Episode 26: Social Media “Activism” (ie. Strangers Showing Up & Taking a Shit in Your Comments) & How NOT to Be an Asshole on the Internet with Tristi Weston

hot pink square with white text that reads "who you are online matters"

Social media is this weird space where we try to show off the best parts of ourselves while simultaneously feeding the worst parts of ourselves. There seems to be this very strange sense of entitlement to say what ever we want to total strangers. I don’t believe in using social media to hurt other people. I also don’t believe in social media “activism” when that activism looks like taking a shit in a stranger’s comments in the name of social justice. The Internet is full of dysregulated nervous systems. These nervous systems find each other and form a mob that strips away people’s humanity and dignity and treats them like they’re nothing. As my guest says, “This is a garbage approach to people.”

Tristi Weston

Tristi Weston is a self-proclaimed messy life kind of person. As a small time social media personality, she uses introspect and wisdom as she navigates life. While raising a child with chronic illness, starting and running a massive social media platform, and learning that the most important grace we can give is to ourselves, she has grown to value the gifts that come with age.

Show Notes

In this episode, my former high school pal Tristi Weston and I…

  • discuss Tristi’s journey as the mother of a chronically ill child and starting a massive social media community and organization called Humanizing the Badge
  • discuss how cancel culture and social media call-outs = someone showing up in your comments or DMs, taking a shit, and leaving you to clean up the mess
  • share how social media is full of people living in a perpetual state of offense and how nervous system dysregulation shows up online
  • discuss the harmful effects of harassment and dehumanization on social media
  • talk about Tristi’s work to facilitate real-life conversations in communities and why that work is so much more important than social media “activism”
  • share the importance of having real-life, trusted communities for learning, growing, responsibility, and accountability
  • consider both the intention and impact. of what we post on social media and how we engage (or don’t engage)
  • discuss the cost our nervous systems pay when we engage in and/or are targeted by internet call-outs, smear campaigns, and debates
  • share why we keep doing what we do online even though social media is a cess pool
  • give our best insights for navigating social media while trying to be a good human
  • discuss nervous system literacy and why we need to listen to our bodies when we’re engaging on social media

 

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Transcript

[INTRO MUSIC]

LINDSEY: Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. I have a really special episode in store for you today because I am interviewing someone. I went to high school with. It’s a really, really special interview with my friend Tristi Weston. And this episode is all about social media activism in quotes, which I have learned that social media activism is actually strangers showing up, taking a shit in your comments and leaving you to clean up the mess. So we’re going to talk about the cesspool that is social media. Why everybody on social media seems to be in a dysregulated nervous system state, and the dumpster fire that that’s causing. We’re also discussing it, cancel culture and social media call-outs and how social media is full of people living in a perpetual state of offense. And it’s like, everybody’s just waiting to be offended so that they can hop on their phones and type out the most sarcastic, witty, hurtful, shameful comment possible. We’re going to discuss the harmful effects of harassment and dehumanization on social media. We’re going to talk about Tristi’s work that she did in real life to facilitate conversations between cops and the communities they serve. She did this through an organization that she started called humanizing the badge.

And, this is the kind of stuff that we need to be doing off social media, because real life in person conversations is where change is going to happen. Not from people shaming each other on social media. We’re talking about the costs that our nervous systems pay when we engage in call-outs and cancel culture and social media debates We’re also sharing why we keep doing what we do even though social media is a cell pool. We’re giving our best insights for navigating through social media while being a good human and we’re discussing nervous system literacy and why we need to listen to our bodies whenever we’re online

Tristi Weston is a self-proclaimed messy life kind of person. As a small time, social media personality, she uses introspect and wisdom as she navigates life. While raising a child with chronic illness, starting and running a massive social media platform and learning that the most important grace we can give is to ourselves, she has grown to value the gifts that come with age.

Please enjoy this very special interview between me and someone. I went to high school with that is truly proved that you could reacquaint with people after 20 years and understand each other on a whole new level.

Hey Tristi. Welcome. I haven’t seen you in 20 years, but welcome to my podcast.

TRISTI: No, it’s good to be here. I’m glad you asked me to come on.

LINDSEY: Yeah, so I’m Tristi and I went to high school together. We graduated both of us in the same year. Am I allowed to say what year we graduated in?

TRISTI: Absolutely. I’m 38. I’m not ashamed of that.

LINDSEY: So we graduated in 2001 from Canyon high school in Canyon, Texas. And I literally have not had more than a quick little Instagram chat with anyone that I went to high school with. You’re the first person that I have made contact with.

TRISTI: I feel like it’s yeah, it sounds very extraterrestrial when you say it that way.

LINDSEY: I feel that way about Canyon, Texas. I feel like it’s a whole nother world.

TRISTI: It is. It’s a completely different planet than the rest of what’s going on around us. I’m still here.

LINDSEY: That’s crazy. Good for you. Like you’re probably making it a better place by being there.

TRISTI: Thank you. I it’s definitely a home for me, so yeah.

LINDSEY: So yeah, Tristi and I right before we hopped on and I hit the record button and we were just talking about our favorite classes and how two of my favorite classes that I have the fondest memories of from high school were with the same teacher.

TRISTI: Ms. Julie Petruccione  who we absolutely adore.

LINDSEY: Yes. She was so amazing and Tristi and I had English class with her and humanities class with her. And those were my two favorite classes and Tristi was in both of them. So yeah, we have a little bit of history there. Let’s see. And I, we’re not like super close friends in high school, but we were like friendly with each other. Like I don’t ever remember anything bad between us.

TRISTI: No, I don’t either. I like, I remember your presence and I remember coexisting well with you, but we were both, were I. I specifically, it was an odd ball, like for sure. I was just I just remember having the same haircut for four years and wearing the same orange jacket every day for two of those years. I Don’t really remember much outside of just my own awkwardness. So I was probably dying inside every day and just fighting my way through it.

LINDSEY: Yeah. I was too worried about fitting in and what people thought of me to really be able to pay attention to much else.

TRISTI: I do. I do know that feeling.

LINDSEY: Yeah. Okay. So Tristi and I have reconnected on Instagram and I would just love to chat about what have you been up to for the last 20 years? And like why am I having you on my podcast? So I think we should fill everyone in.

TRISTI: I think one thing that drew me to like watching your Instagram is, and I told you this before, like I really enjoy the presence of people who have approached life with a non apologetic approach. You’re not sorry for who you are. You are honest and very vulnerable about how you become the way that you are. And so there’s like an authenticity to you that was compelling. And so when we, when you figured out that I had married Ben Weston your high school nemesis and my high school.

LINDSEY: Yeah.Tristi married someone that I did not like in high school at all.

TRISTI: I married someone I did not like in high school at all, but he grew up to be somebody really amazing. So I guess. I guess the world had the last laugh on that one. But but I was really drawn to you. And the fact that like I was like, this girl is really owning who she is. And I think as adults, so many people get caught up in the appearance of having it together and like that they have arrived and that their family is picture perfect. And social media feeds that narrative of putting your best foot forward. And then there’s you who’s Hey. I’m dealing with a crap ton of trauma, and this is how I’m processing it. And I’m going to process it out loud for everyone to see. I’m like, Whoa, she’s doing the internet completely different than everybody else. And I like it. So that’s why I wrote you. And here we are now, we talk almost, Couple times a week and yeah, it’s been awesome.

