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Isa Watson on Why Life Beyond Likes Is Finding Authentic Joy

I am joined by Isa Watson, founder and CEO of Squad and an award-winning researcher and scientist who was named one of Inc’s 30 Under 30, as well as a Top 100 Female Entrepreneur of 2020 and one of the 100 MIT Alumni in Tech in 2021. We discuss her debut book “Life Beyond Likes: Logging Off Your Screen and Into Your Life.” We dive into the causes of digital addiction, our detachment from reality, and the need to reprioritize authentic in-person relationships.

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The ability to be present is something that requires effort. But the ability to be not present and just be passively engaged in a habit (like social media) is an escape. It is a mechanism that we’ve developed. And it’s really important for people to understand some of the passive habits that we’ve developed. Because we have to kill some of those that don’t serve us.

Isa Watson

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In This Episode, Isa Watson and I Discuss Reprioritizing Authentic Joy In Life Beyond Likes on Social media

In today’s world, most of our time ‘online’ is spent on various social media sites. These networking sites allow people to express themselves and show their friends and family what they are doing without actually seeing each other in person. However, according to today’s guest Isa Watson, social media has become an addiction. Isa explains that there is now measurable data that shows a rise in anxiety and depression among younger individuals, with a direct correlation to social media usage over time.

Isa highlights the importance of authentic joy and in-person relationships. We discuss how reprioritizing these connections can counteract the degrading comparative nature of social media outlets by bringing us back to the here and now.

Listen and learn as Isa Watson, and I discuss the following topics:

  • The use of the arts and STEM programs allow people to express themselves in real life rather than on social media
  • The illusion of perfectly curated online personas
  • Engagement vs. addiction
  • Escapism in terms of social media and other online sites
  • Loneliness as a means of escaping reality
  • The day-to-day impact of constant interruptions via technology
  • The psychological impacts of hyper-connectedness
  • How the tech companies adjust their algorithms to entice their users
  • The comparative nature of social media and how perfectionism is harming our society
  • And much, much more!
  • Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share? Drop us a line at [email protected]!
277 | Why Life Beyond Likes Is Finding Authentic Joy | Isa Watson | Passion Struck with John R. Miles

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More From My Conversation With Isa Watson

During our conversation, I brought up a quote from Robin Sharma stating, “We all have a choice, we can change the world or play on our phones, but we can’t do both.”  I asked Isa to connect that to her opinion that the ‘Like’ button is one of the most toxic features on the internet.

Life Beyond Likes by Isa Watson for Passion Struck podcast recommended books

Isa Watson explains, “The like button is a very powerful form of external validation, not the best form of external validation, but it’s one that we register. And it’s not just one that we register. It’s one that other people can see as well. When I say the like button is the most toxic feature of the internet, it’s because what happens is that, as humans, we’ve been conditioned to try to analyze the feedback that we’re getting from 1000s of people a day…

…We see the analytics of what people are posting, what we’re posting, and what’s being engaged with. And so what the like has done really is that, beyond the external validation, it’s actually created whole entire markets. When you create a market, like an influencer market, people drive towards that, and that becomes the goal…I think that it’s toxic from an external validation standpoint because it allows us to be addicted to validation. That’s not healthy for us because we cannot forget that the most important validation comes from ourselves. It’s up to us to abandon this echo chamber of perfectionism…

…I tapped into that in a way that was unhealthy for me…I’m not a social media abolitionist, but I do think that we should elevate our awareness around how social media makes us feel and how it changes our behaviors. Today, I post whatever I want to post regardless of how many likes I think it’s gonna get…Don’t like it, keep it moving. But what I’ve done is disconnected my validation of myself from the validation that people and strangers on the internet give me in the form of likes.”

Say Thanks To Isa Watson

If you enjoyed this interview with Isa Watson, let her know by clicking on the link below and sending her a quick shout on Instagram:

Click here to show Isa Watson your thoughts about today’s episode on Instagram!

Click here to let John R. Miles know about your number one takeaway from this episode!

And if you want us to answer your questions or you have a topic you would like John to discuss on one of our upcoming weekly Momentum Friday episodes, drop us a line at [email protected].

Resources From The Show With Isa Watson

Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Passion Struck podcast receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you so much for being so supportive!

My solo episode on how you unleash your creativity:

Catch my interview with Gaia Bernstein on how to overcome tech addiction: 

Want to catch my best interviews from 2022? Check out episode 233 on intentional greatness and episode 234 on intentional behavior change.

Watch my interview with Dr. Mark Hyman on how to defy aging:

Catch my interview with Dr. Amy Shah on how you can control your food cravings:

My solo episode on why micro choices matter:

About Today’s Guest, Isa Watson

Passion Struck podcast episode 277 album cover with Isa Watson on her book Life Beyond Likes

Isa Watson is a scientist, award-winning researcher, and the Founder & CEO of SQUAD. She was named one of Inc’s 30 Under 30, as well as a Top 100 Female Entrepreneur of 2020 and one of the 100 MIT Alumni in Tech in 2021. Isa earned an MBA from MIT, an MS in Pharmacology from Cornell University, and a BS in Chemistry (Mathematics minor) from Hampton University. Isa Watson is an expert on social media and connection, and her debut book, “Life Beyond Likes: Logging Off Your Screen and Into Your Life”, is a breakdown of the impact and harm of our excessive social media use.

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John R. Miles is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of Passion Struck. This full-service media company helps people live intentionally by creating best-in-class educational and entertainment content. John is also a prolific public speaker, venture capitalist, and author named to the ComputerWorld Top 100 IT Leaders.

John is the host of the top-ranked Passion Struck Podcast. The show focused on exploring the mindset and philosophy of the world’s most inspiring people to learn their lessons to living intentionally. Passion Struck aspires to speak to the humanity of people in a way that makes them want to live better, be better, and impact.

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