Social Media Has Changed The World with Missy Payne and Baylor Wilson

CRS 23 | Social Media


When you think about it, social media has changed all of our lives. In today’s world, you’re judged by your number of followers. Then there’s the dilemma of having to know what to post and what not to post. Our guests, Missy Payne and Baylor Wilson, are a powerful mother and daughter team from Season 29 of Survivor. They share their intimate insights on how social media has changed their lives. They talk about the positive things they experienced with social med as well as how they handle social media challenges like the bullying and all the negative stuff.

Listen to the podcast here:

Social Media Has Changed The World with Missy Payne and Baylor Wilson

I’m glad you guys are tuning in for another show. I hope you had a great week. Mine was a little crazy. My mom wasn’t feeling great. I took her to the doctor and because it’s a weekend, I had to search for this urgent care place. There were three close by to me. I did what we all do now. I looked at the reviews, that’s what it’s all about. One of the places only has a two-star review. Obviously, I wasn’t going there. There were two other places that had four stars. I picked the one that was closest with the average of four stars. I checked out the reviews. I called and made an appointment so she wouldn’t have to wait long. We got there right on time but when we walked in, the waiting room was packed. I thought to myself, “Thank goodness we had an appointment,” because it looked like it was going to be a very long wait.

Then you have to fill out the mountains of paperwork because we hadn’t been there before. I’m sure all of you can relate to this story because it’s not unique. This happens to all of us all the time. I finally finished the paperwork, handed it in and waited to be called. Then I expected, I was there at my appointment time, that I would probably be called next. That didn’t happen. Then they called the next one and the next one and I went back up to see what was going on. I said I had an appointment and we’ve already been waiting for 30 minutes and we still haven’t been called. She said, “We’ll let them know in the back.” I went back, I sat down, and the same thing happened. They called four more people and we’re still waiting. In fact, we were already waiting over an hour with an appointment and I’m thinking this is the four-star place. What’s the point of having an appointment if you don’t honor them? I went back up to see what the story was and this time she told me that people had been waiting in the waiting room for over two hours. They were going to call on them first but they were walk-ins.

I didn’t understand the logic because they didn’t make an appointment. Their process was clearly flawed. By this time, what was I going to do? My mother is miserable, we’re sitting there waiting. We’ve already been there 90 minutes and I had to suck it up and wait. What I wanted to do is say to them, “I can help you. You guys need a process improvement plan and a training program. You haven’t figured out that customer service is critical and you can fix your process.” This is what happens. I wouldn’t go back there again because they didn’t set the proper expectations. They didn’t show any signs of empathy for us. They didn’t apologize for having us wait 90 minutes even with an appointment. It was a customer service nightmare. In my business, it’s all about helping people understand how to improve.

It’s very difficult for me to keep my mouth shut. You’re probably all laughing about that because that’s what happens. As New Yorkers, we feel like we have to tell the story. Now, I’m telling all these thousands of people who are listening. I felt the need to share it with you now because this is what we go through. We do our homework. We do the reviews. We figure out where we should head and then we have this customer service nightmare. Besides that, it was a great week. My niece had a gender reveal party and this the new thing that happens. I couldn’t go because I was with my mom at the doctor’s, but I’ve never been to one yet.

I think it’s a pretty cool process when you think about it. You go to the doctor if you’re having a baby and you get a sonogram and they probably asked you if you want to know what the sex of the baby is. When I went and they asked me that question, of course I said yes and they told me right then and there. Now they put it in a sealed envelope. They give it to the mom-to-be and then as you get home, you give it to someone, one of your close friends and they’re the only ones who know what the gender is. Then at the party, everyone finds out, except this one person who knows.

The mom and the dad don’t have any clue as to what the gender of the baby is. They pick a theme, you pop a balloon or you hit a golf ball, which is what my niece did. Then inside, when the golf ball pops, the color of the confetti becomes the gender. Then that’s the gender reveal. It’s pretty cool. I think it’s just another excuse for a party because we all love parties. That’s what it’s all about. They’re having a girl and if I were at the party, I would have been wearing pink for a girl anyway. I’m so excited. Congratulations to Skyler and James on having a girl soon to be taking over your life. Your life as you know it will probably never be the same but it will be just even more fabulous.

