Take the course for FREE – https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being
We all want more happiness. But what if our brains lie to us about how to get there? Psychologist Dr. Laurie Santos, whose Yale course “Psychology and the Good Life,” is the most popular class ever offered in the history of the university, illuminates what science says about what makes us happy and also how to put effective happiness strategies into practice.
But not everyone can enroll in Santos’ class at Yale or has the time to take the online equivalent on Coursera. In Season One of THE HAPPINESS LAB, Dr. Laurie Santos explores startling truths and explodes myths about what makes us happy in ten exhilarating and informative episodes. Examining questions such as, Will a new job or relationship make us happy? Are we happier when we have unlimited choice? How can we harness technology to improve our well-being? Through surprising interviews with the likes of David Byrne, Michelle Kwan and Michael Phelps’s coach, along with in-depth storytelling and the science to back it up, Santos explores how our minds lie to us about our feelings of contentment and teach listeners how to find more effective ways to become happier.
FUN FACT: Did you know that according to Nielsen, the average American adult now spends 11 hours per day interacting with media? – https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2018/time-flies-us-adults-now-spend-nearly-half-a-day-interacting-with-media
NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Always missing people that I shouldn’t be missing. Sometimes you gotta burn some bridges just to create some distance.” – Gnash (Chart-topping songwriter and singer of the song, “I Hate U, I Love U.”)
FUN FACT: While writing / editing this book on October 12th of 2019 I have personally missed 11 calls, 40 emails, 34 Facebook updates, 27 text messages and haven’t even looked at Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube, or Instagram.
FUN FACT – Inc. Magazine was correct when they wrote, “It Takes 23 Minutes to Recover From a Distraction at Work”,
NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “I’ve never carried an iPhone.” – Paul Graham (The founder of Viaweb which was later sold to Yahoo! For $49.6 million and was renamed Yahoo! Store. Paul is also the man who founded the entrepreneurial incubator known as Y Cominator which has now invested in over 1,300 startups including Dropbox.com, Airbnb, Reddit and Stripe.
Take the course for FREE – https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being
Andrew, did you attend Yale? I did not. I also did not attend a Yale university. I probably couldn’t get in. I know I couldn’t get in. I had to take my act three times to get into college one today’s show, we’re interviewing a Yale professor who has made the most popular course in the history of Yale. The whole history [inaudible] been around for 300 years and this woman has created the most popular course in the history of Yale and his music kind of sounds like kale. Come on. Why would they cut the music habit that I had the whole Yale vibe going? It felt kind of Regal. All right. Now with any further ado, back to our interview with today’s guest, Dr. Laurie Santos, who joins us to share about psychology and the good life.
Yes, yes, yes and yes. Thrive nation. I am Oh, excited
about today’s show. Z. I mean this sincerely. There’s a lot of shows where I get excited, I get, I get, I get fired up and you know that. I do know that. But there’s, I would say probably once a month, I will say something like, this is going to be my favorite show this year. Once a month I make that statement, do I not? Yeah. It’s kind of like your cycle there right now. Just once a month you’re banned. This is it. And especially when you get to the confluence of what’s going to happen here. But right now, this Yale university, listen to this, Dr. Laurie Santos. Okay. She’s a smart person. She’s a doctor. Okay. She’s a Yale professor now, you know, Z, I took my act three times so I can’t, I couldn’t get into Yale or Harvard. So what I do is I buy the case studies put out by the Harvard business review and I read them, I buy them for seven bucks and I read them like seven times.
So I can figure out what the first chapter is about. Amen. And I can’t go to yell courses cause I have standards and ethics and you know, things like that. Well this lady, listen, this lady right here, this woman, this incredible person, she is going to tell us about the most popular course in the history of Yale. Dr. Laurie Santos, welcome onto the show. How are you? I’m great. Thanks for having me on the show. Hey, I don’t want to a paint you into a corner by asking a specific question about this, but roughly how long has Yale been around, just to give the listener some context because Yale’s doing well and, uh, you’ve been leading the most popular course at Yale. How long has Yale been around? I think it’s 317 years. And could you share with us maybe some notable people that graduated from Yale that maybe our listeners would know? Because again, not everybody listening to this show knows a whole lot about Yale.