LINDSEY: It really has. I’ve actually, I’ve invited you and your husband to come and visit. Yeah. That’s how much I really love you. And I love that you reached out to me and yeah, I don’t know if I’m doing my life on social media quote, air quotes. But I’m doing it in a way that feels good for me. So

TRISTI: I think you’re doing it in the way that it should be done. Social media is such a toxic platform and all of them it has fed and to the worst parts of us while we’re trying to expose the best parts of us. And it’s a cyclical thing where we want to like I’m a writer. I would find myself when I first started writing that I would write from the perspective of who I wanted to be and not from the perspective of where I really was. And that was a huge disservice to myself. And I think that people do that organically on social media with their everyday posts about their families or their big meals, or, whatever they’re dealing with. We put our best foot forward and I think that has really done a number on just mental health across the world. And so when you have somebody who’s willing to step out and be like, you know what, actually adulthood has sucked and it’s stressful and it’s messy. And I’ve lost myself a handful of times. And I’ve found myself a handful of times with the expectation of fully losing myself again in the future. Just understanding that like it is a roller coaster and when people are honest about it, I think people are drawn to that sincerity. They’re like, Oh, okay, maybe I don’t have to have it together. And you’re one of those people that make people feel like they don’t have to have it together.

LINDSEY: Thank you. Good. Cause I definitely don’t have my shit together.

TRISTI: No, I don’t either.

LINDSEY: So that is a great segue into like social media and your experience with social media. You actually were part of starting a really large social media community. And I wonder if you could share about that?

TRISTI: Yeah, a backstory of how that all began is. And we can touch base on that if you want to it’s up to you, but it’s not an off limit subject for me by any means, but, I had a little boy that was born at three pounds and I had to quit my job. And I had worked every day of my life since the day I turned 16 and all of a sudden I was a stay at home mom with a chronically ill kid, and who’s doing phenomenal now, but when he was so sick, I turned to writing as my outlet and because of Ms. Petruccione, our teacher that we mentioned earlier, I am actually a pretty gifted writer and not to toot my own horn or anything like that. But I started writing about Casey all the time, and that was when I realized I had a voice that people would. Listen to, or read and digest what I’m saying. The world went there was a lot of social discourse around the time of Ferguson, Missouri when Michael Brown was killed.

And that was the beginning of the very prominent presence of the black lives matter movement. And I remember watching all of it unwind on the news. And I was just, I was a stay at home mom dealing with a chronically ill kid, and I felt so convicted that this subject matter or specifically that somebody needed to do something. And I just remember being like, yeah, somebody needs to step up and do something. And I couldn’t help but feel that presence of like, Why not you, like, why aren’t you doing something? And so I started to really I started to pay attention a lot to what was happening in the news where police officers started being attached publicly in the public eye.

Everybody was quarterbacking their occupation. And I felt like that all of the really great cops in the world were getting a really bad reputation. And then I thought like some of the perspective of like the black lives matter movement I wanted to find a way to be a bridge there. And what was the way I could open dialogue to where both parts of the spectrum, we’re communicating and figuring out where the other ones came from. And so I S I started an organization called humanizing the badge, which started off with me, writing an article called dear officer I see you. And I actually wrote it under an alias because I was terrified of putting my name out there. And I went to sleep and I woke up the next morning and it had been shared Like 600,000 times. And by the end of the day, it was up to 2 million times. And so I felt so exposed and I was terrified at the time, but they told me to keep writing. And so that turned into designing a community program to where I picked law enforcement officers from all across the country, every dynamic and the sun, every political affiliation, every color of skin, every gender, whatever I could do, I wanted it to be an incredibly diverse group of people that came from different regions of the country, because what’s true for me in Texas is not true for people who are in Detroit or in California, we all have very different environment. And so we started doing community development programs. Where we would go into the cities and we would host Q and A’s where people would come in and they get asked these specific police officers, any questions that they wanted, or to tell them any story that they wanted. And they could have an honest, safe, free like a judgment-free conversation about where they had come from, and that led us into juvenile detention centers. And that led us into homeless shelters that led us all across the country. And so I just really developed a work for a heart for community. And and the event of that, we grew to 350,000 on Facebook.

And, we did some really cool things and met some really amazing people along the way. And mended a lot of broken hearts along the way. And unfortunately one of our guys that started the organization with us was killed him on a duty this last June. And he was shot at at an apartment complex. And there’s just so much pain out there. And when we lost him, I remember very clearly people wanting us to use. His death as a way to propel that narrative, that we should be divided. And it made me specifically want to do more, like what are we need to do in these communities where we interact and a young kid’s life before they come to a crossroad where they believe that their only choice is to join a gang or I feel like they have to have a weapon on them all the time, because they’re unsafe in their own neighborhoods. The, those questions, like how, why are we failing our cities? And we started to really to dig into that. And that’s where the organization is going now is they’re still trying to do community work. I’ve since resigned from it, but they’re still going very strong.

LINDSEY: Wow. That’s incredible. I had no idea I, that you had done all this. I didn’t even know about the organization, humanizing the badge until I I don’t know. I guess it was like a year ago or so I think I followed the rabbit trail on Instagram that led me to like your name. And then I kept following that. And then I got to humanizing the badge and I was like, Whoa, Holy shit. She’s been doing big things. And it’s so interesting that you’re talking about this and The safe way in which this organization was able to facilitate conversations between people and police officers. And I feel like that is the very opposite of what is actually happening on social media right now, where instead of having these like really important in-person conversations, it’s Landing in somebody’s comments or in somebody’s DMS and just spewing a bunch of hate and having presumptions about that person and their politics and their beliefs and like what they may or may not be doing in their lives. And just it’s like you, I think you said this to me in a text a few weeks ago, it’s like they show up in your comments and they take a shit.

TRISTI: Yeah exactly what they do. Yeah. I have been subject to that many times. Where people disagree with something I’m doing for whatever reason, we live in a world of being perpetually offended. And so I don’t really subscribe to the idea of using social media to hurt other people. And I think that has been, I don’t know, it’s been there for a while, but in the last year to year and a half, it has just turned into a total dumpster fire where people think that they have some kind of right to go into a complete stranger world, whether they’re a public figure or not strip away their humanity and talk to them like they’re nothing. And that is such a garbage approach to other people. And I used to get that stuff all the time. I still get it occasionally. And it would affect me to a certain extent when I first started getting it because people were trying to tell me what I was saying, or they would try to tell me how I felt or they try to tell me the core of who my core character is.

And it would hurt my feelings. But as time went on, I really learned how to keep myself from transferring that power of myself over to other people, because that’s just the distraction from the ultimate goal that I’m trying to attain is that they’re taking away my time and my energy for all these good causes I’m working on and they’re directing it to me being responsive to their accusations. So I learned how to keep myself from transferring that power. And so it does not affect me at all. Like people could come and write the meanest things that they wanted to on my page. It’s funny. Cause like I would have somebody in my inbox being like, Oh, you’re so beautiful. You’re a beautiful girl. And then the next message would be like, I’m so sorry your son looks exactly like you, what a disservice to him. Like they think it’s okay to talk like that about you or your child. And they think that they have access to you in that way. And it’s just toxic and is a toxic cycle and until people realize that who you are online matters, who you are online, is driving who we are in the real world with each other. We are, we’re a lost cause until people learn how to reel that in, we are in a downward spiral of where. There’s no return.

LINDSEY: Yeah, I’ve had this happen a couple of times recently, David and I have a Christian evangelical deconstruction account that we do together. Let’s be honest, it’s 95% me, but anyway of David, David shows up every now and then David shows up every now and then. But I did a post in our feed right before thanksgiving.