Anything can be negative if you do too much of it. Click To Tweet

I am super excited because I have two very special guests on with me and this is one powerful mother and daughter team. You guys out there who are survivor fans, you know this powerful mother and daughter team. This is Missy Payne and Baylor Wilson. Missy, thank you for coming back on the show. It is always great to have you on and I am super excited that Baylor was able to join us as well. For those of you who don’t know Baylor, she is a musician. They were both contestants on season 29 of Survivor and the concept was blood versus water. The funny thing is and I’m not sure if I even told you guys, but I tried out for that season with my oldest daughter, Gabi. Obviously, we weren’t that fabulous because you guys got the spot instead of us.

I don’t know if everyone knows what you guys have been up to since Survivor. I’m pretty sure that things have changed for both of you. Baylor, you picked up and you moved to Nashville to pursue your musical career, which by the way has been fabulous. You are killing it. I’m super excited and Missy, you started your own charity. Both of you have changed your lives, but a lot of people want to hear first about some of the Survivor stuff. Were both of you Survivor fans before the show? Which one of you wanted it more or was it an equal fan base?

The deal is yes, we were fans of the show but I don’t think people like to hear the real truth, which is that I didn’t watch it every single week. This is Missy by the way. Baylor didn’t either, but my stepson at the time was the enormous fan. He would distribute buffs and that was even back in the day when it was on Thursday night. I remember that because we had my husband’s kids and we had to sit around and watch the game. I learned it and I thought it was interesting, but it wasn’t until we got this audition process rolling that I got interested and decided to study the game of it.

For me, I liked the show, but I wasn’t an avid viewer or fan. I like the show and anything having to do with competition, I was all in. As soon as we got the opportunity to possibly be on the show and play the game, I became a fan.

What made you guys apply?

We didn’t. We were totally a recruit. We got a Facebook message from an old friend who used to work for the show. He was a cheerleading coach that worked underneath my mom years and years before this. When he Facebook messaged mom and said, “This is so and so that works for the show. I used to work for you twenty years ago. Do you guys want to be on Survivor? We need a mother-daughter duo.” He sends it to four or five people he knew from the cheerleading world. That’s how it all happened.

CRS 23 | Social Media
Social Media: The world will try to make you believe make-believe things.


How many times did you apply? I guess I’m just going to hold that one and say forget it, I guess you didn’t apply for four years as I did.

We did have to beat some people out. When we were told that they liked us, we’re both been in the video and then they flew us out for finals in LA. You know the process. I can tell there were other mothers and daughters in our group. We have to get our A game on because it was hard. I remember the question is getting harder and harder as we went. Each day it was a different interview. I just remember Jeff Probst looking at me and basically being like, “Are you going to quit?” Basically like Mr. Intimidator and I was prideful. I was like, “Absolutely not, Jeff Probst.” I think he liked that and that’s probably why we got on.

Baylor, how old were you when you were on the show?

I was twenty years old. I was the youngest on our season for sure. One of the youngest to ever play, there was an eighteen-year-old a long time ago I think. I was super young and super cocky.

They’ve had an eighteen-year-old on but you definitely modeled it well. I was the oldest female in our season. She was the youngest female in our season.

If you think back to that experience, what was the one thing you took away from the show?

Most people only post their successes and not their failures, which is a failure in that. Click To Tweet

My takeaway was that the world will try to make you believe make-believe things. I take that with me and I say that because I’ve done a lot with my experience from Survivor. Truly I think that I was raised in a bubble. When I got on that show, I just didn’t realize that there were other people out there that would eyeball scratch and backstab to get to the top. Let me put it to you this way. I tell this story when people ask me because you know, Mama C, how hard it is to explain your experience. People that have never played it don’t get it. I would say, “Picture yourself stuck in an elevator with eighteen total strangers.” Everybody has the same goal. That’s to get out of the elevator. As time passes, people get more hungry and angrier. People start to use the bathroom a little bit too close to you. My feeling was this claustrophobia trap. It didn’t take me long to get into the game, but I just wasn’t ready for how incredibly tough people were and how good they were at lying. That’s why I say the world can make you believe make-believe things. It will if you aren’t careful, you have to keep your eyes open.

