Ep. 21: Naked
ON THIS EPISODE:
Today we’re talking about social comparison, social media, and perspective. We’ll also talk about FOMO, Narnia, Middle Earth, Oz, our most recent unicorn mail that arrived, and we couldn’t leave you hanging, we’ll come back to our pillow talk from last week - answering the question of how many how many pillows are too many for a bed?
Official Instagram: @HansowFamily
Personal Instagram: @MorganHansow and @DaveHansow
Timeline: 42 minutes total
I’m Morgan Hansow and this is my husband, Dave - we’ve spent the last 20 years on a wild adventure that’s taken us to Africa, the Oprah show, and Hollywood.
Welcome to Chasing Unicorns… a podcast about giving ourselves permission to chase our dreams, explore our faith, and figure out who we are, all while trying to keep our crap together!
As Creatives, Humanitarians, and Parents, we’re learning (sometimes the hard way) that the hustle and pursuit of the elusive unicorn will never satisfy.
Each week we explore what it looks like to live authentic, passionate, and connected lives while being a part of a movement that’s trying to transform the world through story + grace.
Overview of today’s show -
Welcome to Chasing Unicorns! Today we’re talking about social comparison, social media, and perspective. We’ll also talk about FOMO, Narnia, Middle Earth, Oz, our most recent unicorn mail that arrived, and we couldn’t leave you hanging, we’ll come back to our pillow talk from last week - answering the question of how many how many pillows are too many for a bed?
[While Dave takes off Mask] Why settle for 1 week wearing a unicorn head mask when you could have two??? For the second week in a row, Dave has worn a different ENORMOUS unicorn mask head while recording the intro! He’s got a bright orange and pink swirled coat, a sparkly horn, a floppy pink/purple mane and Huge sunglasses - he’s definitely got this 70s disco unicorn vibe thing going on!
Oh my gosh...seriously, we can’t make this stuff up! Just like the last one, this enormous box arrived in the mail a couple days ago and inside was this ginormous mask along with a unicorn water bottle and an intricately hand-carved wooden unicorn head. When we opened the package, Morgan and I were dying laughing...I mean, this is so fun that this is our life—we get unicorn masks and various other unicorn paraphernalia in the mail…
Yeah, and it’s joyous and awesome!
It really is! So it turns out the unicorn mail we received this week was from my mom—thanks mom!—and when I texted her to thank her, she told me that she found the carved wooden unicorn head in my grandpa’s woodshop in the garage after he passed away which is pretty crazy because he passed away on my birthday in February of this year and we didn’t even launch Chasing Unicorns until April.
Totally a treasured gift - and what a random thing to have carved!? But I love it and it’ll hold a special place amongst our unicorn swag because of where it came from for sure!
In other news, we wanted to follow-up on the pillow talk from last week’s episode. We posted in the Chasing Unicorns group on Facebook and did a survey on Instagram Story and let me say that I was surprised to find out that we’re apparently not as weird as I thought
So we had some minimalists with 2 and more than one who were at 13, and then there was the whole gamut in between but the sweet spot seemed to be in the 5-7 range, which we’re in.
I do think there could have been some confusion, maybe we should have specified that we were asking about ‘decorative’ pillows - the ones on the bed in addition to the ones you sleep on. So for us, we have 7 decorative pillows in addition to the 2 we sleep on, but regardless, I think it’s good to realize we’re somewhat of the norm - is that going to help you Babe? Or are you still going to be dismayed every time you throw the pillows off at night or make the bed in the morning?
Okay, how we start with a little segment we like to call “Be Kind/Please Rewind” - in which we connect with our inner child and give ourselves permission to drop the Adult BS to talk about and try things that add beauty, joy, wonder back to life
So much of what shapes us in our youth are the stories we engage in - whether that be books we read or movies or shows we watched. And today’s topic is really a combo - it’s present day good news that brings us back to our youth.
You might have heard that Netflix just signed a deal to turn CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia into a series. I’m incredible pumped about this because CS Lewis was a game changer for me when I was younger and had just come to faith.
