Curious & Curiouser Podcast, Episode 32: How Social Media Hijacks Your Brain (& What To Do About It)

Social media. That ever-present influence in our technology-obsessed culture.

If you are like Tracey and me, you have found yourself wrapped up in social media a little too frequently and have started to wonder if your use of these platforms is, perhaps, not as healthy as it could be.

On this week’s episode of Curious & Curiouser, Tracey and I are talking about how to start using social media more mindfully, exploring some of the ways technology can overtake our lives, and offering some suggestions on how to begin disengaging from your devices on a more regular basis.

This conversation also explores how Facebook and Instagram hijack our brains, why the developers of these apps are so good at enticing us, and what we’re missing out on when we fill otherwise empty space by visiting social media platforms and repeatedly refreshing our feed.

Tracey and I wanted to talk about this topic because we, too, are guilty of over-engagement with social media and are seeking to create healthier habits in our own lives when it comes to our involvement online.

So, if you have anything to add to this conversation — including any tools or techniques you have discovered for keeping your own technology use in check — please send an email to and share your insights!

As always, reviews and 5-star rating in iTunes are appreciated, so please hop over to the show page and leave one (or both) if you are enjoying the podcast! Tracey and I would really appreciate it!

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Highlights from this episode:

  • Episode 30 on habit change
  • Do Tracey and I get social media updates on our phones?
  • Why social media is addictive and how it manipulates your brain’s reward center
  • What happens in your brain when someone “likes” something you post on social media?
  • Getting validation of our worth through social media
  • Turn Off Your Phone. And Other Tips for Making Magic. (on my website)
  • Why it’s important to be bored and the lost art of waiting without looking at your phone
  • The advice I got from my astrologer this year
  • What life was like before cell phones and social media
  • We are overly accessible to each other
  • Social media and compassion fatigue; then dangers of emotional oversharing on social media
  • Is social media replacing intimate interactions and in-person relationships?
  • How healthy is it for us to be plugged in all the time?
  • What I have realized about how the relationship between my anxiety and my social media use
  • Have Tracey or I ever taken a significant break from social media since we started using it regularly?
  • Using social media for work as a gateway to overuse
  • Deep Work:  Rules for Focused Work in a Distracted World by Cal Newport and how we’re losing the capacity to focus on one task for extended periods of time
  • Why I regularly unfollow people on Facebook
  • How Tracey curates her social media feed
  • What does healthy use of email look like? How do Tracey and I use email?
  • How I am trying to restrict my use of social media
  • My advice for disengaging from technology, especially as a self-employed person
  • Can you have a successful business in 2017 without social media?
  • Alexandra Franzen
  • And more!

Piquing Our Curiosity

Society 6, which is an online hub for consumer goods featuring original artwork uploaded by independent artists from all over the world. Every time you make a purchase, an artist gets paid. Which is awesome. I have scored some rad mugs, including my unicorn cats in space mug from which I drink my morning coffee almost every day. I also bought a wallet covered in boobs that I absolutely adore. So much in fact, that I bought a tablet cover in the same print. And, yes, this artist has also created a butts print I highly recommend checking out. So yeah, go to here and buy some rad stuff. Like coffee mugs and wall clocks and shower curtains. You can also follow them on Instagram @society6.


Remember, if you have any topics or questions you’d like us to address in a future episode, comment here or email us at our joint email account: We’d love to hear from you!

Finally, one more request for you to please head over to iTunes and leave us a 5-star rating and/or review if you’re enjoying the podcast. Please note that you have to search for Curious & Curiouser in iTunes in order to leave a review — even if you’re already subscribed. Thanks so much for the support and for taking this annoying extra step to rate us. We really appreciate it!