Mental Health & Social Media: An Open Discussion on Anxiety, OCD & how social media addiction affects us all with Bryan Piatt
On today’s episode, I talk with Kare 11 Producer Bryan Piatt and share about his life with Anxiety & OCD as well as social media addiction & coping when your mental health issues don’t allow you to work or live a normal life.
Bryan has been an anchor, reporter and producer at KARE 11 since 2011. He is also the co-founder and host of the Refresh Network, an online platform dedicated to creating a safe space for people to have real conversations about mental health. He recently publicly opened up about his own struggles with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives. She is a well known speaker, educator & social media strategist. You can work with her one on one with coaching and content creation (photo/video) services
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Hey, everyone, welcome to Twin Cities collective podcast. I'm your host Jenna Redfield, and today I have a very special guests, Brian from Kare 11, and you might recognize him he's been an anchor and reporter but now he is behind the scenes doing a lot more work probably as a producer. He's also the co founder of the refresh network. Welcome so much to the podcast. Thank
Bryan Piatt 1:50
you so much for having me. honor to be here.
Jenna Redfield 1:52
Yeah. Well, I wanted to have you on because I've been seeing all these posts about you and about your journey. So can you tell us a little bit about maybe like your your business background, but then also your mental health journey?
Bryan Piatt 2:04
Yeah. So it might take me two hours to do it.
Yeah, right. So So yes, I currently work over at Kare 11. I've been there since 2011. And I and I started there as a reporter, and then kind of branched off into different roles, I did traffic on the morning show over there, I've anchored a couple of different shows. And then I recently kind of stepped off off air and I'm now a producer for the morning show putting stories together for future morning shows. So I get to work on the morning show but I don't have to work like wake up at like two in the morning like a lot of people do. And so that's kind of been like my career at Kare 11 and and then like most recently, I've been opening up more about about my struggles with mental health and anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, the two things kind of in particular that I've talked about. And you know, both of those things that I I have struggled with for a lot of my life, you know, I think I can look back at my my childhood, and certainly can see some of those things that have creeped up over the course of my life. But I think as I've gotten more of an understanding of it in my own life, I think I've realized that I have this amazing platform, that kare 11, you know, to to reach a lot of a lot of people. And I feel like my career has now kind of intersected with this passion to to talk about mental health on kind of a broader scale, because I think it's something that we're not talking about enough. And I think so many people are struggling with it. And so through that, I've also launched this thing called the refresh network. And that started actually back in like 2015 2016 as an opportunity just to do like uplifting, positive interviews from people, we were really interested in chatting with people about what they've gone through in their life, and then life lessons that they've learned along the way and just trying to bring some of those messages out. And then it went away for a while. And then as I've opened up more publicly about my mental health, we've given it kind of a mental health lens. And so really, the intention behind the refresh network now is to have really open real and vulnerable conversations about mental health and going around and talking to people to talk about the things that, again, like I said, so many, many of us who I think are struggling with, but we're just not having those conversations. Yeah,
Jenna Redfield 4:21
I think, you know, I was looking at it. Have you ever looked on Google Trends to see things that like over time have like searched? I don't know why I never done this. I started doing it a couple weeks ago. And like certain words like anxiety, burnout and stuff over the last 10 years have just exploded and people just searching them. Yeah. And for me, I just hear about it more. And I think for the longest time, we never knew what they were called. I found out to see a year and a half ago that I'm an empath, which blew my mind didn't know what that was. But it put a name to what I had been feeling my whole life. So kind of something that I I didn't know. And I also have had a very long history with anxiety but it not just me it's actually genetic. Yeah, my entire dad side of the family has had anxiety issues. I started getting panic attacks in fifth grade. And so the for me, I I feel like I can totally understand like the mental health side, and I don't really talk about it a lot. But I feel like you talking about it probably brings up a lot of good thoughts of people to be like, oh, maybe that's what I have, or just even thinking further?
Bryan Piatt 5:26
Well, I think just just providing a space for people to have the conversation. You know, I've always said that I think when people open up about this stuff, it kind of gives everybody else like a little bit more permission to struggle and be real about what they're going through. Because I think, you know, it gets really exhausting stepping into every single day feeling like, you know, I might be struggling internally, but I need to like put up this front as if everything is all pulled together. And I think it's like we're all doing that. But what if we just stepped more in this direction of just not, you know, not making it obviously something that we're complaining about all the time and things like that and being negative, but just being able to like, honor that we're all human. And then sometimes it can be really tough to be a human being in this world and, and let's just be open about it. Yeah,
Jenna Redfield 6:07
I struggle with that personally with wanting to be the leader, but also showing that vulnerable side because I feel like sometimes if you share too much of your inner thoughts, people are just like, Who is she even? Like what able to do? You know, like, it's like it's a sign of weakness, almost sure. Or a sign of vulnerability, which is, you know, I think the buzzword right now for being open about your your, like actual human side, you know, and I think what what are your thoughts as someone like when you first started talking about this? Did you have those fears to Oh, absolutely.
Bryan Piatt 6:40
Oh, my gosh, Totally. Totally. I mean, yeah, you know, and in particular with a lot of, I mean, the whole like obsessive compulsive disorder conversation is a whole other thing that that really at the core of of OCD for a lot of people and myself included are like, intrusive thoughts tend to be very taboo in nature and things like so. It's not like something that's easy to bring up, just start having having that conversation. Yeah. But I feel like I've I've been, I've been so incredibly uncomfortable, I would say for the last month or two since I've really started talking about this, because it is intensely uncomfortable to step into that space of being really open. But at the same time, I've realized that sitting in that space has allowed me to connect with people in a whole different way. And so that's like that vulnerability, where it is terrifying to step into it. But I think a lot of the things that we're all looking for in life when it comes to relationships, and friendships and, and purpose are, are on the other side of that vulnerable space.
