What I Tell My Friends To Read, Watch And Listen To: A “Best Of” April Media (Online Gossip Included)

I consume a lot of media, but all in the form of articles and podcasts. Some of my “best friends” are Dr. Becky, Kara Swisher, Brene, Dax and Monica, Derik Thompson, etc. So when I hang out with my actual friends (or Brian, poor Brian) all I do is talk about what absolutely fascinating (IMHO) thing I learned about media, tech, psychology, parenting, etc that I couldn’t stop thinking about. Today I figured I’d share them here, in a very conversational way with all my online friends 🙂


This month Jonathan Haidt (social psychologist) made the rounds on all my favorite podcasts with his new book “The Anxious Generation“. I’m not the expert (he is) but I think we all know that social media is causing massive mental health problems in teen girls specifically (well, all children, all humans, actually). He offers solutions that we happen to be aligned with and what we are doing with our group of friends (it takes a community to all agree on terms so that kids don’t feel totally left out). So yes, buy that book but if you are like me and love podcasts then you can catch him on Plain English (one of my favorite weekly podcasts that I look forward to) and Joe Rogan (who I don’t listen to but I’m so glad that Jonathan Haidt was on it because it reached a lot of men and therefore dads who can learn this valuable knowledge and bring it to the parenting table). The gist of it? We should be parenting more on all things digital and parenting way less outside of the house (aka, if you are going to helicopter and be paranoid about shit – it shouldn’t be about them roaming free in the neighborhood, we should be far more careful of them having freedom on screens and social media). But he offers solutions which I LOVE and am FULLY BEHIND.

The Rise and Fall of Ruby Franke

OOF, this story killed me and I feel such compassion for her kids. A Mormon mom Vlogger with 6 kids, Ruby documented her more disciplined/questionable way of parenting for a large YouTube audience. Then it became very tragic as she became highly influenced by her “mentor” who I think is the real criminal here. Both are now in jail and the dad is trying to get custody. Her children will be scarred forever and I can’t stop thinking about some of the stuff that she put them through in the name of punishment – truly wild and oddly sick. But I also have a lot of compassion for her (she seems genuinely remorseful after months away from this terrible other woman and may not ever be able to see her kids until they are adults when it is on their terms). Such a tragedy. She grew up very conservative, likely conditioned to perhaps not have independent thoughts or to think critically. Like was her brain fully formed when she got married and started having babies? (at 18 I think). I don’t think I would be mentally well either. Anyway, it was depressing but obviously, I can relate to the Mormon and influencer part of it so I found it gripping (and to be clear, also very very very tragic and sad and I’m glad that justice was served).

Brene Brown With Esther Perel On Unlocking Us

Two powerhouse females that I admire SO MUCH came together and I could have listened to them talk for days. Brene took a year off social media and the podcast (I was devastated about that for a while) and she has some thoughts on how humans are attempting to survive in a world that we are just not built for anymore (i.e. Tech, AI, and just too much, too fast). Esther Perel is a relationship expert and she has some incredible insights per usual. I don’t want to spoil it, so please give it a listen.

Unlocking Us On The Dangers Of Putting Young Girls In Social Media

Yes, this is absolutely a theme for me – as someone who lives a public life on social media I simply can’t consume enough content about the dangers it is for kids and what we can do to protect them and raise them to be mentally well citizens. This one was about the NY Times article about all the mom-created Instagram accounts for their young daughters and all the nefarious and creepy shit that happens afterward (and sadly many of the moms know this and likely need the $$ so continue to do so – it’s sad on many levels). My daughter is obsessed with cheer so this hit home and boy do I wish that the cheer industry would be more like swim team and calm it down on the sexualization of girls with these costumes and makeup (admittedly it is fun to wear, but grown men are a huge online audience – GROSS). We do let our kids be in the occasional blog post or pig-feeding video but we will not be putting or letting them be in any kind of consistent content. You can read the article here or listen to the podcast anywhere you listen to Unlocking Us.

Armchair Expert With A Certified SOCIOPATH!!!!!

I can’t STOP talking about or thinking about this podcast episode. Patric is a professor and author, a happily married mother of two and is indeed a diagnosed sociopath. She talks about how she knew she was different, what happens in her brain, what she does to cope with it in order to live in society (and not in prison). Also, I guess 5% of us are sociopaths? The biggest takeaway was that in her brain (and others with anti-social emotional behavior) there is this intense pressure to do something deviant or destructive and it builds up and builds up until you do. Hearing how she learned to handle this (and not destroy her life) is just fascinating. You HAVE to listen to this.

Music – Listen And See: AJR

I took my 10-year-old son to the AJR concert this week in Portland and if they are coming to your city, GO! It was Charlie’s first big stadium concert, he knew so many of the songs and the smile of wonder on his tween face made me tear up (like a real mom – when did happy tears start flowing so freely?????). While I wasn’t that into their music a few months ago I made an effort to listen and learn the songs so we could be on the same page, share this interest and it totally paid off. We have Olivia Rodrigo and Imagine Dragon tickets this summer and this mom is absolutely loving these magical years of parenting (you know before they get really “independent”). ALSO, Charlie is learning to play the drums and seeing a drummer rock out I think was really inspiring (so the lesson here to me is exposure = inspiration).


I barely watched any TV this month, except teen romance movies with my daughter (truly magical). Love is Blind was awesome per usual, as was One Day (despite me complaining that their meet-cute did not warrant their friendship, the ending was I mean…I don’t want to spoil it but MY GOD). But watching To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before with Birdie was the highlight.

Enjoy everyone and see you tomorrow with more design content. xx

Opening Image Credits: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: My Girls Weekend at The Ojai Valley Inn

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