TRISTI: I remember this post.

LINDSEY: Yeah. And it, it was hu I don’t want to glorify the behavior that was displayed in that, but basically I had several people like showing up, calling out like my white privilege, because I’d made this post that I didn’t feel was a display of white privilege, but as I’m learning the longer that this goes on, if you are white and you say anything on the internet, you automatically are like, Th that there’s your white privilege. It doesn’t matter what you say. That’s, it’s becoming quickly like pretty apparent, but and I didn’t want to engage with these comments. Like I was not going to get dysregulated and my nervous system to the point that I was like flipping out and losing my shit, trying to defend myself for something that I did not do two complete strangers on the internet. And so without looking at names or without scoping out anybody’s profiles or whatever, I just started deleting comments.

Cause I was like, I’m not going to engage with this and I’m not going to allow people to just keep showing up in my comments and taking away from what could be a really helpful posts for people who are like navigating the holiday season. And so I was deleting these comments and then. That was, I don’t know. I don’t know if it was a mistake, but that was backfired because then it was,

TRISTI: They rallied the troops.

LINDSEY: They like all their friends and even more people showed up in the comments. And then they were showing up in the DMS and then my husband was like, we’re, I’m just making the executive decision that we’re just disabling comments on this post. So we turned off the comments, which deleted everything. And then they started showing up and commenting on previous posts that had nothing. It was a shit show. And one of the people, like I said, I did not go scope anybody’s profile out, but one of the women whose comments I deleted happened to be a woman of color.

And because I deleted her comment that was seen as a racist move on my part, even though I did not actually go scope out who she was and what color she was before I deleted the comment. And I feel like if I deleted her comment and she was a person of color that comes off as racist, But if I had gone to her profile and scoped out her profile and seeing that she was a person of color and then made a decision to delete or not delete the comment that that would be equally racist, I feel like. So I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. And then the same woman comes, shows up in my comments and DMS, and is like this is costing me emotional labor to have this conversation. And that was when I finally did engage. And I was like, you showed up here voluntarily. I did not ask for you to engage in this conversation with me. You like you are here and I keep deleting your comments and you keep coming back voluntarily. And you’re going to tell me that I’m taking advantage of your emotional labor. No. But I’m saying all that to say that if we were doing what you did with humanizing the badge where we showed up in person, and we were like, Hey, there seems to be some misunderstandings. When I read you saying something like this, here’s how I interpret it. Is that really what you mean? Like that is so much better done. If it can’t be in person at the minimum, it should be done in the DMS. It shouldn’t be like done publicly for everyone to see.

TRISTI: No. I agree. I do not believe in the town square approach to shaming. I don’t think that’s appropriate on any level at all. And I get really frustrated with the concept of I feel like there’s been such and I use this phrase a while ago, but I’m going to use it again but we have successfully. And when I say we, humanity as a whole like we have done a really good job of stripping all of our commonalities away from one another. And we have been like convinced that we’re at war with each other emotionally in some capacity, if we have an opposing view at all about any subject, we are enemies when really the whole concept of culture Is that we are supposed to learn from each other’s dynamics. We don’t want echo chambers. We don’t want people who are exactly like us because we need people who are different than us to encourage us to grow.

And so when we’re begging people to be the same, we’re stripping people away from all of their unique qualities that make us a diverse culture. And the coolest thing about America is the diversity. And instead of us capitalizing on how great that diversity is, we are using it to weaponize it. And it’s just, it’s tragic to watch. And I hate it with a passion because it just, it causes so, so much conflict. And, I saw a post the other day where. You had the best of intentions. I remember that post, all your posts said really was like, Hey, if you want to enjoy the holidays, maybe don’t talk about politics and religion. That was the simplicity, bare bones of your posts. And that got turned into something that it wasn’t at all. And it took away from what you were saying, and it took something good and positive and turned it into something negative. And so I was on another friend’s page the other day, she called me and she was in tears because she had become a product of cancel culture. And she had made a comment that was opposite of what the original posters beliefs were. And it was about COVID. And that is just such a war zone to walk into in the first place. But you gotta be ready for battle if you want to have an internet conversation about COVID. And there was a guy on there that we really quick witted and very sharp. And I could tell by the way that he communicated that he was intelligent Because the people who are capable of writing out insults where they actually sting online they’re pretty intelligent human beings.

Like they have the mental capacity to really know how to manipulate somebody. Like emotions. And I am one of those people, like I have to keep that in check. Like I have to make sure that I’m not using those things for bad, but he was going on and on about how, my friend did not care about the quality of life and he was calling her all these names and all that stuff. I’m like, how can you claim to care about the quality of life? How can you claim to say that one death is too much. But then come online and bully somebody who you don’t know what their emotional stability is to where you’re contributing to an exponential rise in suicide across our whole country. Like you don’t get both worlds. You don’t get to say that you’re rallying for everybody’s right to life while diminishing somebody whose quality of life they don’t cope. They don’t coexist. You cannot say you love life while de-valuing somebody else’s, you don’t get both worlds. You either can do them both and be good on both ends of the spectrum or not at all. And I don’t think people realize that.

LINDSEY: Yeah. Wow. That’s a really good point. So I guess my question would be. For people who I have either chosen not to engage with or I’ve deleted their comments or whatever I’ve gotten called out on other accounts. My Instagram account currently has less than 600 followers and I got called out on an account that has over 50,000 followers last week like I don’t even know what the purpose of that is. Honestly, it was good for me. It got me like a hundred new followers. That

TRISTI: It’s true. There’s no such thing as bad publicity.

LINDSEY: It’s free marketing for me. So I’m grateful that it happened. But people, I think have this belief that if you’re going to come on to a public platform like Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, and you’re going to share your own perspective that because it’s a public platform, you then are therefore accountable to anyone who shows up in that space with you and that platform. And I don’t agree with that. I’m like, it’s my platform. It’s my page. I can do with it, whatever I want. Not every post is for everybody. So don’t read into every single thing that somebody posts online and automatically think targeting you. I’m curious what your thoughts are about that.

TRISTI: So I think that people see public platforms is the same way as they see celebrities. Like we’re so callous about celebrity lives. And like when a celebrity dies, people make memes about it to try to make a joke about their death, or like when a celebrity gets really into addiction and spirals under control, we made jokes at their expense and. And so it is a, it’s a gross devalue of their life. And I think people see public forms as the same space where they think that they can go in and see you as your Instagram handle and not as Lindsey Lockett, they don’t see you as the actual person who is sitting behind the screen, absorbing everything that they’re saying.

And just, I really want people to get away from that whole perpetual anger, perpetual being offended. Anger is such a weak choice emotion, in my opinion, like it is the weakest emotion that we can choose. And it’s it’s lazy to be angry. Oh, I’m angry. I’m going to be Vocal about this anger. I’m gonna let everybody know how angry I am. It’s going to accomplish Jack shit, but everybody’s going to know that I’m angry when really it takes a lot more effort to ask yourself, why are you angry? How do I convey this anger in a way that is positive and kind to where this person will not be guarded as I try to enter a conversation with them, cause it’s somebody writes me in my inbox and tells me I have some questions for you about this subject matter, because you said this and I want to understand better from where you’re coming from, because I feel this, I will have that conversation every single time. But if you come onto my page or you come in my inbox and you start calling me names and you start insulting me, I’m not obligated to have that conversation with you. I’m not obligated to waste my time and make any kind of emotional deposit into you as a human being, because you feel like I owe you something. And I think that’s a boundary. You’ve talked a lot about boundaries lately that you have to put in place for yourself where they don’t have access to you unless they respect you. They don’t have to agree with you, but they do have to respect you as a human being. So if they don’t. They don’t get access to you. And that’s my rule of thumb.