Jenna Redfield 7:35
I think that's so true. And I feel like sometimes I'm wearing two different masks too. So it's kind of hard. Sometimes I feel like I have to just like take one off and put one on again. And it's just like, it's like, there's two sides to me. And I feel like I talk about both of them online. But it's like, I feel like I have to turn it on and off.
Bryan Piatt 7:53
I don't know. Yeah, yeah, totally. No, I think I'm, and I think that's also like, okay, right. You know, I think it's just kind of embracing and, I mean, this stuff doesn't just like happen overnight to you know, it's not like just one day, all of a sudden, you're like, Okay, I've decided I'm going to like start being super open about this. And everything's going to be great. You know, like, it's a messy process. Yeah. And I think we're, I think we're like way more complex as human beings than what we then what we're like, led to believe it's supposed to be we all have so many different pieces to us. And I think like the mental health piece for me, like when you said that were kind of like learning that you were an empath kind of maybe gave you a little bit more clarity about that, that side of you. Definitely, I had a friend, a dear friend tell me that. Like, for me, like the OCD piece of me was, it was like a piece of my puzzle that I could just kind of understand a little bit more. That's not all of me. You know, it's not that I it's just a piece of who I am. And as we can kind of step in and maybe take a look at those things. It's like, Oh, I can kind of start to embrace that that part of me a little
Jenna Redfield 8:58
bit more. So what have you seen change over? The last, I guess, half a decade? When it comes to mental health? I mean, you were what was like the what? what pushed you to actually talk about it? Was it you seeing other people talking about it? Or was it just like, Did you hit a breaking point where like, I just need to get this out there.
Bryan Piatt 9:16
So I think a few things happened. I will say that I think I've always had this kind of deep sense that I wanted to be doing this kind of work. And that like I had this story and all this stuff that I've been going through could serve a purpose someday, you know, I'm like, I'm like a bigger on a bigger scale. And so I think I've always, I've always felt really kind of pulled in the direction of doing work of the that's about, you know, talking about struggle and just kind of being open about it. And I think I'm still trying to figure out exactly what shape that's going to take in my life. But so I think there was kind of this undercurrent of life pulling me in that direction. And then, you know, I hit a point last summer, it was actually almost about a year ago was around the state fair, where I had been on the air at Kare 11 and for for, I mean, since 2011. And I was I mean, it got to the point for me, I was having really bad panic attacks. Every time I was stepping on in front of the camera, my did my struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder were really, really tough. And I mean, I literally was like crying on the, on the floor of my condo last summer, and I just was like, I, I need to make a shift. You know, it was like this really eye opening moment of I need to I need to do something to put my happiness and my mental health at the forefront. And that's when I went to my my boss over at Kare 11 and one of my bosses who I've been blessed to have a really good relationship with and told her what was going on and just asked her everything was there any way that I could kind of still work at Karol 11 but but but take a step back from being in front of the camera just because I feel like I needed a break from that. And she was wonderful worked with me on that Don me a spot here kind of in this this producing role that I'm currently in. And I think getting away from from the on air version of myself has allowed me to kind of shed that layer of me of trying to be like news, Brian. Day and and yeah, because that wasn't feeling super authentic to me anymore. And and that was maybe getting into some of it. Yeah. And and I just, you know, the more that I kind of got away from it. And the more that I really started to hone back in on like the refresh network and the work that we were doing there. And I thought, you know, what if I take this thing that I've struggled with, and that's been really, really hard, and I kind of make it my power away, and we start talking about it, and, and I use this as something that can hopefully, not only feel empowering to me to open up and speak about it, but also let other people know that they're not alone. So it was kind of this gradual, I think, you know, progression of a lot of different things going on in my life. But I think I've always had this really deep sense that
I wanted to move in this direction.
Jenna Redfield 11:56
Yeah. So when did you find out? I mean, we haven't really heard your story. Like I want to hear your story. Like when did you realize you had OCD? Or when did you realize your things like what what has been your like, timeline of life? Yeah,
Bryan Piatt 12:08
yeah. So I you know, it's I always really identified with anxiety so anxiety was kind of the word for me I always had like, I have anxiety and and I certainly that has absolutely been a huge part of my story. And then you know, a few things happen. So back when I was in middle school, I we just moved from Fargo or from from Denver, I grew up in Denver, and we moved to Fargo, North Dakota, when I was in middle school and not long after that I was in the I was in the I was in the cafeteria of my of my middle school and I had at the time and essentially had a panic attack I had this huge wave of what I've now understood is is called depersonalization just this feeling of like being really like detached and like spacey and like kind of feeling like you're separate from your body. Like it was this really, really like terrifying thing to be going through when you're like a sixth or seventh grader, my whole life and I literally can say that, from that point on my mental health has not been the same. Like I, my whole every day became this like, constant checking of Am I going to have that feeling today? What does this feeling say about me? I thought I had like a brain tumor. I was like, wanting to go to the doctor and check that out. And so I had a lot of other like health, anxiety related stuff, kind of, you know, middle school and, and in the college, I would you know, I went through a phase where I was convinced I had like some sort of an awful heart condition. And I went in and got like a heart test. You know, I was really like fixated on, you know, what, what does this body sensation say about what I'm going through are there, you know, is there something wrong? And then as I got into, kind of fast forward, and then there was also something that happened back when I was in middle school that was really kind of an early sign of, of obsessive compulsive disorder. So I really wanted to give you kind of an understanding of OCD generally for people that we all have thoughts, right, like we all have human beings have random thoughts that kind of pop up into our head and they and somebody that does not have obsessive compulsive disorder, generally the reaction is like, Well, that was kind of a weird thought. And then you kind of like go on without your day. It doesn't really like hooking too much. Somebody with obsessive compulsive disorder, those thoughts get really, really like looped in your brain and you're examining it from every possible angle. What does this say about me that I'm having that thought? And I remember in middle school, one of my first like, vivid, intrusive thoughts. I was I was in the kitchen with my mom. And I remember seeing a knife on the counter. And I remember my mom was in the in the kitchen. And the thought entered my mind. What if I grabbed that knife and I stopped my mom. Like, just like a random thought that, again, as human beings, our minds just kind of come up with these things. But I remember when I was in, you know, a little sixth grader, I remember thinking, Oh my gosh, like, does this mean that I want to do that? You know, like, Am I a really bad person? That I look back and that was one of the earliest times that I can remember vividly having like an intrusive thought where that kind of cycle played out for me. And then it's really it's really evolved, you know, over over the years and it's taken on different forms for me and being in relationships got really really hard for me like trying to, to figure out is this like the the right person for me like that? That question would really like hook in my mind when I was when I was trying to be in in relationship. So it's a really complex thing to describe. And I always try to do my best to describe it, but it's really this unhealthy. It's this really unhealthy relationship with uncertainty. It's wanting 100% certainty over things. Yeah, that we just can't get Yeah, percent certainty over.