What about you, Baylor?

This is a hard one because I’ve taken away so much. I still throughout my life currently had things come up where I’m like, “I learned that from Survivor.” If I could wrap it up into one, it would definitely be that at the end of the day, there are all different types of people in the world and everybody wants to be loved. Even though our game was not that, that was not the goal, to love each other. I feel like it’s such an interesting thing when you have to become a robot and we aren’t made that way. To play this game, you do have to set aside morals and values. Not everybody, some people are terrible people, but there are others that have a heart and happy to set that aside.

For me, it was difficult because I was twenty years old and raised as a pretty honest kid. Going out there I was like, “I’m going to play this game as honest as I can and that’s just not how it works. The one thing I took away is that there are all different types of people out there. I encourage everyone to meet different types of people and personalities and be around that. Not to play it safe and have your own little bubble of friends and family. Go to the nations and meet people and challenge yourself in social situations because you will come to an end of yourself, which allows you to grow. It was cool to experience that.

My biggest takeaway was similar to you, Baylor, in that we were on that island with all different types of crazy. Some people were insane and others were quite normal and friendly. What I took away was it’s okay if people want to be crazy. If they want to be crazy, let them be crazy. You don’t have to be. Don’t judge them just because they’re insane. That’s what I took away from that experience and I talk about it all the time now as well. Our topic, I thought about this and I wanted to talk about social media because it’s an interesting topic. When you’re taping Survivor and when we finished taping the show, we were told that we weren’t allowed to post anything on social media. I thought it was a big mistake because wouldn’t it be great if the contestants were able to post positive messages and get people excited about the show? We were told we weren’t allowed. What about you guys? Were you allowed to post on social media?

No way. As a matter of fact, we weren’t even allowed to communicate with each other whatsoever. I thought the Dirty 30 was the season that broke the ice.

CRS 23 | Social Media
Social Media: You can get addicted and wrapped into this false reality. You follow people for so long and want to live vicariously through them. You want to be them and don’t want to be yourself anymore.


I didn’t say I followed it, I said we weren’t allowed to.

We totally followed the rules like tooth and nail. I was too scared to call anybody but Baylor because she was in Tennessee and I had Natalie’s phone number. I think I texted some people and didn’t tell CBS.

I didn’t tell CBS at all. What we decided to do on my season was we figured that if every single one of us did it, what were they going to do? Will they cancel the show? We all band together and we said, “We are going to do what we want to do.” We’re not going to screw up the game. We’re not going to give away things that are going to ruin it for everybody else. We even got together. We all met in LA. I got back in September from the show and then we met in LA in October for a little gathering.

You are all so much friendlier bunch. You all are a little bit tighter than us. I felt just a couple of seasons were different. We had each other to go home to and so we didn’t necessarily have to stay bonded to anyone else. I agree. I think the social media piece would have been helpful and I do think that it would be a momentum builder.

That’s what I think. I don’t understand.

They’re probably scared. They’re scared that people are going to spoil the surprise.

The negative always trump the positive. Click To Tweet

I know that we’ve had spoilers in the past that have ruined it for everyone else because there were some people in the past that that gave away key things and spoilers. You have to know what to post and what not to post. It’s no different than having a watch party though when you think about it, and everyone has watch parties. Social media, when you think about it, it’s changed our lives. I’m sure that it had a different effect on you, Baylor, because you’ve grown up with social media. Missy and I didn’t, it came to us later on. When you think about how social media plays a role in your lives or how it’s changed your life over time, what are your thoughts on that?

It’s interesting that I’m talking on this show because I just recently spoke at Belmont University, which is where I went to college about social media to the current students. It was very interesting because I got to sit on a panel of people. One guy was a counselor, one guy studies the brain and has written the book on the brain. Then another guy, I don’t remember what he does. Anyway, I got asked these questions sitting next to this brilliant dude who studies social media. I was so challenged and thankful that I got to ask myself these questions about social media because I did grow up with it and it has had an effect on me. I think that anything can be negative if you do too much of it.

