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Picture: Supplied

How comedian Nina Hastie uses Instagram to help followers cope with lockdown anxiety

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published Apr 23, 2020

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Social media has become a therapeutic outlet as well as a vital tool in helping everyone connect more during the lockdown, keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the world and the latest news on Covid-19.

In fact, celebrities have been using it in various ways, too. Some have been serenading their followers while others have been providing comic relief, holding informative webinars as well as hosting chats with various experts.

Nina Hastie has been doing the latter. A comedian, actress, voiceover artist and talk show host, Hastie isn’t very tech-savvy. In fact, she rates rather low. 

She chuckled: “I'm a functioning 2. I struggle with anything new but once I have learned or been shown something, I feel brave enough. I used to be much better when I was at Varsity. But I get very nervous with new programs, I'm like an old lady who needs their neighbour to set up the ‘computer stuff’ (that's a true story).”

But that has not stopped her from hosting daily Instagram Live chats with her anxiety therapist to help her followers cope during the lockdown. 

‘Yes, Hanan Bushkin (@areallygoodtherapist) has been a fantastic help to me and so many people - I was already in pre-production with my researcher and producer for my podcast and had been working with Hanan on a strategy to move Nina Hastie into more of a mental health advocacy brand, in any case - so it was just already in line with where my head has been at,” she added.

We live in a world where technology has become a quintessential tool in life. How has it helped you, especially when it comes to your line of work?

Hastie shared: “Let's take today, for example, I needed to plug into a live stream and co-host a 5FM show. So I need to stream live via a website that aggregates a live stream, quite cool - but I was struggling with my mic and headphones, where the inputs and outputs were feeding to. The sound card is built into the USB-mic but my computer only has a USB-C input. So I was using the USB adapter to plug into the mic, which also has a mini-jack input for the headphones. But on the computer, I couldn't get it right to have the ‘Mic’ as the audio output, but I eventually figured it out.” 

Hastie says technology has become an integral part of her new daily routine. 

She admitted: “It has been absolutely essential. I, literally, make and put out content all day. I have a lot of gadgets, lights, tripods, editing equipment and cameras. But a lot of the time, I just use my phone edit with Rush on my phone and put out short videos. But now with my Podcast coming up, and me needing to mine the visual content from there, I am trying to create interesting ways (other than just a simple multi-camera Zoom chat) to have cool content for people to watch and listen to.”

As for her favourite gadgets, Hastie said: “My handheld mini-tripod. I am always on my phone and I have my phone on a tripod 24/7 so I can multi-task - as well as my in-ear Bluetooth earphones. But I'm not using them as much now that I'm in lockdown - I just put everyone on speakerphone lol.”

By the way, her podcast is kicking off very soon. 

Hastie confirmed: “We are about two weeks away from launching. I will have more information for you soon. I'm very excited!”


Adobe Rush

: quick editing for all my videos.


: you can use it on your phone or your laptop and it's so good for all kinds of communication.

Youtube (premium)

: I love music, and all kinds of funny videos and I can cast to my TV - so that's really cool. It also remembers my behaviour and creates the best playlists.


: I love music so discovering new sounds, even from movie soundtracks, is great. I love it.


: I know this is obvious but I love it.


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