Jenna Redfield 15:44
I think a lot of people like when you like, when I think what society calls OCD is when you can't stop doing something. Yes. Is there a difference between that and thinking something? I guess it's Yeah, that's in my brain. Like,
Bryan Piatt 15:57
I'm trying to process so. So so I think like OCD generally is stereo, typically known as like, you're just like compulsively washing your hands, you know. And then so those are like outward compulsions. And that's kind of what and that's why actually, there's a statistic out there that it takes somebody generally from the first onset of symptoms to actually getting diagnosed to being diagnosed with OCD, it takes like something like 14 to 17 years, because it's so misunderstood. Yeah. So there's, there's the outward form of like, the the obsession, the thought will hit, there's that there's an anxious reaction to it. And then like some sort of a compulsion to get that anxiety to go away. And for a lot of people that might be like the washing of hands to determine 100% that I don't have, that I didn't contract, you know, HIV or something like that, or get sick. And then for a lot of people, there's actually a segment of obsessive compulsive disorder where all the the compulsions are more mental motions, checking and ruminating and getting things really like stuck. I always describe it as having a really sticky brain, things don't just flow through is easily they get really stuck up there. So that's, so that's kind of the form that as I started to understand that that pure it's called pure OCD, where it's that the more mental compulsions, that's that for me, where it was really eye opening, and like, wow, this is right, I could see so much of myself stories.
Jenna Redfield 17:16
I can, I mean, I'm like now thinking about myself.
Unknown Speaker 17:20
Jenna Redfield 17:21
Like, I think that that's another thing is the diagnosis of a lot of these things. I, I've been frustrated lately with the term anxiety because I think it's being thrown around too much. I watched a YouTube video about this girl, and she talked about her anxiety. Like at the end of our YouTube video, she's like, well, I just came out with these shirts, and they say anxiety on them. And I'm selling them and I'm like, What? I was like, that is not like, they like you're just making it seem like a joke almost. And I I felt very weird and uncomfortable in that situation. Because I was like, are they just like making it seem like, I mean, and maybe everyone now does have anxiety because our world is just very anxiety conscious. But then there's people like me, and maybe you who've had it like since we were children. Yeah. And maybe it's an actual, like, thing that we have had. It's not just like sometimes people get anxious in certain situations. I think that way about depression, like, I think I get depressed in situations, but I don't have depression. So like, there's certain things where sometimes people over over situate something and say like, I have this and I'm like, but do you are you just upset in this moment? Yeah, is that anxiety? Like that's the thing that I struggle with when it comes to mental health is, is I think people tend to cling on to words and then like, kind of use it as a shield. Sure, if you like, I can't go up because I'm anxious. I'm like, No, you just have social anxiety, which is different. Yeah, just generalizing, but you know, like, I feel like even like talking about the different and like, and white. Like, for me, I never been diagnosed with anxiety. Like, I've just know that I have it. And so it's like, there's certain things where I struggle with the culture of talking about it, too. What are your thoughts on that?
Bryan Piatt 18:54
I don't know. That's just one I think it's like all like I kind of look at it as a spectrum. So I think I think as human beings, we we're all going to experience anxiety at some point that's just part of being alive. Yeah, breathing, like anxiety and depression and things like that can come along, but I think I think you can look at how much is it actually, like, impacting you functioning in your life? Yeah, so and I think when it starts to impact things, like your ability to go out and hang out with your friends and your your your ability to be in a relationship with somebody, your ability to do your job, I think that's when it can start to become more down the line of being like a diagnosable mental health condition. You know, I mean, for me, it was it had gotten to the point where it was intruding on my ability to do my job, you know, as having panic attacks. And it had gotten to a point where being in a relationship got to be really, really, really tough for me, and you know, not only like romantic, but also you know, friendships. And and so I think you just have to look at like, How much is it actually impacting your your daily life? Like, how much is it actually preventing you from showing up and living the life that you want to live? Uh, huh. It's like a spectrum. And again, we all I always go back and forth on like diagnoses because I don't, I don't want, I don't always identify with this whole thing of like, getting too wrapped up in your diagnosis, because then you can kind of, it can start to become almost a little bit too like clinical for me at times where I'm like, you're more than your diagnosis. But what I think it does, is it gives you this ability to put words to what you're experiencing, and then through that, maybe you can learn to talk about it with like a therapist, or you can find a beautiful network of people online. Like for me around the OCD community, I've been able to through having the diagnosis, follow people on Instagram and things like that, that allow me to feel empowered throughout the day. So
Jenna Redfield 20:46
yeah, that's true. I do think that it does. I think people talk about it out loud now, because they want that sense of community. And I think I think it's just there's a fine line between exploiting Absolutely, and understanding. And I think that I've been seeing it more and more of the exploitation part of it that I struggle with, because I'm like, I just feel like there are, but that happens with every topic on the internet, you know, like, anything can be exploited, if it's too much, or something, but So how have you then been able to cope with this?