Yeah, well, you know George Bush, John Kerry, you know, like half of presidents and many of the Supreme court justices, you know, it’s been around for a while. It’s done pretty well
in the number one course in the history of Yale psychology and the good life. Why do you think your class has taken off like it has?
Yeah, well I think, you know, students on campus are not as happy as I remember being when I was in college. You know, we’re dealing with this so-called mental health crisis where students are just stressed and anxious and depressed, um, and much more so than they have been in a long time. In fact, things like rates of depression have doubled just in the last 10 years. And so I think students are just looking for, you know, a way to feel less stressed and they like this idea of having a kind of scientific approach to what would make them happy. I think that’s what drew them to the course.
Now you would be happy as a professor, I might get a passing grade from you because I did a bunch of research to get prepared for the show here. Slurry. I’m going to read you some fun facts that I have found and if you don’t like my facts or you want to refute them. And maybe you said these aren’t facts, these are just your opinion, but I have found, according to psychology today, the average American is being interrupted on their smartphone 85 times a day. Does that sound accurate to you? Do you think
that sounds, that sounds pretty high, but I bet that’s accurate.
And Nielsen now reports the average American, and I’m going to put links to all this. So Andrew, let’s make sure you put this on the show notes that the average American now spends 11 hours per day interacting with their media or their social media or their text messages and much of that is not a positive thing. Um, does that sound real?
That sounds, that sounds correct. We’re just like interacting with technology and not other humans much more than we ever have been.
So in a world where, um, people are interrupted 85 times a day where people were spending 11 hours a day on their media, where people are last year, the last two years, for the first time in American history, the life it’s the life expectancy of humans has gone down due to suicide. Uh, that one I did not know. So in a world where people are getting more depressed, the more time they spend on their phone, the more time you spend on the phone, the more depressed you are. In a world where this is happening, what kind of things do you teach in your class and how do you help your students become happier?
Yeah. Well, the main thing we teach in the class is just this idea that our minds lie to us about the kinds of things that make us happy. In other words, we had these intuitions about, you know, if we’re not in a good mood, here are things I could do to feel better. But by and large, those intuitions tend to be kind of off. You know, we think when we’re not having a great day, like Oh all plopped down and you know, watch some TV or I’ll, I’ll scroll through my Instagram feed and so on. But it turns out that those intuitions are leading us astray. They’re causing us to do behaviors that are systematically going to lead us away from happiness. And we’re doing that in some ways at an opportunity cost of the kinds of things that could make us happy. You’re taking time to be a little bit more social, taking time to kind of count your blessings. Even healthy practices like exercise and sleep are kind of going away in the modern in part because we don’t realize how important they are for our mental health.
You know, uh, Nash a, G, N, a, S. H, he wrote a song called I hate you, I love you, which I was listening to in preparation for the today show. And he says, he says, he says, I’m always missing people that I shouldn’t be missing referring to this thing where people go on social media and they look at people they no longer talk to and they kind of compare lives and that kind of thing. Is that a bad thing we shouldn’t be doing? Should we not be going on social media when we’re depressed and comparing our life to somebody else?
Yeah. Well there are hints that, you know, especially when you’re kind of not in a great state going on, social media isn’t going to necessarily bump up your happiness. Um, either there’s, there’s suggestions that, you know, depression and things like that are correlated with the amount of time we spend on social media. And there’s been a few studies that kind of force people to go on social media for different amounts of times and you find that they tend to feel kind of more depressed afterwards. And I think it’s especially bad for people who are prone to kind of social comparison. So if you’re the kind of person that, you know, if you see somebody’s vacation photos, they’re gonna make you feel bad about yourself and you’re a specialist, susceptible to kind of a negative effects of social media.
