About the episode
Techless CEO, Chris Kaspar chats with Dr. Cassie Reid on how technology influences, how wealth influences technology and the mental health impacts on us all.
Thanks for joining us for another Techless Talk, where we explore how consumer technology shapes our relationships, health and culture. Here's your host Techless Founder, Chris Kaspar.
Chris Kaspar 0:18
Hey, everyone, welcome to another Techless Talk. I'm so excited about our guest today we have Dr. Cassie Lee, we had a conversation about a month ago or so on the phone, just talking about mental health technology and her practice. And it was electric. I mean, we just I could have talked for two hours. But she's super busy. But anyways, we're gonna dive into some really interesting conversations today. So we were talking about wealth, really the dark side of wealth and how technology has helped influence that and unpack that we're also going to unpack zoom counseling. She is at a very interesting intersection of, you know, technology and zoom, and she advises counselors. And so there's a lot here. Buckle up, we're ready for action. And thank you so much for being here. We're so glad to have you.
Dr. Cassie Reid 1:04
Oh, I'm so honored to be here. Thanks for having me.
Chris Kaspar 1:07
Yeah. Okay. So let's dive in. First, before we get started, tell us a little bit about your practice. So that we have some context and people can understand what I understand about just how prolific you know, your practices in your experience base.
Dr. Cassie Reid 1:17
No, sure I am, I have a private practice. So I've had it for about 11 years. And it's been interesting how the clientele has evolved. I'm in a pretty high net worth area here in Texas. And so I've just gradually seen more professional athletes and more high net worth people, which is kind of how our conversation led that way and worked with really intelligent individuals, which has been so fun. I work with some ER doctors here in the Metroplex, and things like that. So, and as I was growing my practice, I was asked to come on staff and develop a master's program at the King's University and South Lake, Texas. And so it's a seminary. But it's been amazing. So we started a master's program from zero, which I was tasked with. And it's been amazing. So we have about 70 students now. And we're graduated our fifth class. It's just been neat. So all those therapists now are out-
Chris Kaspar 2:03
That's like ground up entrepreneurship, that's my world to start a master's program.
Dr. Cassie Reid 2:07
It was so fun, and so unexpected, but it's been so rewarding, I'm sure as you know, is seeing people fly and succeed and do their dreams. It's that's what I get to do every day. It's amazing.
Chris Kaspar 2:17
Cool. So side note I have on my bucket list is literally written down ever written bucket list, and I want to start a master's program someday. This is like my retirement. Yeah, I'm never gonna retire. But I want to do it related to art for probably some of the same reasons that you're doing it. But there's just so much opportunity to help influence and affect culture, which is what I'm passionate about. So anyways, it's cool. I'll have to call you up and like, know, 20 years from now
Dr. Cassie Reid 2:43
It maybe sooner than you think I hear so many people talking about creative creativity, and how that needs to be recaptured. Like we need to take that back over. And there's so many creatives who are amazing, amazing. I love it.
Chris Kaspar 2:54
Awesome. Awesome. So thanks for being here. Thanks for sharing your expertise, your time, I'm really excited to dive in. So one of the questions to really kick off our conversation. One of the things that surprised me most when we were first making Wisephone, I'm a big market research guy. So I know you are research. I mean, you've read your share of research papers. But I just wanted this to be not some willy nilly design thing. I'm kind of the product, the vision behind the product. And so did a lot of market research, understanding who we're serving, what their pain points are, you know, fairly exhaustive. And we did a paid survey with 2000 people. And one of the things that totally was unexpected, and jumped out to me is that there was a direct correlation with the people that were interested in buying Wisephone and their income. So people at the poverty level had no interest in Wisephone. They didn't care, they were confused. Why would you even make a product like this? Because the phone is of such great value? It's fairly inexpensive. And what it does, it does a lot. And basically, when you hit the 100k mark, it was like 100% bond. Yeah, everybody knew what what what this was about. They understood it. And so I want to pull on that thread a little bit. Okay, I want to get your before I speak my own theory into why this was unpack why do you think that people have the upper end of the you know, because you're working with high net worth individuals, why people at the upper end of the income spectrum, or more interested in sort of this digital minimalism and the whole nine yards here?