Bryan Piatt 21:18
So it's been, I kind of call it like my mental health toolkit. You know, I think it's, I think, number one, it's, it's really had to become a shift for me to realize that if I don't, if I'm not in a good place, with my mental health, I really don't have anything in my life. And so really trying to put that at the forefront. And I mean, there's a lot of different things. So I see a therapist about like, once every three to four weeks now, I've really had when I've really gotten into trouble, it's when I've really fallen off of that. And I've been I've kind of stopped seeing therapist. And so I've realized, that's really important for me, I practice yoga, Yoga has been a really big piece of my mental health toolkit, and just an opportunity for me to kind of get a little bit more into my body less than my, in my mind, medication has been a huge help for me. And again, that was something that I know that's kind of a hot button issue. And it's something that I actually really resisted for a long time. And I felt like I was like, going to be cheating or something like that, if I'm on a medication, and actually getting back on one that's worked for me has been extremely helpful. And I think just really allowing myself to, like, connect with other people around me has been huge. I think connection is something that we all as human beings need. Yeah. And it's so important. And I think sometimes I know for me, like with anxiety and OCD and things like that, it kind of forces me at times to isolate. And that's when I get into a really bad place. Yeah, and so really trying to lean into connection, and you know, getting good sleep and then trying to focus on my diet and then putting good foods in my body. I don't think there's like, one thing that has been the secret to it all. For me, I think it's just this accumulation of a lot of things, things and like an overall lifestyle, to just allow myself to show up and kind of fight those battles as they as they come up in my mind throughout the day. Because if I'm out of whack with with with a number of those things that I talked about, it gets pretty exhausting to handle.
Jenna Redfield 23:15
Yeah. I've been thinking as you've been talking about, like how people in the media talk about mental health. And like one thing, I mean, this happened recently with all the shootings and all the things where it's like, should this be bit more of a bigger topic? You know, like, I think that there are a lot of people that don't know, even that they have a mental health issue, or they do and they stop taking medication, I have some people in my family who have had mental things, and there's been medications involved. And then they've been stopping of taking, you know, it's it's that part of it is just so interesting to me, because it's like have have our brain like how does our brain work? Like, how does the medication like there's so many things that I don't know about mental health? So I don't really like to be like, Oh, yeah, I know, all this stuff. So how have you like educated yourself on all these topics?
Bryan Piatt 24:03
All the things? Yeah, yeah, I think, you know, I, I don't pretend for two seconds to be somebody that's an expert. Like, I'm not a therapist, you know, I really have, you know, even like, like the refresh network stuff like I, I don't, I can't diagnose anybody with anything. Like, I'm not an expert, all that I can do is share my story and share, like what's worked for me. And I think make it really clear along the way that that everybody's plan and everybody's approach is going to be differently. And I'm not, I don't think I'm as interested in it right now. And feeling like I need to have all the answers, like at all, I think, for me, it's more just showing up and saying, hey, I've struggled to, and just to let other people know that it's okay to struggle, like that's kind of like where I see, this right now is not trying to like offer like tips and things like that for people because I think it's that like, like, that's business for you to do with you. And like your therapist, you know what I mean? Like that I'm not that trained professional, but I, I would I hope to do is just allow almost like a how're somebody to know that they're not alone. And to hopefully, maybe encourage somebody that, hey, seen, the therapist might be a really good thing for you, or, you know, whatever, it is just encouraging people to put their mental health and themselves really.
Jenna Redfield 25:15
So one of the things I struggled with is talking about things publicly, but knowing that a lot of my family is listening. Yeah. And, and that people see things on Facebook that maybe I don't talk to, you know, so sometimes when I do post things I'm like, I don't know if I want all, like specific people to see this. Because I feel like I know a lot of people that are very, very, very private, and don't like to that has actually been something I've been thinking about lately is how much do I talk about myself? Without it coming across as bat poorly on others? You know, because it's like, people might look to your parents or might look to your family or look to your friends and be like, Well, you know, is they the reason? Or Or you know, maybe how you're raised? Like, I just, I've been struggling with that lately, in terms of what do I say publicly? Not only for my family and friends, but also my personal brand. I struggle. I know, this is like a weird question. But like, how do you do that? in a way where it's all about you, but when it does affect other people too? Yep.
Bryan Piatt 26:18
Beautiful question. Actually, I think my so I can give a couple things that come to mind for me is, you know, I just I just use a bad example of that, like intrusive thought that I had around like a knife. And my mom when I was in when I was in middle school. And I remember the first time that I sat down, I was actually on another on a podcast. And I shared that example. And I was like, Oh my gosh, my poor mom. Like, I can't believe I said that. But yeah, but I share it with the intent of helping other people. Right. Yeah, to give some context for people of what it will how it shows up and let them know that they're not alone if they struggle with that. But you know, I called them mom. And I said, you know, Hey, Mom, just so you know, like, I just did this interview, and this came up, and I just want to like give you a heads up on that. And my mom is somebody that I've been able to be pretty really close with, right? A lot of this and she's she's she's known a lot of my struggles. So I think like having that relationship with that person in your life, if that's possible. And I know that that's not a thing everybody has, I totally know. But I just from my experience, including her in it and saying, like, Hey, this is why I'm sharing this, I think hearing from me directly. To know, like the intention is so that other people feel less alone. And then it's not me just trying to like exploit Yeah, relationship. Yeah. And I just so I was just part of an event, actually, last Thursday, I think called conversations with Kelly, where we did that we did this conversation that I was so honored to be part of around the courage to be real. And I really leaned in and I opened up about a lot of stuff. And my, my family, my dad wasn't able to make it unfortunately, but but my, my mom, and my brother and my sister and my brother in law, and my and my nephew, were all there sitting in like, you know, one of the one of the front rows. And I was so nervous about that. Because, like I'm not, I think we all have like different relationships with people in our family, you know, and maybe like, I'm not used to being that person. That's just like baring my soul in front like I I've gotten kind of comfortable at doing it in like a broader scale. Yeah, but like to do it with like my family sitting right there. It was. Yeah, it was Yeah, it was scary. But I will say that afterwards. I feel like I feel more connected to my family. From that experience. Yeah. So I think these things can also be opportunities to bring it closer.