LINDSEY: So you mentioned earlier how you desensitized yourself to like being hurt or, like I like to say having your nervous system become dysregulated cause that’s really what it is. Like I want to have really understand that, like when you’re scrolling through any type of social media and you see these wars going on in the comments or like these polarizing posts that rub you the wrong way or whatever. Like the reason that you’re feeling, the way that you’re feeling is because that’s triggered your nervous system and your nervous system is becoming dysregulated. That’s literally what it is. You’re going into a fight flight freeze or fawn response because your nervous system is perceiving what you’re reading online as an actual threat. And it’s, there was a lot of information a few years ago, like when more kids younger and younger got cell phones and were getting on social media and whatever, there was this big thing about online bullying.There’s for kids, but this is actually like online bullying to the adult version. Yeah, and it’s just as harmful. Think it would be really helpful for people to hear how you’ve gone about desensitizing yourself to reacting or your nervous system becoming dysregulated when you are involved in some pretty controversial, to start an organization called humanizing the badge in the wake of Black lives matter. And everybody wanting to defund the police. Like I could see a lot of people who don’t know, you might be like, that is a fucking white supremacist move. Like how dare you support the police? How dare you, because in their mind supporting the police is the opposite of black lives matter, but it’s actually not. So I’m wondering if elaborate on that. Talk about how you desensitize your nervous system. I want to hear it all.

TRISTI: So as far as like the controversy surrounding like starting humanizing the badge and all of that, it was such an out of comfort zone type thing for me. And it was, I was scared of it initially, but for some reason I just kept going. You were talking about the nervous system response to danger. I think you said that you’re a fawn, right? I’m a fighter. So like when my, when I start to feel like something is treading on me, I’m ready to, I’m ready to go to war. I’m ready to fight. And I had to learn how to get myself always, like I had to stop being on the brink of battle all the time and realizing when I stepped back and I started to actually engage in these communities.

Like when I was in Ferguson, when I was in Detroit, when I was in Columbus Ohio and we were working with these communities. I spent a lot of time with with people in the community that really opened my eyes. So a lot of different things. And that was my intent when I started the group, as I, I went to, I was seeking understanding of what was so different in their lives than my life back here in Texas. And it is night and day. Definitely my eyes were open to so much, especially when I was working with we’d go into juvenile detention centers and we would have a classroom full of, we’d have three classes and there’d be 15 to 20 kids in each class. And the 90 to 95% of the kids in there were black teenage boys. And I started to really dive into the research of why that is. And I started talking to those kids on levels of where they came from and what their life was like as a six, seven, eight year old and then into, 12, 13, 14 year old how they wound up there, what their goals were for when they got out, what their dreams were.

And I started just to learn a lot about that dynamic and. So I got softer to the idea of not everybody was like me, you and I were raised to believe like our community was the end, all be all of what life is really and that is not the case. And so when I stepped out there and I saw it for myself, I had whiplash a little bit where I was like, wow, these kids have been through absolutely horrible situations that. I didn’t, you didn’t even know that they existed. You heard about them, but when you’re sitting there watching them face to face, tell you their story, it’s a completely different ball game. I started to realize that the way people respond online or the way that people respond, even in person, all of that is trauma.

Every bit of that is trauma. My response to want to fight. That is my trauma response to where I want to go and avenge myself as fast as I can. And and I stopped feeling the need to fight as much as I began to understand more people. And I think that kind of the key to it as if we approach people with the expectation and the intention to understand them better, it removes hate from the equation. And people aren’t willing to do the groundwork there because hating somebody and not knowing them is so much easier than seeking out to understand them. And kinda got off the trail there for a second, but really when I realized it wasn’t personal, I was able to put tools in place for myself to realize that, Who at whatever their handle is on my Instagram page telling me that he hates me and he hopes I die. He probably, he might mean it, but probably doesn’t. If you knew me as a person, he probably liked me just fine. But I started to realize that those were all trauma responses. And so I was able to desensitize myself to that light. I wrote an article one time about intentions and we can have the best of intentions and sometimes those intentions are still not good enough for other people. And even though my intentions with humanizing, the we’re always pure, they were we’re always going to be called to question because it was a controversial subject matter and a controversial time. I remember the very last sentence of that article. I said at the end of the day, you have to know your own heart well enough that it does not break every time someone questions it.

And so I know myself well enough to know what my intentions are. I know myself well enough to know that I’m not a bad human being, that I’m not doing anything for personal gain. I’m not doing anything with malicious intent. And I was able to learn how to hold onto my own personal power over my own emotions and not hand that out to other people. And I have five people in my life that have the right to speak into it, my husband’s one of them. I’ve got a handful of friends that can tell me when I’m off track or where I’m being a jerk or that I’m wrong, or that I’m succeeding or that I’m doing something, those people get a voice. Everybody else does not get to tell me who I am. And that was the most productive tool I could have ever given myself.

LINDSEY: Yeah. I’m starting to realize that for myself as well. That the comment section of Instagram that’s full of complete strangers. Being very dysregulated in their nervous systems. All of them coming from a different trauma response. Some people are there to fight. Some people are watching what’s going on and they’re too afraid to engage. So they’re experiencing that flight response. There’s people like me who they hate conflict so much, even among strangers that we’re just trying to like. Okay. How can we bridge the gap between everyone? Just so everyone can get along? So we’re like fawning and our own identity gets lost in the middle of all that, because we’re like, we don’t know who to agree with because we don’t want to be targeted ourselves. And so I think you’re right when you realize that everyone who’s lashing out online is doing it from their own place of pain.

TRISTI: Yes.

LINDSEY: It is so much easier to have compassion and understanding for that person and their pain. Now that doesn’t mean that them calling you names and saying your kid is ugly, is okay. Like you, and he’s adorable, but what we keep coming back to here and you just said it again, is this idea of. You have real people in your life who are allowed to speak into your life, have real people in my life who I have allowed to speak into my life and all of these people follow me online. So they’re my real life friends, but they’re also what I’m putting out into the world. And all of them have promised me. If you ever fuck up online, we’ll tell you about.

TRISTI: Exactly. I would even tell you if you were off the, for sure. The map. Okay. Not tracking with you on this one.

LINDSEY: Yeah. And and I love what you said about your intentions. You know who you are, you’re, you’re not a malicious person, you’re not putting stuff out there for your own personal gain or to stir the pot or whatever. But I had a conversation two days ago, actually with someone who she validated also that my intention, for example, like I had a post on Instagram a couple of days ago where I said, evangelical Christianity is a sex cult. So she was like, your intention with that post is obviously you’re making a big statement. Like you’re you really are. That’s a pretty polarizing that’s a big statement. She’s I don’t disagree with you, but some people will, and but my intention with that was, yeah, I am making post that draws a line in the sand. I am making a post that brings awareness to what I went through growing up in first Baptist church Canyon, Texas signing a true love waits purity pledge when I was 12 years old, without even knowing like the mechanics of sex and how my body worked, like guilted into signing a pledge that I wasn’t fully informed about what I was. Giving myself over to,

TRISTI: I love that you’re talking about hot hearts. I haven’t thought about hot hearts and a long time, probably almost 20 years. I have not thought about hot hearts. I’m like, I know exactly what you talking about.