With social media, because it has such an effect on the brain and what I’ve learned about since that panel, I have tried to keep it at a minimum. With my job and my career, it’s a little different because it’s part of my job. I have to post a certain amount. I have to promote music and stay connected to my fans, which I love doing but sometimes you can get absolutely addicted and wrapped into this false reality. I posted something on my Instagram about not getting fooled by pictures that people post that aren’t real. It’s so easy to. You follow these people for so long and then you want to live vicariously through them and you want to be them, and then you don’t want to be yourself anymore. Then all of a sudden you’re dealing with loneliness, fear, anxiety and insecurity. That’s not how we’re supposed to live. For me, it definitely has affected me and without me realizing it. Now that I’ve become more aware, it’s been super helpful. Mom, how about you?

Mine was totally different because I didn’t grow up with it.

It probably doesn’t affect you.

It did coming off the show because I wasn’t ready for it. I was like, “Someone said what?” I think it was smarter just to not check it and that’s what I did.

CRS 23 | Social Media
Social Media: Social media can be a positive thing. It’s up to the user to use discretion and to be smart about it.


I didn’t either. I and mom stuck to the “Don’t read every comment,” which was super wise in my opinion. I know other artists and musicians nowadays that are pretty famous and pretty big time, who did the same thing. They don’t check every message, comment and tweet because it’s just dangerous.

We are talking about social media challenges and the three of us relate to these challenges. One of the things that people think that defined them is this whole notion of how many followers do we have? In this world, you’re judged by, “I’ve got so many followers.” What do you guys think about that? Because it drives me insane. I’m not going to lie.

I’m so bad at social media, as important as I understand it could be for business and whatever. I had to have my assistant help me for a long time with it. Baylor always is laughing because she would always try to help me to give pointers and tips. I have all these followers too and they’re like, “What are we following?” As a matter of fact, at one point some guy wrote and said, “Missy, please post something. Anything, just post.” The follower piece and all that, I don’t know.

Baylor, what you were saying before about living through other people and what they’re posting. I’m an old lady and what do I do every day? It’s like, “How do you find the pictures is what I want to know. You’re young, you’re a musician, you got all this stuff.” I’m like, “I’m sitting in my office. Should I take a picture of me behind my desk because I’m so important?” Baylor, help me.

You take a selfie and you post it. It’s funny that you say like, “What do I post?” Because as much as my life is fun and exciting, there are some definite mundane days where even now I posted a picture of my feet and some leaves because I was like, “Whatever, I don’t need to do a Photoshopped photo shoot perfect photo of me playing the guitar.” The longer that I’ve been a musician and then heavily involved in social media and having followers and following people, I decided to be myself and not take it so seriously.

That’s what you have to do because if you get sucked into the follower thing, it’s what you said before when you were at that conference on the panel. You could get suppressed and you could get upset. You’re trying to live your life through other people’s pictures and you don’t even know when they took those pictures. Not for nothing, so don’t get sucked in.

True relationships in person are way more important than trying to connect and brand yourself on a social media platform. Click To Tweet

Most people only post their successes and not their failures, which is a failure in that. I’m not saying post all your sad stuff either. I’m just saying we’re human and we live life. There are good days and bad days, and in between days, and mundane and exciting. People that only post these beautiful, perfect and flawless photos are missing something. They’re missing out on actual connection with the person on the other side of the phone.

You used the word connection. My whole struggle with this is are we connecting with these other people on social media?

I get messages every week from people telling you their stories and how they relate. Mine is also music. When you add the music in there, it’s a whole other ballgame. Let’s go back to what Instagram was in the beginning. It was supposed to be an app where you had some friends that followed you and you follow some friends. It was like your digital photo album. It’s changed. Now, it’s building businesses and people have platforms and responsibilities with it. There was a great question that student asked on this panel to all of us speakers. He said, “How am I supposed to balance social media if my job is social media all day?” Because there are all these jobs now with social media. I was stumped. I was like, “I would just treat it like a normal job. Do 9 to 5 on social media and then get off of it, if that’s what you have to do.”