Now, dr Laurie, yesterday as a, as a case study for you here, I decided I was going to turn my phone off yesterday and track how many messages that I would miss, how many messages I would miss between Sunday morning at four in the morning when I woke up through Sunday night at 10 just so I could give you stats. So here they are. I missed 34 Facebook updates, 40 emails, 11 calls, 27 text messages. Now the one thing about the 40 emails is that’s kind of misleading because one particular woman emailed me 16 times according to Jonathan. Um, so actually it would be 56 or 55, but I’m just kidding that as one, cause it was the same thread over and over and over. So if I’m out there going, I’m in that doom loop where I’m getting emails, texts, Facebook interruptions, and I’m just constantly frustrated. I’m somehow depressed. I’m being less happy than I was when you went to college, kind of, I was to peek into your class, pretend that we are attending your course. Um, what kind of tips would you give us to become happier humans?
Well, what would be to try to do all that social interaction that you have over texts and over phones in real life? I’m one of the clearest pieces of evidence we have about what makes people happy comes from social connection. Uh, every available survey of happy people suggest that they’re more social, they hang out with more people in real life. And that’s both friends and family members, but also just kind of, you know, random strangers. Just sort of making connections with the people around you seems to matter. So that would be kind of one of the biggest, one of the biggest things. Um, the second would be to find ways to be more mindful. You know, another problem with technology is that it’s stealing our attention all the time. And you could be kind of savoring a good moment, you know, enjoying a nice cup of coffee or a dessert or something. And then being, you know, your phone kind of drags you away, it drags your attention away. And so another tip we talked about in the class a lot is to take more time to be mindful, you know, do exactly what you did, you know, shut those alerts off so you can pay attention to the things in real life that are enjoyable and that you’re really kind of able to her if you could pay attention.
This is crazy. Ink magazine had a stat that showed up, and I’m putting this on the show notes here, inc magazine says that when you get an interruption via text on your phone, it takes you 23 minutes to regain your thought.
[inaudible] and the most amazing thing, just like with this idea of our minds lying to us, is we don’t notice it, right? You know, like this pin comes and you look at it and you think you’re focusing back on your test. But that’s just not the way human attention works. It takes us a while to get back mindfully attending to what we were paying attention to before. And again, if you know just your number is on a Sunday afternoon and like just probably not, you know, like maximum time for you to be getting these texts and emails, right? Like, you know, that’s a lot like that’s so many things that are stealing our attention away from life in the moment, which is the thing that makes us happier.
Now Charles Cola is in the studio right now. He’s a Charles. How tall are you? A six foot four. How much do you weigh? A two 55 what’s your body fat percentage? About seven. He’s a massive, massive man. Dr. Laurie Santos, we worry about him. Very strong guy and his wife’s with him on the show. They built the business together. Cola, fitness. It’s a multimillion dollar a gym. And Charles, you had a hot take or a question for Lori before dr Z begins the interrogation. Dr. Laurie Santos. Well, dr Laurie clay has been our business coach for a couple of years and that was one of the first things he did was basically make me shut my phone off all day long. And I tell you, it was one of the best things. Like I was like, are you kidding me? There’s no way I can run a businesses in multiple States and run all the hair.
Remember this? And it was like super overwhelming. He’s like, no, remember this, just do what I tell you. And I, and I shut that thing off, shut it down, shut it down, shut, shut it down and funky tail all day long. And within like three days, I was like, I am not chewing my nails. I’m not, I’m happier. I’m having better relationships with my wife and my kids. So it was, it was honestly, and I wasn’t, he helped me with other systems and stuff, but it was running more efficient, better, and I wasn’t like held hostage emotionally with business. What advice would you have for somebody who’s in your class who realizes that they need to detach from things that don’t matter like Charles did? What, um, advice do you give your students if they’ve recognized they’re in the doom loop of, of unhappiness, what would be maybe step one to making somebody more happy?
Well, I think, you know, step one on the technology thing is try some baby steps for disconnecting. You know, one of the quick solutions I give students, you know, they’re on social media, Instagram and Snapchat and things all the time. I say, just take the apps off your phone. You know, you could still log on with your laptop or something like that, but it takes you, you know, a couple extra steps. You’re just not doing it automatically. And it turns out that even that can pull you away from the sorts of social media that’s making you less mindful. You know, it’s like just like start with baby steps and then try to be mindful and notice like I love this example of, you know, at first you’re thinking like, this is going to be awful, but then a few days in you’re noticing like not biting my nails. Like I’m much more mindful. I’m present with my family. Like if we can start noticing the differences that our behaviors make for us, that can make a difference in terms of whether or not we’re going to stick with them in the future.
