do what I do now if I hadn't taken all of those other steps, no matter, I mean, they seem so unrelated when I look back. But then when I actually think about, okay, what's the event that led me to this next step, it all is such a winding path, but it all happened in this really, I think, intentional kind of linear fashion. So just kind of the takeaway from all the ups and downs of, of that journey and left turns and right turns is just, if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, you're going to eventually end up somewhere that really makes you happy. 

But I think following the breadcrumbs and allowing yourself to say, hey, this thing that I really enjoyed six months or a year ago, doesn't feel as exciting to me anymore. What else is available to me right now? Can I try it? I'm a big fan of just, just trying something. And if it's a bust, you can always backtrack and go back to what you used to do. But yeah, that's, that's kind of just the journey of just allowing myself to evolve and follow what excites me. I also, my body tells me absolutely not when something doesn't excite me anymore. And the more I push against that, the more, more miserable I become. So that's been a really kind of liberating permission slip to give myself to is like, if my body starts to shut down about something, I just say, okay, I'm going to see what makes it feel more open, see what makes me feel expansive right now. So that's, that's kind of how I got here.

Caitie: Yeah, thank you for sharing that. I just wanted people to have that context of the path that your career has followed because it's really expansive to me to see how much you give yourself permission to evolve. And something I love that you always say is treat your business like an experiment, not like a soap opera. And I think that people need to treat their life like an experiment and not like a soap opera. Like in what ways can we follow the breadcrumbs and when something doesn't go the way we planned instead of treating it like a soap opera, can we treat it like an experiment and say, that wasn't working for me, let me try something else on? Because in general, right, we need to make decisions and try different things in order to know what our intuition is, and in order to figure out where we're supposed to be. 

And so I love your story too, and what I also love is that Kelly and I connected in person years ago at 305 Fitness when we were both working there, and I have purchased from you at every stage of your entrepreneurial journey. And I wanna share that because first of all, we didn't connect on social media. We met in person and I loved Kelly's energy. And I was like, this is a really smart person who knows what the fuck she's doing. And at the time you were like designing the clothes at 305 and that's why I met you because I was like modeling the clothes. I was one of the instructors there. And I was like, wow, she's really organized and on her shit and has a very inspiring sort of aligned energy I wanna be around. And so then when you were doing the tarot, I was like, of course I want Kelly to read my tarot. Of course I wanna be part of her tarot membership. Then you moved into business coaching and I was like, of course I want Kelly business, right? And then you moved into the podcast thing and I was like, of course I want Kelly to help me figure out how to be on more people's podcasts. 

And so I just think that that's a testament to how people buy your essence and not necessarily what you do. They buy why you do it and they buy how you do what you do. And that's a message obviously not only for business owners, but also for people just moving in their everyday life. It is more about the how and the energy and the essence than it is about the what. And translating that to social media also is like, we get so obsessed with people seeing us a certain way via our social media and what about just living our lives in such a way rather than showing can, I'm sorry, rather than telling via social media, can we show via our lives? And yeah, I just think there's a lot of messages in there just through that one way you kind of shared the winding road of your entrepreneurial journey. There's so much people can take away here. You're such a special person to me. Thank you so much for taking the time to come on here today.

Kelly: It's so mutual.

Caitie: I hope that we'll have another conversation soon when we're both even further along on this journey and whatever else you decide to do next, I'm sure we'll talk about it too. So thank you so much for your time today, Kelly.

Kelly: Oh, I'm so honored to get to share any space with you and I'm so grateful to get to chat with your community here today. So thank you for listening.

Caitie: Thank you, thank you. All right, we're gonna wrap up today's episode. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a five star rating on Apple or on Spotify and please follow Kelly on Instagram, even though she's not there as much as she used to be. She's very much available and accessible in a very intentional way now. Can you just shout out where people can connect with you?

Kelly: Yeah, on Instagram, I'm at @kelly.mosser. There's two S's in my last name. And if you are in the business world, if you have a business of your own, my podcast might be somewhere that you could check out some just very straightforward, no fluff marketing and operations stuff. And my podcast is called The Align Success Show.

Caitie: Very minimal fluff. It's really true. It's real. She goes right to the meat and potatoes and I love it. All right. Thank you so much for your time, Kelly. I am going to hop off here. I hope you have a peaceful rest of your day. Take another deep breath before you hop into the next thing. Don't open up social media. Bye. 


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