LINDSEY: Yeah. So you can confirm, like I, I’m not making this shit up.

TRISTI: No, it was in Lubbock, Texas. I was, it was not a big arena. I can’t remember which one it was, but there was like a gym. It was like a gymnasium. I like I’m having flashbacks. And I remember signing my little card, here I am, two time married Tristi who signed a hot hearts card at the age of 13.

LINDSEY: Yeah. When I didn’t know anything about my body and I didn’t know anything about the way sex worked and like really what I needed instead of signing a pledge, like pledging, my virginity was like, I just, I needed someone to give me actual sexual education.

TRISTI: Which of gosh, we never had that in our school system at all.

LINDSEY: No, it was abstinence only. Yeah.

TRISTI: I was 25 years old when my dad had that conversation with me and I was like, yikes, like this ship has left. But I will go along with the conversation for your peace of mind. I’m like, yes, dad, I got it. Never ever.

LINDSEY: So anyway, but back to what I was saying, this woman who was like, I don’t disagree with you that evangelical Christianity is the sex cult, but she was like, when people start coming and they’re questioning what you’re posting. Maybe they’re not doing it nicely. LIke she’s, she totally validates that people don’t show up in the comments, always friendly and respectful. But if you know that they’re coming from their own place or pain from their own trauma response, their own nervous system dysregulation, and then you delete their comment or you come back in a dysregulated state and it starts that, tennis match of just hitting each other back and forth that maybe my intention was good, but she was like, have you also considered your impact? And that was like I had a literal cartoon thought bubble that like came out of my head in that moment because I was like, okay I, I can see that I have never considered my impact. I have only ever considered this is my intention. And so therefore so then whenever I deleted the comment of, and this was before I had this conversation with this woman. So I was, I deleted the comment, I would say from an an uninformed place. But now if I had it to go back and do over again, I would consider the impact that. Because I’m showing them to be in the online space because I want a voice, right?

Who’s online if they’re, especially if they’re like not just sharing pictures of like their dog and their kids, like if they’re doing what you and I do and what so many people are doing with Instagram now they’re showing up because they want a voice. Like they want a platform to be able to speak and that’s fine. Like we, all, everybody gets a voice, but the people who are then showing up in the comments or in the DMS. They also have a voice and they want it to be heard. And so I’m at the place now where I’m like, okay, if I get the space to show up and have a voice, they get the space to show up and have a voice too. And their intention may not be pure or good. Like my intention was. And I still get to, choose whether I engage or don’t engage. But I’m going to think more before I just hit delete or hit reply because I had not considered the impact that it would have on that person.

TRISTI: Yeah. And I think that’s a natural, that’s natural growth for anybody who has any kind of social media platform is because. It’s uncharted water to give everybody who has internet access, the ability to reach you. W like before, we were making cardboard, cutouts, and trying to, Become class president. That’s how we had to do things back then. But now we have GoFund Meads and pages and Instagram platforms and it’s, we, people have unlimited access to us. Like we were, we used to be able to go to a friend’s house and nobody could call us until we got home at eight. But now we have everything at our fingertips. The way I handle comments on my page. I used to do the same thing that you did. I’d be like, I don’t like that comment. I don’t like how it makes me feel. And so I would get rid of it and it would always cause another subsequent dumpster fire somewhere else. But I can laugh about it now, but now I let them represent themselves. And like you said, they have they have a right to have a voice just as much as we do. And so I let their comments sit there and I let them fester and I let them feel the consequence of their comment.

And maybe they don’t feel any consequences at all. But the one thing that I learned is that I’m only responsible for my intentions. I am not responsible for their intentions. So whether their intentions are good or bad, it is not my responsibility. It is not my problem. It is not my fault. I don’t have to fix it. And so I just let them linger if that’s how they want to represent themselves, represent a way you get to use your voice. There it is. If that’s your best foot, good job. If it’s not, I hope you learn from it.

Yeah. Do better next time.

Yep.

LINDSEY: Since the very first episode, the holistic trauma healing podcast has been ad free and freely available for just $5 a month. You can financially support the show so that nervous system education and trauma healing resources remain accessible and available to everyone. Go to Lindsey locket.com forward slash circle to support the show.

So I’m guessing that you are not one of those people that has, and I’m not either that we scroll through or scrolling and scrolling and then all of a sudden we come across something. It pushes our button. We then go and we read all the comments. We find people with whom we agree and with whom we disagree. And then we immediately have to insert ourselves into that. I’m wondering, this would be purely speculation. I’m wondering, what do you think is the difference between like someone like you and me and many others who can see all of this, like nonsense happening on the internet. And they don’t feel the need at all to engage or to correct somebody or put somebody in their place or whatever. And then the group of people that like, they do feel like it’s their place to do that. They do feel like they’re doing some sort of a service to the universe by inserting themselves into conversations where really like they’re risking their own. Like nervous system health, right? That’s costing that they’re paying the price to do that. Not only with their time and their energy, but they’re also paying the price to do that with it’s going to cost their nervous system something. And a lot of people don’t have the nervous system literacy to understand that. And so they wonder Like they don’t like what’s happening online, but they can’t seem to stay away from it. It’s because every time they get on there’s this like dopamine hit of I get a chance to engage again. I get a chance to put somebody in their place. Again, I get a chance to point the finger again. And I’m really, I think it’s delusional that they’re doing it all in the name of like air quotes, social activism, and

TRISTI: Yeah, no, I think that’s addiction. Yeah, I think it’s social addiction. I think it’s an addiction to chaos. I think that being able to go online and put somebody on their place, or just go, and like I said to you the other day, like they walk into your comment section and they take a shit and they leave. And for some reason that makes them feel some kind of validation that they are superior than the person who has a public platform. And it distracts them from what their real life turmoil is if I can go and find somebody and hurt them in some capacity to where I knock them down a peg, or I hurt their feelings or whatever, that is some kind of weird emotional turmoil that they’ve yet to address.

And I used to be that person I used to be, the social warrior, where I’d be able to go like the keyboard warrior, where I’d be able to go into a comment section and say the wittiest thing that I could come up with and, come back and there’d be 150 likes on my comment. And it would feed something in me, but what people don’t realize, like even. With humanizing, the badge I’m proud that I grew a social media platform to 350,000. That’s something that I’m proud of, that I had the ability to do that. But at the same time, the likes and the comments and any kind of validation you get on social media is not the real world. It is fleeting and it is empty. And you’re going to wake up with the same busted ass life that you had the day before, when you logged in online to try to hurt somebody else. So you wouldn’t feel all the pain that you’re dealing with and all it is avoidance. Like it’s avoidance from their own internal conflict that they don’t want to deal with.

Like I was that person and I remember being like That introspective moment. Like I totally came into adulthood in my mid thirties. I would say where I just stopped being emotionally immature about other people. And it was that great cost. Like I have to like really allow myself to hit rock bottom and allow myself to feel things that I had voided the vast majority of my life. I had to really face those things head on. And I remember like being in the comment section, like I was always like, the news comment section where people would be like spouting whatever theory they had about whatever that day. And I would find myself drawn to those sections specifically. I’m like why do I care what, Bob and whatever city Texas thinks about this subject matter. I don’t even know what this guy looks like. Like why do I care? And I realized what a waste of time that was. And then I started thinking about my son and the generation that we’re raising behind us and what a deep responsibility it is to me as a parent to lead by example and to not be one of those people that say, do, as I say, not as I do I feel such a conviction about actually living the life that I want him to have.