No. Z. You are a 54 year old. Beautiful man. Just a beautiful man. Just turned 55 55 really? You just did well every year. Apparently I get a year older. Know what happened. So the thing is you’re, you’re a 55 year old guy, you own multiple businesses. Dr Laura, he uh, he’s invested in a bank and he has an auto auction and he has the largest optometry clinic in Oklahoma. You don’t want me to say I’m just giving context. So you have a lot going on and Z you have helped teach me about, Hey, you just turned your phone off. You just keep the people the old phone in the old car, put it in the old, keep the phone and the, I remember you telling me one time you said something like we were doing a man camp thing. It was just, it was a little thing you said, but it’s just a little thing and it helped me, but you’re like, I give you permission or whatever you need to hear to just keep your phone in your car or whatever.
That is just, and that like totally fixed my marriage, like huge, but it was like I gave you permission. You shouldn’t charge you for that. I know you said just as it may have sent you a bill. I don’t know. I was like, you see what thousands of customers, people are always upset. I’m sure you always have one upset customer. How do you deal with it? And you said, I give you permission or whatever you need to hear to put the phone in your car. And I’m like, sure. I’m writing that down. So what questions would you have for dr Lori? Because you are living the life that she is teaching our students to live. You are, you have self actualized, you live the good life. You travel. You have thousands and thousands of sites. I a particular class that she didn’t even know that millions of customers. I was that dude. I was that dude at the bag that you kept going. Is that guy, is he in my class? Who is that climbing? Who’s in the back? Climbing underneath all the desks.
Oh, dr [inaudible]. You know, sometimes I see these young people and you talk to them about their, their phones specifically because their phones lead to the apps which lead to so many interruptions. And there’s a part of me that almost feels like, and now you’ve been around this, you teach this, this is a everyday thing for you, that there’s an addictive component to it. And whenever you get to a addictions, dealing with those and trying to help people get over addictions, whatever, they’re addicted.
We’ve got a little addiction. Hey, real quick, I’m sorry I couldn’t hear you. I was on YouTube. YouTube.
Oh, there you go. So that’s what I’m saying. So how do you do, do you feel that that can be a a thing? And so how do you have kids deal with that?
Yeah, well addiction. I mean the scientists have these very, very specific definitions of addiction. And I think in some cases, you know, some people fall prey to it. Not everyone does, but definitely everybody with their phones has something else that can be really problematic, which is a bad habit, you know? And the thing about habits is like you don’t have to think about them, they just kind of crop up. You know, it’s like brushing your teeth, like you know, brush your teeth everyday. You don’t have to think about and make a decision, should I brush my teeth or not? It just happens and I think even more so than addiction, what happens is our phones are good at, we’re kind of hacking our habit loop, right? They become habits in our life so that you know, when you wake up in the morning, you have the habit of checking your phone or you know, as soon as you finish an interview, maybe you have the habit of checking your email and so on. And these habits just lead our behaviors astray. It means we’re not paying attention half the time and it’s like dragging our behavior in one direction.
Lori, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. You were telling me something and I couldn’t hear it because I was going on Facebook and YouTube and Snapchat and emo and Skype and LinkedIn and Viber all at the same time. Do you see this in your class, Lori? Do you see this in your class when you’re teaching this to your people in your class? Do they do this kind of crap to you sometimes ever. Where they actually in your class as you’re teaching about disconnecting, do people in your class do that kind of crap? I’m so sorry that I rudely interrupted you. I just wanted to demonstrate the jacket.
People in my class, you know, it’s me too. Right? You know, sometimes when I’m giving these lectures, I’ll be up there talking about this stuff. You know, I often have my phone now, it’s often my clock in this big concert hall where I teach and it will be like, Hey, you know, I have it on vibrate, but I can still see it vibrate. And even when I’m teaching the class, it’s hard for me not to do it. And that makes sense, right? It’s just part of our human nature to, to turn these things into habits to, to allow them to like, feel really rewarding to us. So it’s hard to let go.