Dr. Cassie Reid 4:22
Well, I think it's the thing that takes over I joke sometimes that maybe this is a really bold statement to start, but it's it can be a mistress, you know, in a relationship, or it's just so powerful people in typically people of high net worth, have started something or they're doing something significant in the workplace that then puts demands on their time. And so I think the draw is how do I set a boundary with technology in a way that one doesn't make my work suffer, but also allows me to have a quality of life and I think people are really reevaluating that even high net worth clients that I see it's like, is money worth time now? Much as my time worth, and the phone is taking that a lot of technology takes that from us.
Chris Kaspar 5:05
Yeah, yeah. And so the whole mistress thing, I think I read a poem the other day of a guy who said, I was in an affair, and I confessed, and he was in an affair with his phone. Because it was just sucking so much more of his life than he was spending time with his wife. And so he broke up with broke off the affair. It is kind of bold, but at the same time, if you look at what's important to us in life, and where are we spending our hours? I think that's a trend that's emerged. Yeah, that makes that makes perfect sense. I want to try to draw this in. Okay. So what you've just impacted kind of broad, general realizations that people know, but you work with high net worth individuals. So I would love to know, the dark. I mean, people when they say, I really want this minimalist phone, what they're really doing is they're running away from something that's not good in their life. And so would you mind uncovering the curtain because not all of us get to sit down and talk with millionaires every day, and people with private jets? I would love to sit down with Jeff Bezos and ask him for perspective on what's important in life. And but what's the dark side of this? Why? What are they running away from when they're running towards Wisephone or digital minimalism?
Dr. Cassie Reid 6:16
Do you know what I find is that the whole Keeping Up with the Joneses, the Joneses, are awful people, and it's unattainable. You know, there's always someone with more. And I think for them, they realize that after a while, it's like you work and you do and you have, and then your neighbor has something else, or a lot of the people live in a certain community, you know, and they all live near each other, then oh, well, then look, your neighbor got the newer version of what you had. And I think they, they see that and I think the Running away is that I just want to be content, like is this pressure to do and be and have continually as take one I see this is a kind of a an interesting angle, but it's like it's taken them away from their family a lot of times, and I think their families end up somewhat in shambles. And they look at that, and they're like, Okay, what, what do I need to do? Like, this is what matters, I have all this stuff. When my kids are strung out, you know, on drugs, or are estranged from us, my partner and I are not connecting, there's been extramarital affairs, you know, all that things happen. And yeah, we've got the homes, we've got the stuff but the phone is the ticket, I think for them, or the technology is the ticket that's kept them connected to the keep going mentality to I have to Well, let me do this next thing, this next venture this next idea. And I think a lot of people also come to them for to use them. And I think sometimes when you cut off technology, people don't have access to you like that. And I think that's hard.
Chris Kaspar 7:43
So I'm trying to think of an analogy that helps connect the dots because you're right, it's like face to face like that represents their, the gateway to being used. It represents the gateway to all of the distraction and all of the things that have sucked them out of the things that matter the most. So it's the easiest way to just, it's the easiest, you know, it's kind of the Pareto principle you what's the easiest thing you can do to get 90 10% of effort? 90% results? Yes, like, if you just have this simple device, or you just make these clear boundaries around your technology. It tackles so many other problems, potentially, it's not the silver bullet necessarily to broken marriage. Yeah, but it's a good start.
Dr. Cassie Reid 8:22
Yeah, when you think about this, too, people are successful. So success becomes an addiction, to some, you know, it's like, I can go to work, I can be a CEO, I can be the boss of this major Fortune 50 company, I can do a thing like this, and airline or whatever they do, I can do this. And I can do it. Well, I'm respected, I'm loved. My staff all will listen, when I say whatever I say, or whoever, whether the staff be 10 people or a million people or whatever it looks like, but then you come home and you have no control. So what I find is a lot of people go back, it's like it's not like a drug that pulls them back. It's like well, I might as well go work because at least at work, I can manage I can control it. I can put it in tidy boxes where at home, I don't have that. So that's that's what I find to a lot of people...