And for him to be emotionally sound enough to know that these people online don’t have access to him emotionally. I had to learn how to do that for myself. So I could teach him the same thing because online bullying is not going away. It’s going to get worse. And when our kids, while you’re you, have you have a 16 year old, don’t you? When my nine year old gets up, there is going to be even worse. And so just that preparation, like I just felt such conviction about how do I want people to treat him online and how do I want him to treat others online? And those are conversations that we have real time all the time. Yeah. And cause teenage suicide is up exponentially and that’s because of the cesspool that social media is.

LINDSEY: Yeah. And the fact that they’re all now isolated because they can’t see each other because of COVID.

TRISTI: So here’s my counter question to you.

LINDSEY: Yeah.

TRISTI: I want you to really think about those. You may not be able to answer it on this podcast because I’ve asked myself the same question. I know that social media is a cesspool. I know that it’s toxic. And I know that there’s a lot of really bad things that come from social media. So I’ve asked myself a bunch why don’t I just quit it? Do you have an answer for why we don’t just quit it?

LINDSEY: I have an answer for why I don’t just quit it. Why don’t you put it? I was expecting this to be like a really hard question, but this is actually when I thought about and for the record, I feel like it’s fair to tell everyone that, like I only log into Facebook maybe once every two weeks. And it’s mostly just to see if someone has died. But I’m pretty much off Facebook completely. And I have COVID to thank for that. It was a big blessing. But why do I keep showing up on Instagram? It’s because I truly believe that the work I’m doing matters and I know that it matters when I get a DM from somebody and they’re like, I just found your account and I read through everything that you’ve posted.

And I want you to know that I had a similar experience, a similar childhood, a similar whatever in Christianity and it really helps to know that there’s somebody out there who knows how I feel. Like that to me, because I recognize that talking about nervous system literacy or talking about like the harm that evangelical Christianity did. Sometimes it’s really difficult to find people in real life to talk about that stuff with. But I agree.

TRISTI: I agree.

LINDSEY: When David and I were deconstructing our faith, it was literally David and me. We didn’t have any other people in our real life who had either already done what we were doing or who were doing it simultaneously sit down and have conversations with, but we found this incredible Christian deconstruction community on Instagram. And it was just like, yeah, we had a lot of hard shit to figure out on our own, but we were watching these other people and it was like, they had words in their vocabulary, like purity culture and slain in the spirit, had those words in their vocabulary. And it was, they had been in ministry too, like we had, or all of these things that we’ve found commonality with. And it was like, okay, cool. Even if I don’t know this person in real life, like I can watch what they’re doing. I can read what they’re posting. I can see their story. I can DM them every now and again. And I know that there’s like a kindred spirit. There because they’d gone through what I’ve gone through.

So that’s specifically about, like, why do I keep doing the Christian deconstruction thing if we’re talking about why am I doing a holistic trauma healing podcast? And I have an Instagram account for that. It’s because I believe that information about the nervous system should be available and accessible to everyone. And it shouldn’t be something that you can only get if you pay to go to therapy and to have people again, D on me, or I have a review on the podcast of someone who has said. Like this listening to this has actually saved my life. Like that for me is okay, I will keep showing up for people like you over and over, because I know that haters are gonna hate. And I, I’ve had other people that have come in and they’re like, what are your credentials? Are you a licensed therapist? And I’m like, no, I’m not, but I’m just the live life real hard.And I know more about the nervous system than the average lay person does. Yeah. I don’t believe that you have to have letters behind your name to have a seat at the table.

TRISTI: No, I agree with that. I agree with that 1000%. And I think that there is marginalization that takes place a true trauma. And I think that we are really good at have you ever noticed how people are competitive about their pain? Like they have to be,

LINDSEY: I call it trauma comparison.

TRISTI: Yes. Where they have to be the one that was hurt the most. They’re the one that’s been through the most. And honestly, at the end of the day, we all have debilitating trauma, every single one of us in some capacity or another, and maybe some of them are more complex than others. And more messy than others. But bottom line is it takes the same thing to overcome trauma and you have to be willing to be retrospective and incredibly introspective. And If you’re not willing to do that, you will never get past your hurdles. If you’re not willing to go dig deep into your own soul and figure out why you’re as messy as you are, and then you don’t get anywhere. And going back to my question of like, why don’t we quit social media?

Your answer is the same as mine. And that’s if you don’t have people with good intentions on social media, It’s all a loss at that point. If all the people give up fighting the good fight, to try to tell people that they’re not alone, that they’re not isolated, that they’re, they’ve had other people who have gone through the same things. And that was a huge thing with HTB was we always had people writing us constantly about, talking them off the ledge of, killing themselves. How are Hurting themselves in some capacity or just feeling so isolated that they were losing the battle to depression. We dealt with that all the time.

We had a 24 hour hotline for law enforcement families to call in like a suicide hotline essentially is what it was or is it’s still going today. But I stay on because I want to be that voice of reason where I can be where I feel like I’m, I always go off my gut. If my gut tells me I belong in a conversation, I will insert myself in the conversation. If it doesn’t, then I walk away from it. But I truly believe that if everybody just stopped trying that our numbers would go through the roof, as far as. Suicide rates, drug, addictions, alcoholism, all of that. And I think some of it for me too, is just honestly a defense mechanism. I live my life out loud, too.

Like I, I shared my really difficult journey, fighting for my kids’ health very publicly. When I got divorced, I shared that publicly and I’ve always owned my space and I think I always call it the eight mile method and it’s because in the last scene where he’s on his rap battle, when M and M is the last rap battle and he goes up on the stage. And his entire rhyme is about how messed up his life is. And he tells everybody everything that’s happening and he strips the power away from the other guy to have anything to tackle mom, because he’s owned it in front of everyone. That’s what I do. I own my own garbage and I don’t care if people don’t like my garbage, that’s not my problem, but there are people out there that see it and they’re like, Oh, thank God. I am not by myself. Like she gets it and just like you, I will show up every time for the person who needs the access to somebody who gets it. Yeah.

LINDSEY: And honestly, and I think we’re the same way if I need to be set straight about something like, fuck yeah, I want you to set me straight. Like I want to be a better human. But nobody is ever going to make a true and lasting change if they’re doing it from a place of shame. Absolutely. And that is what this it’s, I’m going to call it a war. It actually is a war that we’re seeing on social media right now is everybody like they’re coming and showing up from their place of pain, from their place of nervous system activation. And they’re heaping like guilt and shame and manipulation and all of this in the name of social activism. And then they’re expecting people to like, change from that. And nobody ever if you think about any time in your life that you were ever shamed into doing something that event or that, whatever it was carries a deep pain and scar for you because you were basically forced to do something that you didn’t want to do because the shame was so painful and that is exactly what I’m seeing. And the other thing, I’m part of a group a private group on discord and we chat about things like this. And like one of the things is that because the fear of shame is so real now that.

