Kelly Ripa
Credit: Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix/REX/Shutterstock

I'm going to be completely honest: social media scares me. Look, I love the convenience and is-he-isn't-he Bieber burrito pics as much as the next person, but it's the honest truth that social media can be a downright dark and terrible place. I blame the trolls — Instagram and Twitter commenters have used anonymity to take being a nasty human to the next level, and even with all the perspective in the world, it's hard not to take it to heart sometimes.

Unless, of course, you're Kelly Ripa.

The Live with Kelly and Ryan host is predictably cheery both online and IRL, but her social media footprint is also essentially a master class on how to be a badass and not suffer fools. Both Ripa and her husband Mark Consuelos have managed to achieve the near-impossible feat of cultivating a positive digital presence while enforcing a zero tolerance policy for hate Want proof? See: Kelly and Mark taking her body shamers down a peg.

That considered, who better to learn social media tips from? InStyle sat down with Ripa to pick her brain on all things Instagram at the shoot for her new commercial for Ancestry, and she was more than happy to drop knowledge. Check out our talk below to get the scoop on her Clapback Queen status, why she loves trolling her Live co-host Ryan Seacrest, and (of course) her ancestry.

You're being called the Clapback Queen of Instagram, so I want to start off by saying that it's exciting to be in the presence of royalty.

Thank you very much! You did not genuflect, but that's OK, I'll get over it.

How do you feel about your regal title?

For me, I look at social media like I look at most parts of my life — it's incredibly silly. It's an indulgence that I tend to have when I'm really either sitting in traffic, going to an airport, at the dentist, or when I have down time. When I clap back, I am very bored and I have time on my hands. I mean, people insult me all the time. I actually don't take it personally. My whole thing, I think it's funny when people insult me and they can't spell. So that's the only time you'll see me weighing in. That's the only time because I'm like, if you're going to insult somebody, have a basic basic basic handle on punctuation or spelling the word ‘too.’

While insulting, try not to look like a stooge. But for me it's like, I really don't take it personally and I don’t think the trolls take it personally. Although I have been blocked by trolls who insult me and preemptively block me, which I find really funny.

They block you?

Yeah I think it's so funny. I'm like ‘Did I get blocked by a troll?' They want to say it and then they want to prevent me from responding.

If you need to block the person whose photo you’re commenting on, you really shouldn't be making a comment.

Who knows know anybody's life, but I think it's a sign of where we're at. We all need to get more connected to each other if this is how we’re talking to each other. Myself included! I’m always like, ‘Oh Kelly you're so stupid. Why are you even responding to this person?’ But if it's my husband’s account and he's advocating for equal pay for men and women, and you utilize that opportunity to tell me that I'm too old to be with my same-aged husband and you spell ‘too’ wrong, maybe I am just going to have to say something. Maybe you’re missing the bigger picture.

My husband was very funny, because his response [to that] was the best response. He said, ‘Are you really against equal pay for men and women?’ (laughs) That’s why he’s actually the Clapback King.

What prevents you and Mark from taking social media super seriously like other people?

I really don't because I was never very good at it to begin with. Everybody I follow, I follow because my daughter showed me how to follow. You know initially, I really just started social media accounts to shut down fake accounts of me, because there were a lot. I had tons and tons, and when you don't have your own account, then all of the fake accounts pop up. So I just started an account to shut down fake accounts.

Next thing I know, I post a photo. My very first post I think is of Andy Cohen, Mark Consuelos, and Bruce Bozzi at our friend Liza Persky’s wedding. And the Daily Mail picks it up and says that [I'm] at Liza Persky’s wedding with Andy Cohen, Mark Consuelos, and the groom Bruce Bozzi. And my friend Bruce is gay, so Bruce is not the groom, but it was just that moment where I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Wow. People are paying attention to Instagram.’ And that was my very first post. It was, to me, very strange that it immediately got picked up and got covered by someplace else. That's when I realized that social media was a thing that people were utilizing, because I think that I was really actually quite late to the game.

VIDEO: Kelly Ripa’s Husband Mark Consuelos Went After Her Body Shamers

Does it bother you that outlets pay so much attention to what you post?

They really only pay attention to me when I say something rude to people, because it’s so counter my personality, so when I say something they’re like ‘Oh my gosh that's amazing.’ I don’t just go after people, but I do go after my friends a little. I troll Ryan [Seacrest] endlessly. He's so much fun to troll. He really is funny. He really is a cool character too, he’s like ‘Why would you respond to somebody that said something mean to you?’ And I was like, ‘Well what would you do?” And he said, ‘I would just go home and cry.’ (laughs) He’s just like so chill about everything. He’s a way better person than I am.

Shifting gears for a minute, what did you learn about yourself by doing a DNA kit with Ancestry? Did it predict your Clapback Queen calling?

(laughs) We joke about my kids like ‘Well how do we know they’re my kids?’ because they all look like my husband, so I’m like, ‘how do I even know they’re mine?’ And I think it started more as a joke than anything, but when Ancestry approached me, I was like ‘I already know what I am. I already know.’ And they were like, ‘Well, don’t be so sure.'

I found out all this stuff. Like yes I am Italian, but I always thought that I was French also, and I’m not French at all. My mom’s grandmother was not French, she was Irish but her name sounded French, so the family folklore was that she was a French lady. A French piano player, they said. It’s moreso the stories and seeing how my dad’s side of the family and my mom’s side of the family all sort of migrated around the same time and all wound up in the same place, not knowing each other or being related to each other, and being from different parts of Italy. So it was, to me, very fascinating and very interesting. And once you start really finding out about yourself, it really does explain a lot. I found out I’m the tiniest percent Greek. And I love Greece. I always feel a connection there, and I don’t know why. I never understood that, and now I’m like, ‘Maybe it’s because I’m Greek, who knew?’

It opens your eyes to a way bigger world, and at the same time, it makes the world way smaller. It's really special, it's a special gift. It's meaningful, and there's nothing as personal as that.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.