Jenna Redfield 28:28
Yeah, I totally see that. And I feel like, I just know this because my mom listens every episode. I'm like, what, or even just, you know, I think there's a I hate to say this, but there is kind of a generation gap as well, in terms of what people are okay with saying. And I think I think my, you know, I think our parents generation uses Facebook differently. And my, I think my dad on front of me, because he just didn't like to see all my updates all the time. So I'm like, that's okay. Like, I still see him every you know, all the time. But it's just like, our that's kind of like bridging us into the main topic I want to talk about is, is social media and mental health and how all of this stuff, we don't talk about this. We don't talk about our parents and their relationship with social and our relationship with them off of social like, this is stuff i think is so interesting. And it's something that affects me on a day to day basis. And so for me, like, so for you, how did social media, I think now it's a positive thing. But was it ever a negative thing for you?
Bryan Piatt 29:27
Yeah. I mean, and I think it's still, to be honest with you is at times for me a negative thing, because I can get so caught up in like, scrolling. And you know, I waste way too much time on social. Yeah, yeah, I know that. Yeah. So I think I, I really have to be I've been going through that whole process, as I think so many people are of realizing that like, that isn't reality, right? Like, just because I have x number of followers doesn't mean that like, I mean, I think the focus, always trying to realize that the focus needs to be on in person communication, and then those friends and those family members that we're actually connecting with, yeah, so I've had to really kind of go on that journey, for sure. And then on the flip side, social media has been this incredibly amazing, wonderful tool for me to get my message out there. I mean, a lot of the stuff that I'm doing now with the refresh network, as has started by, like me, just putting out I remember I was a few years ago, I really made this shift of like trying to put out like more inspirational posts like it can I became this like creative outlet for me to like, talk about struggle, and like very vague terms. I wasn't really talking specifically about mental health at the time. But I but I, you know, I slowly started to see that like, hey, there's something marrow is like resonating for people in this way. That I was like, people, like just need that permission that it's okay to struggle. So like it. It's been this beautiful tool, where it's allowed me to kind of dip my toe in this kind of work. And I will say, I mean, I can I complain all the time about like, just how social media is way. It's just like our brain are not meant to absorb the amount of information Yes, that we're getting bombarded with day in and day out. Like I'm convinced that's not healthy. Yeah. And at the same time, it allows me I mentioned like, I follow people in the OCD community and the anxiety community that I can come across a post from somebody, you know, from one of those accounts, and it can completely turn my day around, you know, I can and so that's what I feel like I'm trying to be for other people out there as much as I can to is like, we need more little pockets of realness on social media. And not just all the highlight reel.
Jenna Redfield 31:33
Yeah, I agree. And that's something I've been thinking about too. Well, one of the things for me that I struggle with our triggers, there's like, it could be a post on social, but maybe it's in a negative way. And then it spirals me in a negative way. Also, it's like there's Yep. Because to me, I think and this is true of most people. You remember the bad stuff more than you remember the course. And what how I try to combat that is I try to document a lot of my life, because then I can look back the good stuff, because then if I look back on it, I can actually like remember that joy, by that's why I love photography. That's why I love doing video is like I can capture that emotion I was having that was a good one. Yeah. And so a lot of people are like, Oh, you share so much real life. I'm like, that's because I want that's for me. It's not for you. It's for me to remember. And that's why I love I love Instagram stories because I can go back and watch all the stories. You know, that I recorded total, like people got to see it for a day. But I like I can look back from like two years ago, I went up to my cabin with six of my girlfriends for my birthday. And it was like so fun. And I could like go back and see all the posts I did from that. But it's just like for me, it it's like a reminder that I don't get enough of I'm a words of affirmation kind of person. That's my one of my love languages. So like, for me, seeing the things I mean, affirmed and reminded of the good stuff. And that's why I do like certain Instagram accounts. There's some you know, cute dog accounts. I love watching and then there's, there's things that are Yeah, like inspirational. One of the biggest tips I have for everyone is to if if somebody that you follow up is just making you anxious, or making you uncomfortable or making you jealous, don't follow them. I honestly think I've unfold so many people because I'm like, I don't ever get any joy from this account. It What are your like, what are your tips for like, kind of putting up those boundaries for social?