There’s a there’s a lot of people who are flinging the hay and like showing up with shame and disrespect and whatever. There’s a lot of people who are defending themselves and fighting back and, trying to fight the good fight, but then there’s a big group of people that they’re not engaging at all because it’s not a safe space for them. So what this cancel culture on the internet has created is like, People are watching this war playing out on social media. And the very thing that social activists want people to do, which is to learn and change is not happening because there is no safe space to ask questions. Like I’m grateful for this group that I’m a part of because there’s like queer, non-binary trans. Ecosocialist kind of people in this group, like they’re way more air quote woke than I am, but they are like, even though they know so much more than I know they’re a safe space for me to be like, Hey, actually I don’t have the vocabulary to have this conversation. I need you guys to bring me up to speed because I don’t know what I don’t know. And they’re there for that and it’s cool and it’s safe. And nobody’s going to shame me because I’m not showing up to the table, like with all my ducks in a row, like I’m showing messy and authentically uninformed about this particular thing. And I think it’s really important to point out too, like this fucking social media activism, expects everybody to know everything about everything.

TRISTI: Yeah. That’s there’s a quote. And I can’t remember. I wish I knew who said it, but because I want to give credit where credit is due, but he said, if I’m wrong, educate me. Don’t degrade me. Educate me, teach me, don’t shame me. And I think that activism and I use that term because there is a lot of really healthy activism taking place out there. There’s programs that I’ve seen in place in communities that just blow my mind, like in Ferguson specifically. Like people don’t ever talk about, after Ferguson was set on fire and the whole community burned to the ground, like nobody talks about the aftermath of Ferguson and how beautiful their rebill was within their own community.

There’s some really amazing people and programs in place and focus in. And one of the things that they had was they had a suit program for teenagers that lived in poverty. And every month they would do like a suit drive where the teenagers would come to a gymnasium of some sort and people would donate their work clothes to these kids. And they would sit and do mock interviews with these kids, teach them how to tie a tie, how to wear a suit, what are the girls? They would teach them whatever they needed to learn. And they would do mock interviews with these kids. And that would teach them life skills, as opposed to just, what we need to stop doing is justification of where we are.

And instead of just talking about we have a right to be here. We have a right to feel this way. We have a right to be doing these sayings. Yeah you do have a right to your own pain, but. At what point do you move away from the justification process and you move to the solution process because that’s where we’re stuck. We’re stuck at justification. And so I think when people are doing, especially on social media activism, and instead of shedding light on the discrepancies in our inner cities, because racism is very alive and well, it is, bottom line that you cannot deny that kids from the inner cities do not have the same shot as other kids that come from suburbia.

And that’s just is what it is. But my point to that is that instead of shedding, light and knowledge on where people were coming from, it’s breathing life into a different time of racism. One of my friends had told me a couple of days ago and she’s as sweet and tender as can be, but not, not an ill bone in her body. She said, I used to never notice people’s skin color when I was having conversations with them, because it was just something completely irrelevant to me. But now I think about it all the time when I interact with somebody who’s different to me. I wonder if they hate me because we’ve been we’ve been so exposed to all of this information where we’re all hyper aware of our differences, where we were wondering if people hate us because of them. And so I do, I think that it has shed new light on a different type of racism on a different type of difference that we have. And we’re probably more divided than we’ve been and many years. I think we’ve gone back a few steps.

LINDSEY: Yeah, for sure. That’s such a, that’s such a great point that you make. Because I actually feel the same way before George Floyd, honestly, I know when it began, but before George Floyd. If I was having a conversation with someone or shopping at a local business or following somebody on social media or whatever, the very last thing that entered my mind was what color they were like. And I guess some people would say that’s why privilege because I’m white. I don’t have to worry about that. I can see that perspective. However, my perspective is like I don’t look at somebody’s hair color and decide if I can have a relationship with them or if I can follow them online or if I can shop in their business. So I’m not using, something as silly as what color somebody’s hair is to make a judgment or decision for myself about what kind of a relationship I’m going to have with that person. But it’s really silly to use skin color as the same sort of like measurement. And it goes back to talked about this in episode 11 with Clementine Morgan. That race is actually not real. Racism is real. Like racism is a big problem. Race is not real. Like it’s not, the white race or the black race or whatever. Like those aren’t real things. That’s essentially using something. But racism is definitely real. Like people who think that race is real and who live their lives from a place of I say this all the time on social media, it’s making somebody other than when you make somebody other than you, they are they and I am I, or we are we, and then it becomes a sort of us versus them or me versus you or whatever.

And the bottom line is that. All of our neuro systems fucking behave the same way, regardless of what color our skin is like the, at our basic form, like our lizard brains all work the same way. And we do have more in common than we have different. And, I might get in trouble for saying that, but I don’t even remember where that was going. I was just, what can you do my head?

TRISTI: I do this wish that we could Start from a place of where we fit, focus on our commonalities and that’s that all of us have known grief. That is the one thing that every single human being has in common is that we have all felt grief in some capacity. We all get our hearts broken. We have relationships that end. We lose parents, we lose siblings, we bury friends. And sometimes those things happen all in the same year. You get hit with so much grief at one time, you don’t even know how to function and we’re all looking for that person who’s standing there with their hand out to help you get back up. And I just want to be so much more focused on being that person with my hand extended then with my back to somebody, because. They don’t think like me and I don’t care if somebody thinks like me, I don’t care if even if you came to me today and you swore to me that the earth was flat, I would just be like, cool.

You can be one of those flat earthers, Lindsey. That’s fine. Like that’s not going to change my perspective of who you are at the core of you. That’s just a belief that you have that I don’t agree with. But when I believe that somebody is fundamentally good, their ideology on everything else is secondary. So I try to be that person or whoever I can be like, Hey, it’s okay. That you messed up. It’s okay. That your life is in shambles. It’s okay. That you’re at this perception of rock bottom, but let me help you rebuild regardless of anything else. And we came in contact with a homeless guy in San Diego and something in my gut told me that he was very special and he had gotten hurt on the job. He started on Percosets, which led to heroin, which led to homelessness, which led to him being estranged from his family. And I remember sitting there with him and having the thought he was telling me a story. And I had the thought process of he knows pain. He knows heartache, he knows brokenness.

And I know those things as well. My brokenness just looks different than his, but at the bare bones of it, it’s brokenness. And we were actually able to get him rehabilitated and he’s been clean for three or four years now. And I didn’t turn my back on him because he was homeless. I didn’t turn my back on him because he had the, he was a drug addict. none of that mattered to me because when I sat there with him, I felt that the core of who he was good. And if we focus more on activities like that, we would be the most effective nation in the world. But right now we’re imploding from within and it’s messy and it won’t stop until people have the emotional capacity to.

LINDSEY: Yeah, for sure. I’d love to give people other than getting off of social media completely, which, Hey, if that’s what you gotta do I support it, right now I’m this close to deleting my Facebook account and not going to have any regrets about it when I do and I’m not on Twitter, I’m not on LinkedIn. Like I do Instagram and that’s it. And even sometimes I wonder why I’m still there, but I’ve already answered that question. So other than, just completely doing away with it, which I encourage you to do. If you need to do that, what are some like good social media interaction tips that we could give people for navigating their way through this very weird, painful conflict driven, addictive atmosphere that has become the comment section of Instagram and Twitter and Facebook.

TRISTI: I would say that number one would be to just be self-aware enough to know that you don’t need to be putting your energy down the social media sink, because it is just a drain. It’s just a vortex and that 95. Probably even more than that. It’s a made up statistic, but it’s very high that the vast majority of what you do on social media and the comment section is going to be effective. Stay out of them. Stay out of the news comments, stay out of the comments that are controversial. Things that you know, that are going to upset you. If COVID is a subject, if it’s a hot button, Topic for you. There’s not a thing that you can go right under somebody who thinks differently than you. That’s going to change their mind at this point. Yeah. Not a single thing. Yeah. So stop putting energy where it’s meaningless. Yeah. That would be my first thing. You self-aware and protect your energy.

