I began my journey as an entrepreneur in the Wellness space in 2001. My first business, Pure Barre, barely had a website and was birthed when Facebook and Instagram did not exist. Later, as these platforms emerged, we joined them but they certainly weren’t a focus while I owned and ran the company. We grew solely by word-of-mouth until I sold in 2012 with 100 locations.
Personally, I joined Facebook and Instagram but realized early on that they didn’t make me feel good. I’ve always been a person who hasn’t payed much attention to what others are doing, let alone had concern around what others thought of me. Yet, despite this constitution, I found myself wanting to know how many people liked or didn’t like my posts. Yuck. It felt crappy. I distanced myself from the platforms years ago, pulled off facebook and automated content to post on Instagram, as some sort of a presence seemed necessary in today’s business landscape.
There are 3 pillars to Life Smart. One of them is Mental Health. I’ve been studying and researching mental health and neuroscience for years and believe we have now reached a point where there is enough evidence tying social media to the decline in our psychic health, and not just of adults, but of our kids. I’m reminded of a time when enough factual evidence became available linking cigarettes to lung cancer. The Surgeon General placed a warning label on the product and then the choice was ours to make.
There are endless studies using MRIs to show that "likes" on social media light up the brain's reward center. I’ve listed just some links below if you’d like to read further. The “compare and despair" caused by curated Instagram feeds is causing anxiety, depression and in some cases, suicide.
I have 3 young kids, two of them are girls. Research shows this issue is impacting girls harder. I see the gender propensity already. I’m coaching my daughters' U-6 soccer team. One of my daughters sat down on the field crying last week because she “wasn’t as fast as the other girls” (aka Compare and Despair). Every practice an incident like this has occurred with a different girl on the team and all of these girls are being raised in households focused on raising strong, confident, emotionally intelligent kids. I coached my son's U-6 soccer team for 2 seasons just prior…not one episode like this.
The other 2 pillars of Life Smart are Fitness and Nutrition: Physical Health. When I left the practice of law to open my first fitness studio, the overwhelming response was…”why would you waste your intelligence in an industry that is trashy and stupid”? Harsh, I know, believe me. For all these years, I’ve never understood why fitness can’t be portrayed as an intersection of intelligence and strength. Yet when I look at how most “fitfluencers” are representing on social media, I understand those comments from 20 years ago. It’s sometimes hard to discern if the advertising is for swimsuits or porn rather than women’s health. I don’t feel marketing in this industry needs to be something I don’t want my kids to see.
I’m certainly not suggesting everyone and every business ditch technology and go live in the woods. I’m also not judging those who use social media. I am saying that as someone who has been deemed a “fitfluencer” and has a Personal Brand, knowing what I know about the research, brain and mental health, raising kids, I cannot, with integrity and authenticity be a part of the platform.
Life Smart x Carrie Dorr is no longer on social media. If you’d like to keep up with us, there are a few options:
1. Subscribe to our newsletter (we send it once a month with links to all the new content on the site)
2. Listen to our Podcast
3. Visit us at our Wash Park Wellness Studio
4. Join us on a Mountain Retreat (coming soon-ish)
5. Follow our Pinterest Boards
First few minutes of Joe Rogan's Interview with Sebastian Junger
Dr. Sheryl Ziegler LS x CD podcast
Mary Stein LS x CD podcast
Why Instagram is the Worst Social Media for Mental Health
Dopamine, Smartphones + You: A Battle for Your Time
Why We're All Addicted to Text, Twitter + Google
Study: Social Media Fires Up Brain's Pleasure Center
How Social Media Increases Depression and Loneliness
Social Media Tied to Depression in Teens, Especially Girls
Does Social Media Cause Depression?
Can Social Media Really Cause Depression?
Instagram is the Worst Social Media Platform for Your Mental Health
A Rise in Depression Among Teens and Young Adults Could Be Linked to Social Media Use
Teens Aren't Socializing in the Real World. And Thats Making Them Super Lonely
Social Media Linked to Rise in Mental Health Disorders in Teens, Survey Finds
Study: Instagram is Worst App for Teens' Mental Health
Is Social Media Messing with Your Teen's Mental Health?
The Risk of Teen Depression and Suicide is Linked to Smartphone Use, Study Says
Rise in Teen Suicide Connected to Social Media Popularity: Study
Is Social Media Contributing to Rising Teen Suicide Rate?