Chris Kaspar 9:12
So I'm curious without breaking any client confidentiality,
Dr. Cassie Reid 9:14
I will not do that. So good. You can ask.
Chris Kaspar 9:16
I would love to know just some representative stories if you can share any I don't know if it's what your bounds are ethically, but to help give us some window into some insight like specific stories even like, Hey, here's a real life situation. Here's how tech is played into it. You're and they can be sad stories or, or you know, transition type of things. What comes to mind there.
Dr. Cassie Reid 9:39
Let's think I'm trying to think of who, like I've had I've had a lot I'm just thinking about, you know, just where I think a lot of people think I'm going to work from home. So let's use this because this is kind of a good analogy to even 2021 Now, we're going to work from home. So I set up this home office I have this situation going on, where I'm able to work from home. Now I've made some money, I've set up a nice home space. But then I think that takes away the boundary. So what I see are a lot of wives. And I don't like to be sexist in that way. But for predominantly, it's it's men that are in these higher level positions that I've seen. And the wives are like, we want you to spend time with us, the kids are home, I'm managing all the things, where are you, you're here at home, but you're not present. And I think that's what the technology represents is this presence, but not presence. And so I see a lot of kids who can't understand that, you know, especially younger kids who are like, dad or mom or home, but I can't get to them. And I think what that does is that caused a lot of resentment, it caused a lot of resentment on both parts, because you I resent that you don't respect that I have to work. And then you resent that I'm home, but I'm not home, the kids don't understand you're keeping them at bay. There's just a lot with that. I've also seen a lot of just contentment, marriages, like I'm just thinking of a few specific high powered CEOs who it's like they are content with work, they like working they're older retired from their companies receive great packages, but then have been started venture capital, or done things like that when investment and so the wife is like expecting this moment, I'm thinking of just one couple in particular, have to travel and to be together. And then he's got these billion dollar deals, he's working all over the place. And so are you know, I gotta go golf with so and so or I've got to go play pickleball with so and so or I've got to go do this thing with so and so. And so it's disappointment still. And the addiction, it's an addiction, really.
Chris Kaspar 11:33
And it seems like it's kind of that that heavy expectation, it's kind of Keeping Up with the Joneses. But in a relational sense, yes. I don't know if that's the right way of putting it. But-
Dr. Cassie Reid 11:42
Well, none of these. It's interesting. None of these people that I've met, actually retire. Like I don't It's, I think it's something in their blood, it's like then they're investing in something else. So they've got a restaurant chain, or they've got I'm just gonna think of like, like a restaurant chain, or they've invested in an aerospace something or they've invested in these venture capitalists things, you know, or I wouldn't invest in this Law Firm. I'm a lawyer, and I'm done. And I'm gonna, you know, so I just think about that. They always are in something.
Chris Kaspar 12:12
Yeah. So going all the way back to keeping up with the Joneses. I think that the Joneses, who they are, maybe 40 years ago was like, attainable. And now it's not. It is a fictional family that doesn't actually exist, and it's superficial. And I like I had a friend call me the other day, and he was super upset because he got he just got married. And he had all his wedding photos. And you got to look at all his wedding photos. He's like, 2000 photos, and I was a professional photographer. Back in the day, I shot a lot of weddings. And he was like, Christie's are awful. We paid this much money. I mean, this is just a horrible experience. And I looked at him. I'm like, dude, these are great. Like for what you paid in what you got. This is just spot on great photos. And then I was sitting and thinking, why was he upset? Because in at the end of the day, he was upset because they weren't up to his Pinterest standard. And Pinterest. Well, I mean, they and I saw him his Pinterest board, you know, have like 300 photos. Will every single one was from a different photographer at a different wedding. Yeah, it was the best. The best. Yes, yeah. So out of 2000 photos, there's one picture that makes it and trends on Pinterest. And that makes it into his portfolio. And so he was expecting this absolutely impossible thing. And I think that was a window into me. For me, it was a window into what's happening. Yeah. And that didn't happen. I mean, literally, that wouldn't that same conversation would not have happened 25 years ago. No, he would have been perfectly happy. Right? Great. These are awesome photos.