Um, Paul Graham, who is one of the, uh, he’s the guy behind Dropbox and Airbnb and Reddit. But before that, you know, he beat the bill. He built a via web, which he sold to Yahoo, essentially the first online shopping cart Z. This guy sold it to Yahoo for 49 point $6 million. And I’m putting this on the show notes, but he was explaining to a group of tech people at a conference and he tweeted it out to, to clarify what he meant is he said, I’ve never carried an iPhone. And they asked, what do you mean you’re the guy who’s inventing Dropbox, Airbnb, Reddit, and the first online shopping cart. I mean you, and uh, he sent out a link to an article which all of our listeners can find right now, which is in the guardian.com and it says, our minds can be hijacked. The tech insiders who fear a smartphone, dystopia. And it pointed out that the head key people at Google, Twitter, and Facebook, the people who made the technology intentionally made it addictive, which is why they don’t use smart phones. So the heads
and they don’t let their kids use smart phones either or they won’t let their kids use the apps that they’ve created.
Yes. And we interviewed the gentleman who, um, wrote the book. Um, Oh it’s, I’m such a horrible person. It’s a yellow covered book and it’s called not how to break up with your phone. Oh no, I probably should read that one. It is one. It’s the one, Oh man, it’s, it’ll come to me in a minute. But we near ill near. I always named near her. I like her. I like her title better. I mean I go, Hey phone, I got some news for you. Hooked is what it’s called. Hooked some news for your phone that was very romantic of you. It’s called hooked and hooked explains in the book that these people have actually coded out websites to make it addictive. So when you go to a casino and I think the meaning, I don’t need anything that someone thought about that is dog. It’s a thing. It’s a thing. So dr Laurie, I want to attend your class, but can anyone get in your class? Do you have to pay to go to your class? Can people who are out there listening, can they, uh, can they buy your book? How can people learn more about these things you’re teaching because we all want to go to your class.
Yeah. Well there’s two ways you can do it. One is you actually can take the class online for free. Um, we’ve put it online on coursera.org. It’s called the science of wellbeing, so you can plop on there and take it a full year class for free. What was that website again? It’s a coursera.org like CRA, Coursera, and it’s called the science of wellbeing. But, but more relevant since all of your folks are listening, like on the radio is that we’ve also turned the class into a podcast because we’re finding that, you know, people learn stuff with audio who knew? Right. And so we just started a new podcast called the happiness lab, which teaches everything that we cover in the class. But in podcast form,
I have never been to Yale, uh, again, cause they have standards and class and these sorts of things. But could you share with us your career leading up to Yale? Like how did you get to be a professor at Yale? Did you, uh, you know, did you, did you did see, did she go to like a course? Did you lose a bad, did you lose a bet? Did you win a bed? Did you, high fives, the right person? How did you walk us through your path before being a Yale professor? How you became a Yale professor?
Yeah. Yeah. So I actually grew up in a very working class neighborhood, went to a big public high school. Um, wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, but was smart. You know, I was the nerdy kid who got good grades, you know, at the big high school. Um, and so I applied to a bunch of schools, wound up getting the most financial aid from Harvard, um, as one does. Uh, and so I ended up going to Harvard and I was completely clueless when I went there. I was not the kind of, I didn’t grow up in a town where people went to Ivy league schools. So I kinda, you know, took my licks, sort of figuring it all out. Um, but that was where I ended up starting to do some research. You know, that schools like Harvard, like you can work in people’s labs and you can learn about what research and psychology is like.
And I started pretty early. I needed a job kind of to, you know, help pay for books and stuff. And so I started pretty early on working in a lab and that was kind of where I learned like, Oh, this is so cool. Like, you know, it feels like psychology, you know, you think of it as like, you know, Freud and throw you on the couch. But actually researchers are studying these big questions about, you know, how do we make decisions? You know, how did these apps steal our attention? Like, you know, how, how do we understand what it means for humans to be special and what makes us unique? And so started early on doing some research and kind of liked it. And next step that made sense was to kind of go off on and, you know, do some graduate work in that and kind of did that. And you know, I guess the rest is history.