LINDSEY: Yeah. I think if I could give a tip about social media, it’s that? Not every post is for you. And that’s okay. If you’re going to use social media as a tool that makes you a better person or for introducing you to ideas that maybe you didn’t know about before. Great. But like you don’t have to engage with everything. Not every post is meant for you. You don’t find a fence. Where it wasn’t meant to be. And if you are taking something really personally, stop and go take a long look in the mirror before you choose to engage or type. Anything to anyone, because more often than not, whatever it is that you’re offended by, or that his pushed your buttons or whatever is holding up a mirror to you to your own pain. And you were reacting from a place of your own pain that needs to be healed. And it’s not going to your healing is not found by typing up a really witty, sarcastic, hurtful comment.

TRISTI: Now that’s temporary. That’s temporary satisfaction. And then the other thing I would say is just like to remember that who you are online matters. Like you may think it doesn’t matter because you have a screen name. That’s not your real name or whatever that you can go and say, whatever you want to say. And there’s no consequence to it because you have this level of being anonymous, but. You can do some real damage to people online and you can hurt some very real human beings behind their screens. And and that’s not a reflection of those people, level of strength or weakness. It’s just that, especially in this year, can we just not, can we just not be assholes to each other anymore? Every single one of us have gotten our ass kicked in some capacity, whether it’s been, losing your job or losing somebody to cOVID or if it’s like my friend got killed in the line of duty this year. Every single one of us has suffered some kind of loss this year. So the last thing we need to do is be assholes to each other. And that sounds so simple, but for some people it’s impossible for them to reel in that level of assholeness yes. Yes.

LINDSEY: It takes a lot of energy to be an asshole.

TRISTI: Yeah, it does. And it’s just so like temporary. Yeah. Yeah.

LINDSEY: And yeah, I guess my second tip would be recognize how social media affects your nervous system. Get into your body when you’re scrolling and recognize, like what feelings are coming up for me when I see this post, what feeling is coming up for me whenever I reply to this or that whenever I set someone straight or, I think I’m setting them straight, what comes up for me and just be in my body and feel whatever that feeling is. And then ride it out. And then if after that you’ve written it out. If you still feel like, yeah, I need to pick up my phone and engage. Then do so from a non asshole perspective.

TRISTI: Yeah, just channel some kindness.

LINDSEY: But how have enough nervous system literacy to be like, if I’m having a shit day and I’m anxious as fuck, I probably need to stay off my phone because going and engaging in places where I know are already ridden with anxiety is the very last thing I need to do. And I’m just going to be throwing gasoline on a fire. And adding to it rather than putting it out. So I need to be in my I don’t need to worry about your nervous system. I don’t need to worry about everybody else and what they’re posting. I need to be, I need to be about myself and I need. Where am I in my nervous system today. And if, as if I don’t have the capacity or the resiliency or the reserves to be involved in whatever, even if it’s something important, like anti-racism work or climate change work, or I don’t know whatever your cause is, it’s important, but you are not required to show up in that cause every single day, if you don’t have a nervous system capacity to handle it.

TRISTI: Yeah. It really is. You cannot pour from an empty cup. You absolutely cannot. And I think something that a lot of people do not understand about social media and after running, a page of, over a quarter million people, what you hate online publicly, and the comment section you’re actually endorsing. And what I mean by that is for every comment that goes into a page, a public page, you’re actually shifting the social media algorithm and to their favor. So you’re actually giving them more exposure. That thing that you hate so much, you’re actually giving more exposure to everyone else. So you have to figure out how to not play into the social media profiting scheme. That really is a true thing. That’s why they say there’s no such thing as bad publicity because every comment you, every click you do on a website, they’re getting advertisement dollars for that. So if you’re like go write a bad review, all you’re doing is paying them for your bad review. So you gotta be aware of that. People don’t understand that. Thank you for shifting the algorithms in my favor, even though you told me I was really ugly.

LINDSEY: So you resigned from humanizing the badge. You’re no longer part of that. So what are you doing nowadays?

TRISTI: I’ve gotten some new stuff in my, up my sleeve that I’m going to be working on in the coming of 20, 21. The concept of it, like without showing, all my cards on the table, really just to have having the conversation more frequently of taking back what’s ours, what’s personal to us and removing ourselves from the equation of Removing ourselves from things that hurt us. And I’ll tell you more about it offline about what kind of my ideas of it, but it’s a really cool concept. And so we’ll be launching that platform in 2021. And then also I do landscape photography in West Texas. And that’s my primary job function. I found a way in the last couple of years to really market myself in that industry, to where I could take time. My job really involves me driving around in my car and taking pictures of landscapes. So like I have the most peaceful job in the world. Like I’m by myself and I’m in the country and I don’t have to wear a mask while I’m at work and I can take my pictures and go on about my little life.And so that’s been really it’s been really good for me cause the last couple of years I got divorced and then I got remarried and so I found a way to get my time to process and still be able to find the ancillary support myself at the same time. I’ve been channeling all of that, all of those incidences and to our upcoming project, which I’m really excited about.

LINDSEY: Nice. When you say our, do you mean you and Ben?

TRISTI:No, Ben has no business online. Speaking of people that need to learn how to reel in their energy. I love him dearly, but Ben has been he’s, he has a pretty successful hunting page. And I remember the first time somebody wrote something negative to him and him just being like. Why would they do this? I’m like, Oh honey, it’s just beginning. Like you’re hunting. That’s controversial to a lot of people. You’re going to get those people and you’ve got to learn how to adapt. And so he’s learning too. Yeah. You have guns, ergo. You are a white supremacist. Yeah. You own guns. You kill innocent animals. Nevermind that we live off of them, but Yeah they we get a lot of stuff on that one too, but

LINDSEY: I want everyone to know we didn’t plan what we were going to talk about before we did. That was all just a conversation. Yeah, just a conversation. But I think what came of it is that we’ve, we’re talking about the big pink elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about, which is what a toxic shit hole social media can be. And hopefully we’ve given people some awareness and some at least some vocabulary about their nervous system and resiliency and emotional maturity and intelligence and things like that. So that the next time I do open their phone and start scrolling, maybe they can show up different and better.

TRISTI: You got to decide if you’re either a part of the problem or you’re part of the solution. Those are your only options.

LINDSEY: So how can people follow you on the interwebs?

TRISTI: My life is pretty boring on interwebs right now. They want to see pictures of my Labrador and my children. They can follow me at on Instagram at touristy dot Weston, but there’s gonna be some cool stuff coming up there every now and then I’ll show a little piece of my heart on there, but yeah, I think that the thing that’s coming will be. More interesting than, yeah, I’m really excited about it. Like I can’t wait to tell you about it.

LINDSEY: Cool. I can’t wait. Thanks so much for doing this.

TRISTI: I had a good time and any, anytime you want to talk shop I’m here.

LINDSEY: All right, everybody. I hope you enjoyed that interview with my high school, bud. Tristi Weston. I’m going to have links to how you can find her as well as to the two articles that she mentioned she wrote, or I’ll back. I’m going to link those up because they’re great reads. And you can find the show notes and everything that we talked about for this episode at lindseylockett.com Forward slash podcast. This is episode 26. And as always, you can find me on Instagram at I am Lindsey Lockett. And finally i have a really exciting opportunity to share with you

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