Yeah, you’re a SUPER fan! I mean your idea of a dream vacation involves the English countryside and a CS Lewis walking tour where you also visit the pubs that Lewis and Tolkien used to meet up at for philosophical discussions! And speaking of Tolkien, I think it’s worth bringing up that in the spring it was announced that Amazon beat out Netflix to bring J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings to series. I grew up watching animated movies of both the Hobbit and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe over and over so I’m stoked about both!
So you have two book series that were published in the early 1950s and were written by two friends who conspired together to bring legend, myth, and truth to the world in fantastical story form that are being made into TV series to be streamed on the Internet 60-70 years after their release. That’s crazy!
I know, I totally picture Lewis and Tolkien smoking a pipe at a pub in Heaven as all these negotiations were taking place bantering and laughing over a pint! But I also think there’s something timely and noncoincidental about the timing as well - so much of the status of our nation and world feels unstable and divided right now and there’s something about the element of escaping to fantasy and a bigger story that’s super appealing. And of course both of these men wrote these stories as humanity was coming out of war.
Good point. And then there’s the element of reconnecting with our childhood self. So many people grew up with these stories so from a business perspective it’s super ripe timing to capitalize on converting these stories to series. But I also agree, that the invitation to the bigger story is really appealing - we’re all wanting to find belonging, purpose and to know that we have what it takes to defeat the evil, so to speak! In the end we want to be reminded that Good, Love and Light win and I think these series are the epitome of that!
It’s Home Office Huddle Time in which we Talk about what’s surfacing in our current pursuits—both personally and professionally—as a Husband/Wife duo.
And this week we’ve been talking a lot about comparison. I think some of this came about because after nearly 8 weeks off social media, Morgan, you’ve finally decided to step back into it…
Yeah, if you’ve been following our podcast, you know that we’ve been working through some ‘funk’ or junk or whatever you want to call it the past couple months and so I had posted a little bit while I was in Rhode Island to keep you and the kids in the loop but after I got home I decided I wasn’t going to go back on for a bit. I didn’t necessarily have a specified amount of time, but I was thinking a few weeks, through the end of August and then all of sudden the whole month of September went by (in fact my paper calendar on the side of the fridge that has all our friends/family’s birthdays/anniversaries is still on August - so that’s just a testimony to how September really was a blur for me)...
And what was the ‘why’ for you - why did you make that decision to avoid Instagram? (I guess you really avoided FB and Instagram but you’re really not avid on FB and I would say your Instagram usage even before this was pretty mild)
Yeah, I probably average like 3 posts in a 2-week period, so I’m not an avid poster, and even though I’m not posting, I found myself going onto Instagram to check in on friends and acquaintances daily (maybe sometimes even a couple times a day) to scroll and catch-up. And as you found out last week, my top signature strength is honesty/authenticity, so in all honesty I was finding myself comparing myself and really, just judging myself. I was also in a tender heart place with processing pain, dealing with disappointment and then there was that closing in/suffocating feeling we had from being trapped in our home for 2 a good 6 weeks during the crazy fires which didn’t help - even though our home wasn’t directly impacted by flames, I think it’s easy to underestimate the personal impact when your community goes through trauma and a national state of emergency.
So all those factors combined left me vulnerable and I was finding myself unable to protect my mind from building lies around my circumstances and my future. And I was also getting caught up in the numbers game with followers if I’m honest, I would see these ‘follow-me-back’ follows from people or companies I didn’t know and I didn’t want to play that game so I wouldn’t follow back and then the next day I’d log in and I’d see my followers number drop and even though I know it doesn’t matter (and on days when I was mentally healthy it wouldn’t have even crossed my mind), I was somehow judging myself more so I just decided to abandon it altogether.
And how was it?
I feel like we’ve entered an interview mode, haha, so I’ll keep it brief so we can get to some of the discussion but, it felt great. The first week I was a little tempted to log-in and I had that, what’s that phobia of missing out called?