Bryan Piatt 33:20
Yeah. I mean, I think that's a beautiful rule like that you just mentioned right there. I don't know that I've done that as much I've I mean, I could probably go through more and like, because it's actually interesting on like on Facebook, for me, I there's a lot of people that I follow on there that are like because I have like a friend account or you have to like actually like friend to me. And so like there's a lot of people that I don't actually directly know, Facebook has become this interesting thing where it's like, yeah, so I probably need to take a look at that. But, um, I think honestly, the biggest thing for me, it really has just come down to like the boundary of stopping myself from the mindless scrolling. Like, that's interesting. Okay, this really interesting story, actually at Kare 11, like a year or two ago, where we did a social media detox. So it was me and then like three viewers, we for like a week we did 40 minutes or not, what do we say it was like 40 minutes a day, or 45 minutes a day, we could we could be on social media. So like 15 in the morning, 15 in the afternoon, and then 15 at night. And what I found is that I actually really enjoyed it made me appreciate social media a lot, because I liked that connection. But what I found is that really setting those boundaries on myself where it was still a part of my day, but it was limited. It was like stopping me from doing the whole thing right check. Facebook, I checked Twitter, I check Instagram. And then like, that can be enough it for me the problem becomes when then I like I've checked them. And then I like do the cycle again, I'm gonna go back to Facebook, then I go back to Twitter, and then I go back to Instagram. And I do that seven times on my phone down. You know, it's like, I think that's where I found is like, just, like consume it. Like it's okay to have it as like a source of connection, but then maybe just say, okay, like, I'm gonna get I'm gonna let myself put this down. I'm like, taking the moment in front of me. Or it's like all the things that we miss out on throughout the day, if we're not, if we're buried in our phone, and I believe me, I'm like the worst. So I'm not like,
Jenna Redfield 35:18
I don't think that you're alone. I think this is an issue. I personally know I have it. And I don't want to show you my screen time. I don't think it is. But I just I i for me. It's not so much social. It's YouTube. I watch a lot of YouTube. And I think I just do it when I'm bored. And I feel like if I if I brush my teeth, I'm just watching you know, like, anytime I just have like a free moment. I'm just like, on my phone. Yep. And I went on a YouTube detox for a week, I think was last fall or a year. I don't know was like it was a while ago. And it was it was harder than I thought. Yeah, it was it was it was it's those triggers of like, Oh, I delete you know, cuz delete it from your own. Like I literally deleted from my phone, I think with Netflix and YouTube. But honestly, YouTube, for me is way worse because they're shorter. Sure. But Netflix, you have to like sit down and actually pay attention. Yeah, with YouTube, it could be a three minute video that you just kind of quickly turn on.
Bryan Piatt 36:09
And then the next one pops Exactly.
Jenna Redfield 36:10
And then my goal was that like the when when YouTube came out with the suggested I'm like, that's when it was over for me because I'm like, Oh, what's that? Or even if I've already seen that video before? I'll watch it again. Totally, totally. I'm one of the things I learned about as an empath is I have an addictive personality. So something that for me, it's not so much compulsion, it's that I'm addicted to it. Yeah. And so it's hard for me. That's why I don't drink alcohol. Yeah, I decided in high school, I'm like, I'm never gonna drink alcohol. I drink it like occasionally, but it's usually like half a cup, you know, like, it's like out of an event. And I'm just kind of sipping it. I don't even like finish it usually. But I don't drink alcohol because I know I have an addictive personality. And so if I use that as a coping tool, which I think a lot of people do, and that's how I think alcoholism starts is using it as coping. I just decided in my life. I'm just like, I never going to stay with coffee. I don't drink coffee. Like there's certain things where I'm like, I just know, if I started, I wouldn't be able to start a self awareness. It's very self. I do think I'm, I think I'm somewhat self aware. But in that case, I just knew it my whole life. I'm like, I know, there's certain like, for me TV and phone addiction is like, not as bad. Yeah, you know, because it's more of a mental versus like a body thing. Yeah. But I do think that I, I try to pass it off as a funny thing that I'm addicted to my phone. And a lot of people do that. They're like, Oh, I'm addicted to my phone, or, oh, it's a joke. But I'm like, when I went through that YouTube thing, I'm like, this isn't a joke. Like, I think I actually am addicted to this. Yeah. And it was very eye opening. And then it's just, it's something I'm I'm still working on and something that I it's hard because social media is like my job. So it's like, I have to be on there. So it's not like I can just like, like, leave social, but I also can't. Like it's hard for me with the limits.
Bryan Piatt 37:58
It's really hard. I know, I know, then that I've heard stuff out there that it's actually like, kind of the healthy way through that stuff is not to just try to like 100% cut it out of your life. Because it's more about like building almost like that like, like, muscle or like, like that brain capacity to like consume it. But like know when to like cut yourself off. But yeah, I mean, I can relate. Like I mean, I mean, I hear you on, you know, I there's many times that I've picked up my phone and literally been thinking to myself, this is like not healthy. Down the down. This is not good. I know exactly where this leads. Yes. And I still do it. And I keep doing it. And it's still on there. And yeah, and and i it is a man it literally is starts to feel like an addiction.
Jenna Redfield 38:40
And I think that that's honestly why I think Apple came out with that, that tool where you can track how much you're on something. Because I do think that it affects us. I think it affects me in terms of my productivity. I think it affects me with my thoughts because it's like sometimes you need that quiet time. I think the only time I've ever cried is like in the shower, like I don't like you know, like it when I'm in the car and listening to music or a podcast. Like I never sit in quiet. And that's why I like going to yoga too. Because I like I feel like it's the one time where I get to like just have my thoughts run without having something in front of me phone. Yeah, and I really do a plus it's just a good exercise. And it's just, it's I really need to go to yoga, I need to go.