Now. A new Haven is the home of Yale, I believe. New Haven. Um, can you describe what it’s like to be on the campus? Is it, uh, does it, does it, is it feel like, I mean, do, does it feel kind of Regal and sorta like we, Hey, we are, we are important. We are future presidents here. I mean, does it feel like that or does it feel like an episode of Billy Madison? Does it feel like you’re watching Billy Madison? Does it feel like you’re dead poet’s society? What does it feel like?
It honestly, it feels like Hogwarts, that’s what the students compare it to. You know, it looks like we’re just stepping out of Harry Potter, you know, get these old kind of buildings. Um, you know, these big sorts of spaces. There’s no magic. But I think, you know, students on campus with these kind of oldish looking kind of brick buildings, um, you know, that’s kinda the way people think of it here.
Now, as a, as a professor, um, what does it feel like to know that you have the most popular class in the history of a school that is 300 and you said 81 years old. 17 and 17 years old. 73 73 73 77 my, what does it like to have the most popular class in the history of a school? It’s been around for 4,007 years.
It’s humbling. It’s, it’s really humbling and kind of shocking and a little bit surreal. But I mean, I think it, you know, it speaks to the content of the class that these students really want some answers about what they can do better. I think, you know, if I, it’s not me, it’s the content of the class that kind of drew them in. And I think, you know, they really want to be happier. They’re looking for a scientific approach to do that.
I mean if some semester the class overfills or you cage fight to find out who comes in. I mean what do they, what are the kids, do they Indian leg wrestle in the hallway? I mean, what, what’s the, what’s the move? I mean you only fit so many in, right? I mean,
well would, that was kind of what happened was that uh, you know, the university realized there was such demand and, and they said, you know, we don’t want to cap this class. We want to let everyone in that can, they wants to take it. And so we at first started teaching the class in a big chapel on campus cause that’s the only spot where we fit. And then we, uh, kind of, Oh go way past the size of the chapel. And we ended up teaching the class in the concert hall. Everyone joked that if we got any bigger, we’d end up teaching it in the football stadium. But luckily we didn’t get that big,
well maybe you will after this podcast. I mean, let’s just drive everybody to, it really just kind of shoots your numbers out there real quick. Laurie, I want to ask you this. What’s going on with your football team? Do people actually go to the game?
I go to the Harvard. The Harvard Yale game is a big [inaudible].
Well, how many people go to the average Yale football game? I just want to know. Seven
we have, there’s like a lot of these die hard fans and who do the tailgate. I think there are much more, many more people with the tailgate. Yeah.
Give me an approximate year. I know you’re one of the smartest people we’ve ever interviewed. So you have to tell what’s an approximate number of people do you think are at that stadium?
Mm. You know, maybe like a thousand of the diehard fans will show up now on a good game.
So you, so you, you, by the way, have you, what’s the biggest, what’s the largest number of people you’ve spoken in front of about this, this, uh, happiness of course.
Well, we get, you know, upwards of a thousand or 2000 people, you know, in a single audience. But you know, the amazing thing is we put the class online. We now have 400,000 learners taking the class. So online it’s, you know, a ton of people are learning the content.
I was, I was so cool. I was Googling her and I found out that, you know, you’ve been featured in the New York times, um, a lot. A lot of big publications. Do you think your hair has anything to do with it? I mean the hair just great hair. Is it the hair and hair?
Thank you. Thank you. What’s funny is when you put yourself out there, especially as a woman, you get lots of negative comments and one in addition to my voice sucks and my voice is really terrible. I often get just like emails from people and be like, your hair sucks.
Oh no, let’s do DOD. That’s not gender specific. It’s, I love this. I’ve got a really hard hitting serious question for you. Yeah. So when Harvard plays Yale, who are you cheering for? Doctor? First off, do you even know that the game is going on? That’s the question. [inaudible] at the school, undergrad at Harvard, do they even dimension a fair question? Are you wearing blue? Are you wearing burgundy?