The whole concept of Instagram now and even all of the social media is all about the connection. How are you connecting because your social media platform is now supposed to tell a story? You’re supposed to have a theme of what you’re all about and it links back to what’s important to you. Maybe it’s health and fitness, maybe it’s leadership, maybe it’s helping kids, maybe it’s music, whatever it is. It’s all about how it links back to who you are. That is supposed to tell the story for other people. Then there are rules. You’re not supposed to take 100 selfies. You’re supposed to have a quote every now and then with people. I don’t know all the rules. It’s driving me insane.

Those are pretty good. I don’t stick to the rules, but I get what you’re saying. People feel this pressure to post at a certain time and certain photo editors and all that.

I got in trouble for like, “These pictures are not Instagram-worthy.” I’m like, “You’re telling me I look bad or what’s the deal here? I don’t like what I’m hearing.” I can remember right after the show, Missy, you had brought up that you weren’t prepared for all of that social media. One of the things that bothers me about social media are the bullies. It’s the fact that people think that just because they’re sitting at home on their couch with a phone in their hand, they have the right to say all these horrible things about people without even knowing them. They’re making these determinations and assumptions. I don’t know about you, but when I got off the show, I wasn’t prepared for that because I never got into that before. I don’t even think I had a Twitter account. I started getting sucked in and reading all the negative stuff. How did you guys handle that?

CRS 23 | Social Media
Social Media: If you stripped every single person of their elements, really and truly everybody wants one thing. That is to be valued as a human being and to be loved.


First of all, for me, it goes back to that we’re all human beings. If you got let’s say ten emails tomorrow and they said, “Mama C, your show is so fantastic,” and you got one email that said something just even like, “Missy talked too long.” You’re going to hone in on that one email and you’re going to forget the other ten. What I think what happens is the negative always trump the positive. If we can erase those as fast as we can and move on to the positive, then social media can be a positive thing. It’s up to the user to use discretion and to be smart about it because haters are going to hate. We know that. That’s the unfortunate part of what happened when the world turned from having relationships and speaking to one another to even email and text messages. People use it as a great crutch to vomit on people when they wouldn’t do that in person.

What about you Baylor, what do you think about the haters, the bullies?

I blocked out all those mean people from back on Survivor days because I don’t deal with that as much. Sometimes I deal with it now. I piggyback off mom because the thing about social media and phones in general that I’ve learned is it’s a mask that you get to automatically put on. You get to choose how you use it. Do you keep it on and treat people poorly or do you take it off and be a pure and kind human being? That’s the self-assessment like are you mature enough to be kind. I’m not against conversations that are difficult. I loved people that challenged me and said, “Why don’t you play this way or not this way? Why’d you make this decision and that game move?” That’s all good. When it comes to an actual verbal attack, that’s ridiculous and it’s not necessary. I learned to roll it off my back because who cares what they think.

For our age group, I don’t know if you can agree with me, Mama C, or not but I wasn’t ready for this because we didn’t grow up with social media. At first, it was supposed to be this photo album and “Isn’t that cute? Look at my friends’ kids, they are growing up so fast. Isn’t that great?” When I came off Survivor and I got some backlash from some episode of someone saying and not even first person. They’re speaking and I’m not looking at it, but on my social media, “She’s this or she’s that.” I freaked out. I literally had to call Baylor and be like, “What is this?” She’s like, “Mom, don’t read it. Just don’t read it.” I’m like, “I know but why did they say that? Why are they talking about me like that?” I had to come to terms with that and I had to grow out of it just for a minute if that season was tough for me.

One more comment on that. I think some of these people that follow reality TV and follow famous people in general like that’s their hobby. First of all, I feel sorry for them. They should get a different hobby and I think they think that we don’t see what they write but we do. For example, I watched the John Mayer Instagram Live video one time and there were thousands and thousands of people watching all at once. What Instagram Live is it’s a live video of him just chatting with his commenters. He sees everything, whether or not he’s reacting to it or not, he’s seeing it. For mom and for you, the people that are commenting may or may not have a brain. They think that you don’t see it, but we do. Maybe if they knew that we saw everything, they might rethink or maybe not.