Dr. Cassie Reid 13:39
Yeah, that's what technology's done. I think it will. And then I hear this often, and everyone's probably heard this do is like you're comparing your life to someone's highlight reel. And it's true. Like they're taking the best of the best. Like, you have kids. I have kids like, it's like to get the photo sometimes that you feel like would be a good one. How many do you not? Like, how many times is the kid screaming and crying and like the hairs crazy, they're their shirts half off, you know, and then you take this great picture people like look at your angel, you're like, that took a lot. And I think that's what we do as we look at people's lives, like even the wealthy, like, this is what I see. It's like even their wealthy lives, like you see them boarding their private jet or you see them on a trip to Jamaica or to Europe or something. You see them doing these things, or they all look at our home in Montana, like you see them. But the reality is you're just seeing what they choose to put out. And what I find is the more high net worth you have, the more private you are about the junk in your trunk. And that's where I love because it's like these people don't have a place to process so they come process with me which I'm honored. But it's like they have a lot of stuff. But the more high profile you are the more connected you are technology wise, the less likely you are to actually say hey, my marriage is kind of struggling or my kids unruly, or I just need help figuring out who I am. I don't really like I like what I do, you know. And that's always interesting when your identity is so wrapped in that.
Chris Kaspar 15:05
That's a huge thing, I think for us to just recognize or realize or give empathy towards, I mean, everyone's always covets the 1%. And like they think they want that. But at the end of the day, I think there's a whole lot we don't see.
Dr. Cassie Reid 15:17
A whole lot, a whole lot. I just feel such empathy and compassion for them just because and I think that I hate to say them like, and but it's just, it's just been so organic meeting and seeing them and working with them. And it just breaks my heart just because there's so many people who pull on them too. Like I was talking about people who want something or who I'll be your friend. But is it really genuine and I think they have to vet relationships in a whole different way. Which then makes having genuine relationships virtually impossible, because it's hard to meet people who are like, not in it for you to invest a million dollars in their company or give them hey, when you just helped me buy a car? I mean, like the things I've heard the people have asked them outright is outlandish. But it happens.
Chris Kaspar 16:00
Well, it makes me think I mean, so if you look, statistically, I don't remember when I read this, it had to be a decade ago, I remember reading a research study that said, like, the pinnacle of happiness, of household income, like they did surveys on who was happy. And it was like a 65k income or something like that. And after that it started getting lower and lower and lower. And once you hit million dollar mark, it was like, it just got worse. And I think you're helping us understand a little bit of behind the scenes, I mean, a glimpse, I guess, into that window.
Dr. Cassie Reid 16:30
Well and I think too things and stuff and trips and homes and planes and cars, they don't buy happiness. And I think there's a shift in our culture. And I think that's what I'm seeing in some of these people. It's like, they're not sad about what they've learned and what they've accomplished. But there's this element of like, what really matters, you know, what really matters, I want to be with my kids or I want to be with my partner, I want to, I just want to have a life that's fulfilling, and I want to rest. That's like a whole other thing.
Chris Kaspar 16:58
No, and you're connecting dots for me, because at the end of the day, that's what people are hungry for. I mean, that's what we were made for was this human connection, these deep relationships. And that's my definition of wealth. And I'm a super wealthy guy from that context. And I'm just so grateful for my life that I have an awesome wife, I've got four beautiful daughters, I have an amazing church community of like, just humble people that I can come to and talk about in a very vulnerable sense. I do not take that for granted. I mean, like, life is good because of these things, even though it's a mess.
Dr. Cassie Reid 17:32
But yeah, but you're the richest man when it comes to that, you got it cool.