Uh, these days I’m wearing blue and it’s mostly cause I’m a head of college now so I’m, I’m like a dead mother student. So yeah, they pay me
whose side you do butters or bread.
Nice. Now Charles Cola, do you have any questions or Amber? Amber, do you have a question for ms Lori? Because again, you are living the life that she’s describing here. Um, by intention. You guys are very intentional as a couple and you’re a make your life better every year. Do you have any questions, uh, on behalf of the listeners because you’ve gone through this path? Amber, I mean, you’ve actually done this, this, we’ve gone through the process of optimizing your schedule. Do you have any questions for Dr. Laurie Santos?
Oh gosh. We could be on here all day. I would have a lot of questions for her between raising three teenagers through smart phones. Um, you know, Laurie’s way smarter than me. I have
advice. Would you have for, I see this. This is okay. This is an example. I just saw this, uh, this year and I will pull it up real quick. Let me pull up the articles. So Z, I’m not gonna mention who it is. I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna never do that, but this is a very serious one. Let me see. Or this would be a, um, um, we, there was one of my clients, his, uh, daughter, um, and it’s all came out in the news, very, very bad thing. But, uh, um, she had a friend come over to her house and she was getting ready for school and her friend took God naked photos of her. When she did, she didn’t know her friend her. She was getting ready and she didn’t know. And so her friend posted these on, um, uh, Google and this is the friend the friend texted and said, Hey, send this to 10 people at sea.
The whole school can find out before school starts or something like that. And it went out to, um, a ton of people. Oh. And this person came to school to discover that every single person had seen her naked. Oh, that’s just horrible. And so horrible situation. And, um, I thought, man, that’s unusual. He was sharing this story with somebody. And then at the conference a couple of back, another guy came up to me and said it happened to his kid too. Um, what advice would you have for someone who’s living a, just an absolute digital dystopia due to some people ripping on them online? You mentioned people not liking your hair, you know what I mean? How do you process that? What advice would you have?
Yeah, it’s really awful. I mean I think, you know, parents can set the tone with, you know, how they talk about like using media and stuff like that. I mean, I think one thing is just like, I think, you know, these kinds of tools can be used badly. If I was a parent, I would hold off as long as possible for and kids these phones and so on and then really talk to them about the kinds of things they can be used for. Um, another thing you can do is to try to like reach out across the line and not do it over digital, but do it in real life. You know what I mean? I think one of the consequences that we see as such like polarization on Twitter and on social media and things like, people don’t realize there are real people behind it.
And you’re like, I was saying, you know, people email me like you have stupid hair. Sometimes I’ll write them back and be like, Oh, you know, I’m so sorry. Like, you know, thank you. And then they’re like, Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t think anybody would ever read that email. You know, it’s like, I didn’t really think there was a person behind these kinds of mean tweets or these mean Facebook posts. And so I think, you know, the more we can do to like connect with other people in real life, we can start to overcome some of the anonymity and the kinds of bad stuff that we get from doing everything online.
You know, clay, we’ve got a rule in our house with, you know, we’ve got, right now they’re a little older, 22, 19 and 13, but a rule in our houses, um, the kids aren’t allowed to post on social media anything about our family without the approval of that other person. So we don’t deal with that issue. Like an older brother teasing a younger sister making fun of each other.
Yes. He Z he has a rule and the rule is you just don’t talk about people that aren’t present, you know, but I’m just showing you the story so you could see this. Yeah. But it’s, I mean, um, I think a lot of people digitally talk about people that aren’t present. I think that’s a move when people go on social media. It’s a good move, but it’s a move people do. It is a move and it’s just a, there’s this whole, the smart phone where it’s taking people the way that you can have these conversations and not have conversations. You can make comments that you can have high one read truth about working. I know it just, it just, it just wears one out, you know, and you know that there’s nothing really healthy about it. And you see that, right? Dr. Laurie Santos, you see that I made it becomes in your class because they know that mental illness, a spiking is on its way up. We know that people are unhappier now than they’ve ever been. We know these things and yet it all draws back to the, out to the old way of doing things doesn’t it? It always goes back to having relationships and spending time with people you like and building, you know, good deep, solid relationships. I uh, I’m sure you probably integrate this in your class, but the Harvard study that’s followed all those grown men now for all these, what, 80 some odd years, a hundred years, something, you know, are you familiar with this study I’m talking about?