FOMO. It’s just literally that - the anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere and it’s usually brought on by posts seen on a social media
Yeah, that - it was probably that and a combo of withdrawals and habit and then as time passed I didn’t even think about it and I didn’t miss it, well, that’s not entirely true. I was never tempted or felt like I was actively having to fight an urge to check it, but there was a few times where I just wondered about close friends/family that are out of state, a sort of ‘I wonder what they’re up to?’ And sometimes I’d act on that text or call that person to check in and sometimes I just let it pass. I felt emotionally healthier and I read 2 books! I really love reading and so I found myself having the time to indulge in that hobby because we all know we can easily get sucked into 20-30 or 45 minutes of scrolling if we’re not careful.
Awesome, well thanks for sharing. It’s good for me to even know for myself - we haven’t really gotten to go this in-depth about it together yet.
And I’ll add, that I’m not alone, social media is a super powerful tool with lots of potential for connecting people but by-in-large the destructive nature of it is really a concern, for example you know how when you google search something and you get an AutoFill for what is most frequently searched?
Well I took a quiz today in my online Well-Being/Happiness course that we talked about on last week’s episode and I was shocked when one of my questions included the fact that when you do a google search for the words “Instagram makes me feel…”- you get AutoFill searches like this: Instagram makes me feel: inadequate, ugly, bad, insecure, bad about myself, like a loser, lonely, depressed, fat. And if you search “Facebook makes me feel…” - you get AutoFill searches like this: Facebook makes me feel: unpopular, lonely, bad, like a failure, left out, like a loser, like crap, inadequate, bad about myself, sick.
In fact, Laurie Santos, the professor from Yale that’s teaching the online course I’m taking, goes as far to say that if you had the choice to increase your happiness by taking a job for $100k or getting rid of social media, you’d fare better and be happier in the long-run by getting rid of social media, which is a pretty bold statement, but for it her it’s grounded in lots of research
Wow… seriously I know the effects of social media can be bad, but I had no idea it had that much impact on people’s well being. But this really does lead into the other stuff we’ve been talking about in this arena, especially as you’ve been taking this class. What I’ve found fascinating is the science behind the things we’ve known and have been saying for years. Working in the media industry for the last 8 years, I’ve been saying, ‘we can’t compare our behind-the-scenes to other people’s highlight reels’ - explain!
And I think that’s an original quote by Dave Hansow! Seriously, I’ve never heard anyone say that so I think you can claim it -or at least I’m attributing it to you!
Haha! Well thanks, I guess, but even going back to the science, so often we can see how we process something by how we perceive it. You showed me this optical illusion with these 2 orange circles, one was surrounded by 6 large gray circles and then the other orange circle is surrounded by 11 small gray circles. It’s called the Ebbinghause illusion if you want to look it up, but essentially you look at it and your eyes are totally 100% convinced that the orange circle with the smaller gray circles around it is significantly larger than the orange circle surrounded by the large gray circles. I mean, there’s just no comparison and then of course the illusion is that the orange circles are the same size BUT the issue is what you’re using as a point of reference or a comparison. We can’t help but see the orange circles in comparison to the large or small gray circles that surround them. And in life, it’s the same way...we look at something or think about something or imagine a future event and we can’t help but interpret that based on comparison and reference points we think are true when in reality we’re just incorrectly misinterpreting the reality. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebbinghaus_illusion
It really is insane!!! And to think that we’re subconsciously doing that all the time is the crazy thing. We don’t realize we’re seeing everything through a tainted perspective of comparison and so we just take our perspectives as ‘normal’ without awareness of the adverse effects this skewed perspective has on our health and well-being (and even our social connections).
Yeah, like in that study about the Olympians that medaled where the Silver medalists were more unhappy than Bronze medalists because the reference point for the Silver was missing the Gold and the reference point for Bronze was being grateful because they were so close to not medaling at all. You have the Silver Medal, you were beat by one person and yet your eyes are so fixed on what the other person has that you don’t that your happiness levels are affected.