Chris Kaspar 17:36
You got it. And so when we first made Techless, I mean, that's what we were trying to do is we're trying to remove some of the default things that just jump out and grab you whether you ask for them to not or not, in order to allow for the space for those things that matter most. So what we're really trying to do is empower people's will. So if they say, Hey, this is what I want, we're just saying, Okay, we'll help you get that. And it's kind of like a personal trainer. Yes, that's what I want. Okay, well, I'm gonna go after it. And I might yell at you a little bit. It may not be convenient. It may not be easy. There's sweat, blood and tears involved. But we're going after this, because what you want and I think at the end of the day, people want that deep down inside. And that's what we're trying to help.
Dr. Cassie Reid 18:12
And I think it'll actually be less painful than a personal trainer. It most people want it more than they realize, you know, and it's really not that hard. Sometimes it's just, I mean, you know, I've social media, you know, you get on there. And then next thing, you know, you're like, 30 minutes. Oh, oh, you could I don't know, like, I just I'm thinking to myself, What did I even? What did I get out of that? 30 minute block of time? Nothing? Nothing of worth.
Chris Kaspar 18:41
Awesome. So final takeaways, what would be your what would be you know, if you wanted just the 99%? To think about something, you know, what would be something that you would leave us with? To look at towards the 1%? I know there's there's oftentimes conflict between the two groups. But what would be something you'd leave us with? Because you have a very unique window and insight that so many people don't get?
Dr. Cassie Reid 19:03
Yeah, I would say honestly, like, strive for what's in your heart, not for what you see in someone else's life. Like, there's things that you were put on this planet to accomplish, don't start to accomplish what someone else has accomplished. Strive to accomplish, what you were born to accomplish. And I think the moment you can correct that lens a little bit and say, I'm going to stop looking to the side and see what other people are doing. And just look at the path you're on the gifts you've been given the talents you possess, even the opportunities that lie ahead of you. There's so many opportunities, and whether that means you make the 65k or you make 650k. It doesn't matter like you're on the right path for you. And that's the fulfillment of it, you know, is the walk in your lane. I always say if you're in your lane, you can go as fast as you want. Because it's true. You're not going to run into anybody. You're not going to knock anybody over. You're not in someone else's way. You're in your own lane, and you can go I think that would be my piece of advice is stop looking at the Joneses. Stop looking at the neighbors and what they're doing. You don't know how they feel.
Chris Kaspar 20:07
Yeah, it may be hard to believe what you're saying. But I mean, they're Solomon to get biblical here. Solomon had everything you have multiple wise. Yeah, I mean, he was the Jeff Bezos did write about his experience, he was open and vulnerable and said, it's all worthless. It's all meaningless. That was his perspective. And he was the 1% of the 1%, the most powerful man in the world, and he was a real person. And he gave us a snippet into it. And so you're just reiterating that saying, Hey, this is almost it doesn't matter. Yeah, the stuff that matters? Is your purpose in life go after that passionately. Yes. And that's where you find fulfillment, not in this stuff. And you've seen, you've seen the lack of fulfillment in that firsthand. It's never it's never ending. Awesome. Yeah. Well, thanks for giving us a little bit of window into something that so many people, nobody really gets me.
Dr. Cassie Reid 20:55
No, I'm honored. I'm honored to work with them, the folks I get to work with, but also to share. I think that the interesting thing about most of you I work with truly is they're so down to earth, and would love for people to learn that about their life, you know, just that this is not what you think like, it's not how you would imagine and they'd be honored for people to learn from it.
Chris Kaspar 21:15
No, I completely agree. I mean, doctor, so your your professional, medical, mental health professional, but I got to talk with Dr. Larry Crabb before he passed away a year ago. And we had we had a really cool Zoom meeting, but one of the things I talked to him about was just how do you help anyone and really, at the end of the day, he was actually very much so a proponent of that friendship and relationship was the secret to people's transformation in their lives. And it wasn't about oh, I have this PhD even though it's valuable and I appreciate the work that you do in the world but he was at the end of the day making a very humble simple thing and I think that relates to high net worth individuals at the end of the day, we're just relationship and just people and that's that's what matters.
Dr. Cassie Reid 21:58
So and a genuine gonna Yes 100% genuine connection that we both breathe the same air and are in the same space.
Chris Kaspar 22:05