Yeah, totally. It started in the 1930s and forties and then they’ve been tracking people since then, you know, so they’re a cohort that started, you know, when they were in college, are now in their eighties and nineties. And what’s cool about this study is they look at all these different things about these people’s lives. You know, how much money they made and so on. And they have the, the study was super interesting cause it had a whole gamut of people like John F. Kennedy was one of the original subjects in the study, right? So it’s like they had like the presidents, you know, to people who were low income and all this stuff. And what they find is that, you know, what makes people happy is social connection. It’s like their networks and their connections with other people.
And that’s not, it’s, that’s not being an Instagram friend may make cause you know, kids to this make go
those kinds of connections. Right? It’s like people’s actual social networks of the people they can call upon, you know, if they’re having a bad day and need some support. Um, but the more amazing thing is it’s not just, it doesn’t just affect people’s happiness levels. It affects people’s health. So whether you get diabetes, whether you get cancer, whether you have immune dysfunction like that is related to how much social connection you have, such that people who are more connected are healthier, they live longer, which is crazy. Um, and we’re, you know, kind of in some ways giving that up on our own accord. You know, like we’re the ones who choose to like scroll our Instagram feed rather than calling a friend or for, you know, a drink or something. And so like in some ways we’re giving this up willingly, which is really disturbing.
It is. It’s almost like you’re back in the, I’m not sure exactly what decade and cigarette smoking is just exploding and you’re looking at everybody going, this isn’t good. This is not good. The studies show that this is not heading in the right direction, put down that thing called a cigarette. And yet people just, you know, now that it took a lotta, a lot of damage, a lotta lawsuits. I mean, a lot of stuff that’s gone on to where, you know, I mean, I know it’s just in smoking is bad. I know it’s good. You know, it’s got up and down. I mean the social persona of it though. You know, sometimes I cough my throat, hold on Mike, my stove. I feel like we’re in the early days of the tobacco companies. You, it’s kinda like this is, this is not going in the right direction. This is not good. And so I want to
the show by praising our guest here because you said somebody ripped on your hair. So I have five positive things I’d like to say about you that are true and you can just take it. You can’t stop me. Here we go. One youth got phenomenal hair. She does phenomenal hair. And if the listeners will Google Google Dr. Laurie Santos and to look for a Chartwell speakers there you can see the hedge. Great, great hair. Secondly, you got the most viewed class of all time at Harvard. The most attended class. Get yelled at Yale. Sorry. That’s awesome. He’s closed. Three, you spent your time studying something that makes a lot of other people happy. So you didn’t study like the keys to making dr Lori, you know, look better, make more money quickly. Rich quick at Yale university for is you, you are honest about the number of people attending the Yale games because a lot of times I can’t get a straight answer out of people who can’t get a straight answer and five the fact that he was like put your course for free for people to consume or to have or to make available. Um, I just the whole thing. Yes, yes, yes. Well done. Holy crap.
Holy cow. I can’t believe it. Mega points everywhere. I want to talk into a ceiling fan about how much I love today’s interview. Z. I can’t handle it. So it’s so
good. It is so good. And the fact about it that saving grace is that now you know, you can
actually access her class and not have to get rejected by yet another university is, is excited, sir. You have a 19 on your act. You can’t take the class. You have taken a 42 times saying I can now, but you’re no, ICT is no Yale tuition. You know, it’s a pretty sweet deal. That’s the greatest deal ever. You are a great American and I’m going to really kind of grow out my hair up my hair game to see if I can compete with you for our next interview. Fantastic. I look forward to it. All right. Well you take care. Thanks so much for being on the show. Thank you. See ya. Thank you Laurie. Bye. Now without any further. Ed, do.