Bryan Piatt 39:23
Our biggest takeaway, you know, go to yoga, do yoga,
Jenna Redfield 39:25
I love I love yoga, it's so fun. And it's it helps you in every way like i don't i don't see a bad part of it. It's it's helpful. Your body helps your mind. Anyways, um, but I think for a lot of people, one of the things that I don't you don't have kids, right? I do not know. So one of the things I see a lot of parents struggling with is like, when did they give their parents their kids a phone? Like, how long should they be on? Because I feel like it might start even younger nowadays. This, this, and I think that it's harder and harder to escape social when you're younger. Yeah, like when we were like when I was in high school, Facebook had just come out. Yeah, it came out like the year I started high school. And so I've had Facebook all throughout my entire education. But you know, Instagram didn't come out until later in college. And like, a lot of that Snapchat and all these, these new networks are getting introduced to kids in like, elementary school and like, and they and if they don't do it, their friends are doing it. They feel behind. And I think that, like as parents, I think it's hard for people who are never had this, like there's I don't know, like, I just I want to talk about that. Because I feel like, like parents are like, I want to be a good example for my kids. But then it's, I don't know, I just I that's a whole topic that I haven't really talked about, cuz I don't have kids either. So I'm like, but I feel like so many of our listeners have that issue. And I really want to talk to them. Sure. Because I think or even if it's like a niece or nephew, like, like, I remember my my cousin's kids came around, and I at the time I was into Snapchat, and I showed them like, you know, where you can change your face? It was amazing. And, and my cousins like, yeah, I've never showed that to them. Like, you know, like, that's something that I've, they don't have a phone yet. They're really young. They're like, five and seven. So it's like, all of that stuff is so interesting to me, because I'm like, I don't know how I would be able to grow up in this world. Now, you know,
Bryan Piatt 41:11
what I mean? Because everybody is, like, you know, when I noticed that a lot is if I'm at like a concert. And I remember I was sitting in like high above, like, kind of at the front row over like the railing at a concert wants and looking down and just seeing everybody with their phone. I mean, it's it's literally it's an extension of who we are nowadays. Yeah. And I don't know. I mean, obviously, I'm not a parent. So I don't I don't have any first hand experience with that. I think, like what comes to mind, for me, when you say this is just I think we need reminders, all of us that we are separate than our, like, digital presence in the world. You know, I do think that I think that all of these things can be leveraged as beautiful ways to connect and beautiful ways to get our message out there. I just think there needs to be equal, if not probably more investment in who you are away from it. Yeah. And I think that's where it gets to be. The problem is when we get so wrapped up in and I'm guilty of it posting something and refreshing to see how many likes Yeah, right. And I've had a better friend call me out on it before, you know, like, and I think we need people in our lives to kind of keep us in check there to be like, yeah, it's cool that you have all that engagement on social media. But guess what? You're a human. Yeah. And what matters at the end of the day, and at the end of our lives, is are the connections that we physically have? Yeah, people, you know, like, we just need that like awareness. And I know that this is so much, it's easier said than done, right? Like, a lot of us know that. It's a whole other thing to actually practice. Yeah, I think we just need to keep having those conversations. There's a lot more to life than social
Jenna Redfield 42:47
I it's funny, because like a majority of my very, very close friends are not in social media there. Some of them don't even have Instagram accounts. And so for me, yeah, I know, I know, which is crazy for like, sometimes I'm like, seriously, but they like, I hate to say it, they kind of almost not make fun of me. But they're like, Oh, she's on her phone, she's doing social like, but then when I'm with a bunch of social media people, they're all the same with me. And so I'm like, that's just my world. Like, that's like what I'm used to. And for them, it's just not part of their nurses and engineers and people that just don't have anything to do with social because you don't have to. And I'm like, for me, I've just, I'm fascinated by social, it's an interest of mine, I really enjoy it. So that's why I do it all the time. But I do like taking breaks. And sometimes it is a lot of pressure for me, like running a large account, like I do, like I have to be posting every day or my engagement will go down, which will affect everything you know, so it's so sometimes for me, and I'm actually really excited about the fact that Instagram is getting rid of likes or whatever the like totals. And if you heard about though, are they not? So basically, it'll show that once you have like more than two likes, they'll just say so and so and others like Oh, wow. So it's kind of nice. That's why I was really excited about stories is I can see how many people you're seeing my stories, but not everyone can everybody can and that would become competitive to who that person is getting 2000 views. And this person's only get you know, sure. It's I feel like the competition part is the part I don't like about Instagram. I'm like, if everyone could just be friends and like we're all the same level. Like, I feel like, you know, that's why I think blogging has kind of gone down is because you can't see how many people are going to your website because there's there's no competition to it. Yeah. And I think people do thrive on competition. And I don't, I don't really like competition. I'm just doing what I'm doing. I'm trying to stay in my own lane. And it's
Bryan Piatt 44:32
really about Yeah, and it just like staying attached to your why exactly, exactly. Like, why are you doing the work? Why are you putting it out there? not ignoring the fact that it's really fun to get a lot of light? Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 44:43
It is it's like, it's what domain or whatever comes into like
Bryan Piatt 44:46
that, you know, it's validate it is but but at the same time, if the only reason you're putting something out into the world is only for the legs. Yeah. I don't know how sustainable that's you know,
Jenna Redfield 44:56
and that's something that I started thinking about. Because, you know, when I first started 20s collective, it was just a resource, and now it is a business. And so for me, I'm more focused on the business of it. I'm like, Sure, I could get 100 likes on that post. But if only one person sees it, and reaches out to me wants to work with me, that's worth it to me. You know, that's, that's a bigger metric for me, then the number of likes, yep. Because that's all opinion. That's all like the vanity vanity metrics. Or it's just like, that's what it looks like. Because that's how many people like for example, we have 15,000 followers. But like, a lot of those are old accounts that have closely know like, that's not a real number, anyone who has more than 10,000, like, not all of those 10,000 people are seeing your posts every day. It's just true. Yeah, like maybe once a month, I get more than 400 likes on a post. Like it doesn't happen, you know, and it's just, there are some of those. And it's usually when it's a community account versus a person, or find people tend to get way more likes. Yep. Because it's a person you're, you know, for me, it's like, it's like we're a community group. And so people sometimes people don't even know that they're following me. They're just like, they were one of those suggested, like accounts when like, somebody joins Instagram, and they like, follow like, kare 11 and stuff. And we're like, we've become one of those, like, suggested to follow because we have a large presence, which is great. But also a lot of people never actually even click into our account, they just start following us. Yeah. So for me, like getting beyond the like, just follow. Is it really important?