Well you won a silver medal! Back as a 17-year-old, you won Silver in the Jr Olympics for body-building...as you stood on that podium in your tanned oiled body, how’d you feel?
Hahaha… oh man. Well, you know, I know you’re kind of making a joke. But I remember feeling like it was pretty close, and so if I remember right, I think I bummed. ha
And it’s not just about social media, but it’s about the money you make, jobs you have, your body, the stuff you have, your relationships, etc...we’re constantly comparing ourselves and it impacts everything. I mean, I don’t have time (nor do I want to bore you) but in all these correlational studies I’m learning about, over and over the data is proving that people are motivated to compare and compete and essentially ‘keep up with the Joneses’ and it’s making us all disconnected, anxious, and really unhappy because when we get the the ‘things or the status or whatever it is that we think will make us happy’ it really doesn’t give us the ‘fix’ we’re wanting. And I love your thoughts on why social media and technology has increased this social comparison that’s probably always existed to an extent…
Well it’s just the thought that at some point in history you could really excel in your craft, passion or skill in your town because you could be the best ‘fill-in-the-blank’ in your neighborhood, community, or city. But now with technology and social media, you no longer compare or compete within a certain geographic region, instead you’re competing with the entire world and now the bar for what ‘success’ is, or what being the ‘best’ is in an industry, or arena is set sooo high, everyone is constantly comparing themselves and feeling ‘less-than’ even if we don’t realize what we’re doing.
Yeah, and you and I are constantly having to realign one another and pull back and look at our point of references - whether it’s other people or organizations (or even our past accomplishments). I love that your buddy Jon asked you one day… you guys were getting coffee and you were bumming and feeling shitty about our circumstances and finances, and Jon looked at you and asked you directly, “Who are you comparing yourself to?”
Whoa, yeah, it was like a rude awakening, but it was SO good, because I needed that. At first I was like, ‘Um, I don’t know, I don’t think anyone in specific,” and then he lovingly but firmly asked me again, “No, WHO are you comparing yourself to?” and I thought about it and the social situations I had been in previously and was able to name the couple men who I was specifically comparing myself to. It was crazy… I didn’t even know I was doing it.
And what was that realization like? What’d you do with that?
Well… it was like a rude awakening. I had been comparing some accomplishments of a friend who at the time was killing it professionally, and had booked some huge jobs, and it apparently was so easy for me to hear that, and essentially come to the conclusion that I sucked. Haha. But it seriously lost power when I realized what I was doing.
And that’s what it comes down to, it’s like we said last week, knowing is NOT half the battle, we actually have to take action and figure out how to get out of the comparison and reorient our reference points OR figure out what we need to do to take care of our hearts and protect our minds.
You and I don’t have all the answers, this is all just stuff we’re dialoguing about
Absolutely, but I do know that the thing that science misses is the spiritual component and the realignment our reference point based on how we’re aligning our hearts and hopes. From a personal standpoint I know that when I have my heart aligned with the Holy Posse and I’m living out of my identity as a Daughter, it’s a lot easier for me to have a perspective that’s from Heaven down instead of the earth up. And that enlightened perspective is what takes away the reference points that are so easy to default to. So like Dave said, we don’t have all the answers, but it’s worth doing some personal inventory and opening up the dialogue.
For sure, and please share with us - we’d love an email or a voice message about your thoughts on social comparison and what you do to manage yourself or align your reference points - send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Alright...Dave, take us into the depths with your a Deep Dive…
On the Screen - in which we visit and review what we’re watching this week
We are sad to report that despite the 4-day weekend for us last weekend, it was another full and busy week where we did not make it to the cinemas. And to be honest, part of the reason we didn’t was because there’s been some pretty lousy updates with MoviePass - in fact, I would call them more downdates than updates. I guess we were early adopters when we got our MoviePasses back in December but they’ve grown so fast as a company that apparently they’re losing money and so they’ve started putting all these stupid restrictions in place that have made it EXTREMELY difficult to use.