I think they do know that we could potentially see it and they still decide to do it. I remember on my season, we had that whole Shirin and Will thing. I remember getting a lot of hate from that like, “You call yourself Mama C and you let that happen.” I wasn’t even there when it happened. I started responding and my son was like, “Mom, stop responding. Turn it off and stop it.” That’s when I realized that I’m sucked in. I’m totally sucked in here and I’ve got to step back and listen to him. Missy, any final thoughts on what we’ve talked about and what you want the audience to walk away with?

Remember this one piece that if you stripped every single person of their elements, including their phones, their computers or their social media. Their cars and material things, their background, the color of their skin, really and truly, everybody wants one thing and that is to be valued as a human being and to be loved. I feel that if you can keep that in check, then you’re going to be able to stay balanced with your use of social media because there is some positive in it. There is a way to use it but like we said before, you scroll past the ones that are ick. I told Baylor at one point, “I think you should write a country song that says Save as a Draft before you hit send.” I’ve seen some of these people literally react and write things by the seat of their pants. Especially for the people that are affected by it, which would be me and I was, I think we need to remember, we all just want to be valued and loved.

Baylor, what about you?

I love this whole conversation. It’s so good. I hope people realize that social media is not reality. I want everyone to recognize and realize that what they’re looking at could be a picture of somebody wherever they are. Also, it could be overemphasized or over edited. I want people to remember that true relationships in person are way more important than trying to connect and brand yourself on a social media platform. I love what mom said. Everybody, whether you admit it or not, wants to be valued or loved. Just remember that.

Thank you so much for joining the show and sharing with us all of your experiences. We live in a world of social media. We get our updates on social media. The world’s changed to hashtags and character counts and pictures and all this stuff. There are definitely ways to use it in a positive way and ways in which to hurt people. Think before you press that send key. Make sure that you are comfortable with what you are posting because that’s what it’s all about. We can use it to be very powerful and you can build a huge business on social media but we got to use it in the right way.

Important Links:

About Missy Payne

CRS 23 | Social MediaI was on season 29 of Survivor in Nicaragua San Juan Del Sur (Blood vs. Water 2). I came skidding across the finish line claiming 3rd place with a cast on my leg.

After I returned from that island of Nicaragua, I started a non-profit to give scholarships to teens who needed help paying for extracurricular activities.  In its 3+ years of existence, we’ve been able to support around 12 teenagers every year, with an average of $3000 in funding to each of them.

I originally started 2×2 as an experiment to see if teens would be willing to help fundraise in a unique character building program.  It skyrocketed with interested participants who completed tasks out of their comfort zone to raise money for the 501(c)3.   Interestingly enough, their own lives have been changed along the journey to help.

It would be impossible to list all the incredible benefits of giving to others, so I started with just seven in my book called “The Invisible 7”!  It’s an interactive workbook with the footprint of the Warriors project throughout.  It’s an opportunity to serve others in a way that doesn’t create exhaustion.

Well… there’s a possibility that some of the challenges will be physically tiring, but the benefits outweigh the work.  If you don’t believe me, buy the book and let me know your outcome.

About Baylor Wilson

CRS 23 | Social MediaTo say Baylor Wilson was born to be in the spotlight would be a grave understatement. She was born with the spotlight in her. With a top 5 finish on NBC’s Survivor: Blood vs. Water under her belt and a demeanor as captivating as her music, it’s no surprise that Wilson wins over audiences both on and off stage. In 2015, Wilson won the prestigious Country Showcase at Belmont University and caught the ear of producer Luke Wooten (Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley). He quickly signed her to a publishing deal with SeaGayle Music, located in Nashville. In 2017, Wilson started writing with up and coming producer Andrew Petroff (Sheryl Crow) and they immediately hit it off. Wilson’s newest singles “New Light” and “Can’t Help But Break” are now available on iTunes, Spotify, etc. Wilson is looking forward to touring and releasing more music in the coming months.

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