Bryan Piatt 46:23
Totally. It is. And I think like, Yeah, because I I'll be honest, I looked at your I think it was today, I looked at your Instagram page. I was like, Oh, she's 15,000 followers. And it's so interesting how, yeah, like, we give more we give people more validity based on the number of followers and i and i just say that to like, admit that. Yeah, that's like, that's just how it is, like, go that route and but at the same time for you, right? Like, the collective for you is all about I mean, look, look, look at all the people there. Yeah, for sure.
Jenna Redfield 46:50
That that gives me more value than the number. Yep. Because I'm like, my account could die tomorrow. I this happened to someone I like I saw on Instagram, she had 2.3 million, and it got like half or something. And she went down now she's at like, 20,000 or something. Yeah. And I'm like, Okay, well, those 20,000 are probably your core audience. And it's like, for me, if I if my account went away, you know, I have my facebook group, I could tell them all the you know, I could, I could build that up again, it would be kind of slow again. But it's like, I've now built up a reputation that it would it would grow quicker than it did at the beginning. But it's at the same time. It's like, who are who was my real audience, you know, and same with you. Like a lot of the people that probably watch your stories are people that met you, or people that you know, like, those are the people that I feel like I've gotten out of Twin Cities collective are the ones I met through it total and the ones that then become my friends or become people that come to our events and stuff. So like, that's what I'm like, I'm more focused on that. And I think people get hung up on the numbers too much. And I and I, you know, it's funny, because like, my workshop is called Instagram growth, where I teach you how to grow your Instagram, but I'm like, but it's not to be at 10,000. Just for that it to actually grow it alongside your business. Because the more people that know about you, the more opportunities you'll get, the more the more like sometimes the people do look at vanity metrics. So that is helpful from that side. But if you're really just trying to get a sale, like people just need to know what you do, and get your message across. So just, again, just
Bryan Piatt 48:17
keep coming back to the why, you know, it's like, yeah, yeah, it's just like, what I mean, ultimately, if you're trying to like overextend yourself out there just to get likes, and you're like, selling who you are. Yeah, might work a little bit, but but it's like, Who are you going to be when you get all these followers? And you're not yourself?
Jenna Redfield 48:33
Exactly. And the reason I started was to get as many people as possible involved, it wasn't to get myself to have the most followers. Like, I'm shocked, we're at that number. Like, I was like, I think on average, we get like, maybe 1000 people are super active. Of those 15,000 dealers, 1000 people that have come to our events have listened to pod, you know, like it, there's a percentage of those people. And if I was only at 1000, it would probably be only 100. You know, so there is a way that that comparison, but I don't know, that's like a whole nother topic. Like, I just feel like that's something I never really talked about. Because I'm like, people always just look at the numbers. And that's it. And I'm like, there's so much more to the numbers that people don't realize that, you know, it could be the wrong audience for you. Like maybe somebody has 20,000 followers, but maybe they're all like, women in their 40s that are, you know, like, there's just like, you have to think about the people behind the number. And I think we don't do that enough in our society. And again,
Bryan Piatt 49:32
I think it just comes down to being authentic and what message you're putting out there too, because that's going to attract the kind of people that you are trying to for sure because I don't know if this is really along these lines, but i've you know, as I've kind of been known as like the news anchor Brian for a long time and now is I'm kind of making this pivot more towards like mental health and stuff. I worry a lot sometimes that like am I am I going to come across as I'm just like complaining a lot and being really like dramatic and my posts and things like that, but I've really had to get over this hump of, of being like, you know what, maybe there probably are some people that are going to think that. And that's like that, I just have to accept that and realize that the people that I'm trying to reach are the people out there that are really struggling and they're having a hard time and I want them to know that they're not alone. You know, so it's like coming back to that game idea of why am I doing it and not trying to just try to because if I try to appease all the people that I know that are following me. I mean, I'm pretty dang exhausted.
Jenna Redfield 50:26
Yeah, I think just sticking is there's a I love the phrase, your vibe attracts your tribe. Yeah. And I feel like that you definitely are attracting the people that you want. And I feel the same way about trances collective. I feel like I feel like when somebody comes in the group, I could just tell right away their energies wrong or something and then I feel like either they leave or they just don't interact. And I'm like, okay, that's fine. Yeah, total like it's not the right person. But same with when somebody unsubscribed from my email list. I'm like, they weren't the right person to follow me. So I'm totally fine. Someone follows me I'm like not some people get very upset by that. And I'm just like, they're not the right person. You know, the time more worried about that the moral get hooked and absolutely
Bryan Piatt 51:05
more grounded in the work right
Jenna Redfield 51:06
is Oh, for sure. And that's why I think I've grown so fast that I don't care about the numbers as much as I used to do. I mean, I think I'd when I first started I did. But now I'm like it. I don't care. Like it's not. I know it sounds terrible. I don't wanna say like I don't I do care, but it's not my main goal. And I think some people it is, but I'm going to wrap up because I feel like we've been talking for a while and I want to respect all the listeners time our time. Yep. Um, so how do we find you online?
Bryan Piatt 51:34
So you can find me I have. I have a Brian Piatt, Facebook and Instagram and Twitter page. So just Brian BRYAN Piatt, PIATT. And then the refresh network also has a facebook instagram and twitter page as well. I think it's like refreshing that on Instagram.
Jenna Redfield 51:52
So I'll link all of it. Yeah, show notes. Yeah. Awesome. Thank you so much, Brian, for being here. This is such a great conversation. I'm really glad you can make it and we can.
Bryan Piatt 52:01
Thanks for having me. honored.
Jenna Redfield 52:02
Awesome. All right. We'll talk to you all next week. Bye.