Insta-addiction with Laura McKowen

Laura McKowen sober curious podcast instagram addiction

Find the episode and subscribe on iTunesSpotify, and Stitcher, or listen up below.

My guest today is the author and founder of The Luckiest Club, Laura McKowen. Laura is the first person I’ve had on the show twice. The first time, we were talking about her book, We Are the Luckiest, and I invited her back to discuss an essay she published in the New York times last fall, titled: How I Knew I Needed to Quit Instagram.

I could relate personally to so much of what she described in her piece, in which she compared her relationship with social media with her alcohol addiction. The essay also came out around the time that reports surfaced linking social media use to negative mental health outcomes, among young girls in particular, and it seemed to me like it was part of a much larger, and ongoing conversation about how we navigate our lives online in a healthy way.

As I was researching my questions for this interview, the parallels between social media and a substance like alcohol became clearer and clearer – and we get into all of that, along with what happened when Laura’s agent and publisher gently suggested that she get back on Instagram for the sake of her career. In the episode we discuss: 

-The highs and lows of social media addiction.

-Moderating social media the way we used to moderate alcohol.

-Why both social media and alcohol capitalize on our need to be validated and fit in.

-Why it hurts so much to be unfollowed – and why we feel ashamed for caring about this.

-How the advent of the personal brand was enabled by social media – while simultaneously shaping how we use these platforms

-The impact on our mental health of constantly micro-managing our online personas.

-How social media create a climate of constant competition with one another.

-Why there is no such thing as being 100% “authentic” on social media.

-What makes some people more susceptible to social media having a negative impact on them.

-Finding other spaces to have more complex, nuanced, and thought-provoking conversations.

Read Laura’s NYT essay HERE, learn more about her work HERE. Laura’s podcast is Tell Me Something True.

And big thank you to amazing folks at bonbuz for partnering on this episode. You can order directly at bonbuz.com – and get 10% off your order with the code RUBY10 when you click HERE