Various Thoughts & Updates

October 13, 2017

Podcast Corner

* Best of Both Worlds now has its own Instagram.  Find us here!  I am not always good at publishing a weekly roundup post on the blog (though Laura has definitely picked up the slack on that!) but figured I’d want to do an ‘announcement’ with each new episode and create another space to add comments, suggestions, etc.

I will also share pix if they are relevant to an episode!

* The next 3 episodes are probably my 3 favorites so far!  Next week (#11) will features our first guest — who happens to be one of my favorite people — and then #12 is on TECH (inspired by Manoush Z. and my blog post) and #13 is on keeping joy in your life as a parent of young toddlers (i.e. not the easiest time).   Stay tuned!

Apparently it’s fall.
Does it actually feel like fall anywhere?  With the series of natural disasters that have occurred (and are still occurring – my thoughts are with you, beautiful California!) I hope that someone out there is enjoying crisp mornings and colorful leaves.

Here, well . . .

Just wow.
(Although to be fair that particular source waaaaay overpredicts thunderstorms for this area — I think the graphic is displayed even with a ‘chance’ which is essentially present all of the time in the summer/fall.)
I will be honest — when I first moved here, I was so excited to ditch winter.  I hate being cold — it’s true.  But the longer I’ve been away from fresh cool non humid air — the more I’ve been missing it.  Social media is NOT helping in this regard — seeing all of you picking apples and wearing boots and such.  Eat something pumpkin for me . . .
More tech musings
Your follow-up comments continued to roll in throughout the week — thank you!  It seems like the role of tech/our phones is definitely having a cultural moment right now, and I’m (clearly) fascinated by the topic.  
One reader posted a link to Nick Carr’s WSJ article from last week: you can through twitter to read for free (otherwise it’s behind a paywall).  One highlight (and backed by studies mentioned in the article):

Smartphones have become so entangled with our existence that, even when we’re not peering or pawing at them, they tug at our attention, diverting precious cognitive resources. Just suppressing the desire to check our phone, which we do routinely and subconsciously throughout the day, can debilitate our thinking. The fact that most of us now habitually keep our phones “nearby and in sight,” the researchers noted, only magnifies the mental toll.” 

I feel this.  I really do.  Maybe this isn’t true for everyone, but it is for me.  I feel it, and have come to hate that little attention tug.  I also see parallels between my need to be very complete in my planning/task management systems (to get swirling thoughts about to-do items out of my mind a la David Allen’s Getting Things Done) and the need to get the notifications and digital distractions down to a manageable minimum.

Things I am going to keep working on:
* Incorporating more blank space/thinking time into my life.  One concrete way of doing this for me is to not listen to one of my beloved podcasts on my morning commute (at least for 2-3 days/week) but instead to put on music and keep my phone in my bag.  Yesterday morning I did this with Andrew Bird’s Echolocations: River which is filmed by an actual river and is entirely instrumental.  It was really really relaxing and refreshing.

the rather zen album cover

* Continuing to read + journal on paper (yep, I still do that!) with phone nowhere in sight. 
* Spending more weekend days in digital detox mode.  This weekend is not a candidate as I am on call, but after that.
I love many things about the iPhone.  The camera; FaceTime; Google Maps (truly a life changer for me).  Even always having a phone nearby — not something to take for granted, as my colleagues reminisce about having to answer patient calls from pay phones whenever they left home base!  But I am determined to keep that little box in its rightful place as much as humanly possible.
It’s the weekend!  I am looking forward to ours even though I am on call — it’s one of those ‘special’ ones where Josh is off (due to a switch) and I’m working, so I should be able to get a lot done but still enjoy some family time.  Will report back Monday.

1 Comment

  • Reply Emma March 10, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    I think this is better reporting of the research cited in the WSJ article—notably, the effects of placement depend on the user”s attachment to the phone:

    I am all for intentional phone and internet use, but I think sometimes we focus too much on the presence/use of the object rather than behaviors. I can remember being distracted by a good novel in my desk and getting in trouble for pulling it out to read long before smartphones existed. Conversely, I find it nothing short of amazing that I can instantly check out a book from the library to the kindle app on my phone, so I”ll probably forgive phones everything as long as that and google maps exist…

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