When we signed up in December, it was $9.95/mo for a movie/day at any theater and you could repeat movies -I think we saw Greatest Showman 3 times in a couple week period. In the spring they limited to only seeing a movie once, no repeats. At the beginning of summer they did this ridiculous thing that banned movies at peak times, but that didn’t last long b/c people got mad and then as of August, they’re down to limiting it to only 3 movies a month for the $9.95 which IS a really good deal, but the issue is that they only feature a certain 7 or 8 movie options each day and they put the newer movies in the middle of the week. I honestly don’t know how long we’ll keep it, b/c several of the movie options are independents and our town of 90,000 doesn’t get those b/c we only have one theater chain in town so right now we only have an option to see 1 of the 8 movies, which is pretty lame.
Yeah, it’s been pretty frustrating b/c what we have now is nothing like what we first purchased 8 months ago. I mean, maybe it makes sense if you live in a big city and have lots of theaters to choose from. We also apologize if you signed up for MoviePass because we’ve raved about it on Chasing Unicorns - we had no idea that it was going to go downhill so fast. I mean I guess it did sound too good to be true when we signed up but at least we got to make use of it for 8 months. And I guess, it’s probably people like us who used it a lot that put them in this scenario. Whoops!
The only movie we did watch this last week was ‘The Wiz’ - the motown musical remake of the Wizard of Oz with an all-black cast. It’s set in New York and stars Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.
And let’s clarify that we weren’t watching the recent NBC remake, we were watching the film that came out in 1978, so it’ already 40 years old!
That’s true! We hosted a BEING gathering at our house on Saturday night and it was supposed to be an outdoor party on our blow-up screen but it was raining so we moved it inside.
(BEING stands for Blacks Empowering and Impacting the Next Generation)
Right, and it was really a cult classic, and it was the first time I had seen it, and it was fun watching it with a group of people who knew it and were singing all the songs, but I’ll tell you what, it’s kind of a whacked movie! It reminds me a little of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory where you wonder if they were on drugs a little when they were writing it!
It’s true, I’m all for creativity, interpretations and reinventions, but some of the things just wouldn’t fly in this day and age - I mean, you can’t really get away with singing a song about lubrication nowadays and some of the scenes were just a little creepy - people coming out of walls and coming out of body suits. But I was told that ‘The Wiz’ was sort of social commentary and an attempt to provide a space for the representation of people of color in mainstream entertainment, which we wholeheartedly are behind. In fact, just for reference, 40 years later, according to most recent “Diversity Report” conducted by UCLA, minorities comprise only 17% of lead actors, 18% of directors and 12% of film writers which isn’t enough progress considering the demographics of our country and the progression we should have made (which is why the next couple of film ideas we have in mind have minority leads). However, demographics and social commentary aside, if I’m just judging the film as a stand alone piece of art, I would say 5 out of 11 unicorn horns.
I would say 4, so can we meet in the middle and say 4.5 out of 11?
Sure, actually it didn’t fare well by critic’s reviews and I think we’re in the same camp and not far off. I’m glad I can say I watched it and I love that we watched it with our friends who loved it and made it more fun with all their comments and singing, but I just don’t think it’ll be a film I watch again
Yeah, and well, I’m not a big fan of musicals in general and so I’m most definitely not going to watch this again, once was enough
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Brought to you By
“Today’s show has been brought to you by the word ‘’PERSPECTIVE.” Sometimes we forget that what we see or perceive isn’t really validated by truth. Sometimes we forget that our natural bent is to process what we see and hope for in terms of reference points. And sometimes we forget that we have an enemy that wants to jack with our perceptions of others and ourselves. May the veils fall today...may you find clarity, peace, and a sense of hope as you realize that how you’ve been seeing and perceiving things (and yourself) has been skewed. May you find confidence in your position as a Chosen Daughter and Son and may that position change everything about your perspective. May you have eyes to see clearly and may you find joy in knowing your worth.
“Until next week...keep embracing the mystery, asking questions, and giving yourself permission to enjoy the process. And watch out for those freakin’ unicorns...they’re glitzy and shimmery and full of crap!” ;)
Easter Egg? - in the edit ;)