Goals Habits Parenting

Op100 Observations

October 3, 2020

1- The less you look at social media, the less you want to look at it. I noticed this phenomenon with Facebook after quitting over 4 years ago. I had been spending time on message boards (PMG, etc) and found it incredibly addicting. But once I quit I just . . . didn’t miss it.

(Here’s the post where I quit: Feb 2016. Here’s a recap one year later. My account is still inactive 4.5 years beyond this initial effort! The problem is that Instagram started to creep in and fill the void. DAMN IT Mark Zuckerberg.)

2- Scrolling before bed is seriously a terrible habit. For me, anyway. I have been getting much better sleep and I can feel that. (Last weekend I was incredibly tired but in retrospect I think I had a mild version of whatever non-COVID virus G had!).

3- My kids are better behaved when I am not distracted by a screen. I mean, this shouldn’t have been that shocking but it’s actually really played out in fairly dramatic fashion. (Carla Naumberg talks about this in her book, by the way. Being distracted with screens is a trigger that should be looked at if you — like me — want to prevent losing your sh*t with your kids.)

4- I suddenly have time and more mental space to do more other things. Particularly reading, which makes me so much happier than Instagram. I’ve been reading more books and last week a full Atlantic article, which I hadn’t done in quite some time (we get the paper version). But not even just that. I feel like I have been getting more ideas at work and I think I’ve been more productive there, too.

Recent Scenes from a Walk with A:

PS: Last night I participated in a large Zoom presentation / webinar for 4th year medical students — basically representatives from residency programs all around the Southeast got 6 minutes each to give a sales pitch! There were several hundred students watching and 40 programs presenting from the Southeast region.

The presentation was at 8 pm and I had not asked our nanny to stay (she probably would have, but honestly that just felt like . . . too much of an ask). Josh ended up with a late case and I started to get very nervous about a kid video-bombing my Zoom. BUT – Annabel ended up volunteering to put G to bed (!) and it actually worked. And then she and C became engrossed in a movie (their current obsession: How To Train Your Dragon) and didn’t even notice what I was doing. I felt so happy that it all worked out (and, side note — my former program director from Duke randomly was assigned to present right after me, which was slightly intimidating because I knew she was watching! But she then very nicely gave me a shout-out which was really fun and just made me happy).

Okay. Going to run and (hopefully) return to our house before anyone wakes up . . . happy Saturday.


  • Reply Alyssa October 3, 2020 at 6:16 am

    Dang, girl. What an evening! Congrats in all the areas!

  • Reply Amy October 3, 2020 at 8:01 am

    I have noticed the same thing about screens / social media. I recently installed limits on fb and Twitter (it’s not even my real Facebook account anymore! I use a burner account to belong to a few groups but it still happened!) and it’s so much better. I’ve already read an entire book since I implemented these changes on Tuesday.

  • Reply Grateful Kae October 3, 2020 at 9:02 am

    YES to #1! Ironically, I just blogged about this exact same thing this morning (https://gratefulkae.blogspot.com/2020/10/cutting-back.html) – and I quote myself: ” I also find that as I use it less, I’m less attracted to it and don’t even really feel the urge to look at it much.” Ha! I completely agree. I haven’t given mine totally up, but I have set limits. At first I set a total of 40 minutes a day, trying to be realistic. As of yesterday I decreased it to 30 minutes. Now sometimes I open it and literally feel bored…like, why am I even looking at this?? Maybe I’ll eventually go down even lower. I do like some aspects, so this feels like a good balance right now. I’m glad decreasing your phone use is having a positive impact on your life.

  • Reply Amy F October 3, 2020 at 10:51 am

    #1 – I had the same thought this morning. I deleted the IG app a couple of weeks ago and signed out of FB on all browsers. Last night I logged in to FB just to see if I had missed anything significant with friends and family. Today I feel zero tug towards either platform. I’m spending today going to a botanical garden and spending my birthday promo codes to replace things that have worn out since Covid began.

  • Reply Kristie October 3, 2020 at 11:32 am

    My husband and I watched “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix this week. I highly recommend it! We had a good conversation during and afterwards, and we have decided to put all devices away from dinner until bedtime (unless I’m on call – but will only use for hospital calls). I haven’t use social media this week, and while I haven’t missed it, I’ve found myself scrolling news sites more frequently. A work in progress for sure!

  • Reply Coco October 3, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    I fully agree with all 4 points! I noticed that as my mind is less distracted and calmer, I can even watch/read slow burn movies/books.

  • Reply Charlotte October 4, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    Thank you for posting about the Carla Naumberg book. This was exactly what I needed after the trying weekend I’ve had with my kids.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns October 5, 2020 at 9:11 am

    I would like to delete FB but there’s a group for daycare parents on there so I would miss out on that… Facebook used to have a ‘groups only’ view but they got rid of that a year ago or so and I really wish they wouldn’t have!

    Great job on your pitch – so nice to get a call out from your former program director!!

    • Reply Meghan October 5, 2020 at 1:45 pm

      Lisa, some people I know have gone in and “unfollowed” all of their friends so that only group posts show up on the newsfeed! This is a little time consuming on the front end, but the friends don’t get any sort of notification that you’re not seeing their posts anymore. I am in a few groups on Facebook that I really enjoy, so I’ve been pondering this.

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