Habits life

Quality Time

March 31, 2021

EVENING WIN: playing Monopoly with the big kids (and Josh, who made it home just as we were starting!). Our nanny took G home just for fun and so we seized the moment to do something that is a bit more difficult with a preschooler (unless said preschooler is being entertained by a screen).

EVENING LOSS: 55 minutes of potential reading + sleep lost to Instagram. Josh put the kids to bed after we finished playing and instead of turning to my book (Homegoing — which is really really good!) I opened this #(*$#$ app. This was entirely unintentional and I’m annoyed.

I have deleted the app from my phone. I do feel like I ‘need’ to be on there to post podcast episodes on Monday & Tuesday. But maybe it’s not even worthwhile to do that?

Because truthfully, my Instagram presence isn’t even that big and I’m not willing to spend time on the app that it would take to grow it (or god forbid make a Reel, which — just no).

The podcasts have bigger audiences than the ‘gram accounts to begin with, and I’m sure only a small fraction of each podcast’s followers even see the posts. IS IT EVEN WORTH IT? I was inspired by the fact that one guest I interviewed (Megan Hyatt Miller, and she was lovely!) basically abandoned her account last fall despite the fact that she is releasing a book next month.

I know what Cal Newport would say . . .


  • Reply Chelsea March 31, 2021 at 6:47 am

    I’m so excited you got to interview Megan Hyatt Miller! I’ve gotten very into both of the podcasts her company produces, and I think she’s an amazing leader. Now that you’ve got her hooked on Best Laid Plans (I’m assuming), maybe she’ll make an appearance on BOBW :).

    Also… I can’t wait until we can really play a board game without Ian just wrecking it. We can get him to cooperate with little kid games like Candy Land and DogMan, but big kid games are still a disaster.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 31, 2021 at 7:20 am

      The interview was for BOBW actually! She was so lovely in person. I also love her work and have listened to her (and her dad) for years. Glad you are excited!!

  • Reply Janna March 31, 2021 at 7:24 am

    Listen to Cal… you think you will miss or need it. But you don’t. Cal is right. I deleted Instagram from my phone in January. I had some FOMO around it. Two weeks ago I put it back on my phone. Turns out, I’m not missing anything of value in my life by not having it. Anyone I’m truly interested in following has a blog I can follow and newsletter I can subscribe to.

    • Reply ehartung7 March 31, 2021 at 9:15 am

      This is EXACTLY how I feel too. Also now it feels weird when friends start talking about other friends and you realize they are just that invested in people on instagram, not actual friends.

      • Reply Amy D. March 31, 2021 at 3:22 pm

        That’s how I feel too! I felt the same way about Facebook but I deleted that more than 6 years ago and haven’t missed it a bit. I deleted Instagram from my phone last week and haven’t missed it at all. It always left me feeling a little anxious and empty.

  • Reply Grateful Kae March 31, 2021 at 7:55 am

    My #1 hang up with deleting social media… I feel like I occasionally “discover” things that I wouldn’t otherwise. (random ideas, book and podcast recs, cool quotes, even things like misc. products, or travel destination ideas!). I know I wouldn’t necessarily know the difference (if I don’t see it, I don’t see it!), and I also know I am probably seeing proportionally way MORE things that do NOT add value to my life. Hahaha. But I can think of things I have found on social media that HAVE added value, or that after the fact I am glad I saw….So, that’s always my personal dilemma. 🙂

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns March 31, 2021 at 7:57 am

    I’m off social media for lent right now. I do miss it to some extent, mostly because I miss seeing pics of others kids. I will go back on but will keep my 20 min limit between FB and IG. That really puts a cap on how much time I can waste on it! Maybe take 2-4 weeks off and see how you feel? I’m mostly on there for friends, though, not to see what content providers are posting so I don’t feel like it’s necessary for a podcaster like you? But I’m not a marketing person so am not the best judge of its impact/necessity.

    So fun that G went home with the nanny! Hope that went well! And yay for playing a fun game with the bigger kids!

  • Reply Sarah March 31, 2021 at 8:29 am

    I’ve just started using Screen Time on my iPhone to limit my social media use. I noticed I was really only scrolling after work and in the evening, so I set “Downtime” to 6pm-6am daily. The only things available on my phone during that time are the very basic functions – phone, text, alarms, etc. You can of course turn it off, but it makes you think twice when you try to scroll.

  • Reply ehartung7 March 31, 2021 at 9:13 am

    I deleted instagram maybe last year and have not looked back except for things like this when I am like if Sarah is posting maybe I should look at that. Minus the one thousand other things I would do on there if I went on to see just one thing. I don’t know but I think being intentional about things helps. For instance, I read your blog daily intentionally. If I was just scrolling instagram I doubt I would read your blog daily. Although generally I find reading your blog far more edifying than mindless scrolling…

  • Reply CBS March 31, 2021 at 9:35 am

    I’ve deleted instagram off my phone and unfollowed 90%, so it’s really only 10 or so new posts a day. I scroll on my computer over my morning coffee and don’t go down any hashtag rabbit holes. I thought I’d miss it but nope…

    Post UK elections, I’m getting off twitter.

  • Reply Jessica March 31, 2021 at 10:06 am

    Delete it!! People are more likely to follow you here or on the pods. I don’t even have an instagram, and I bet many of your listeners also want to use it less.

  • Reply Nadine S Dodge March 31, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    I highly recommend monopoly deal. It’s the card game version – more fun, only takes 20-30 minutes, and no set up time.

  • Reply Lani Rosenstock Inlander March 31, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    As a business owner, this is such a dilemma for me too! So appreciative to hear your take on the issue. I try to get on and get off as quickly I can, but I do learn things about people I care about that I would not have otherwise. Unfortunately, this is the way most people communicate these days. I think setting clear time limits and parameters is the only way to go. Maybe you have an alarm that goes off when you can get on and get off to post each week? You are inspiring me to try to be more structured and linear about it. You are right too, that growing a following takes a tremendous amount of work. If you aren’t willing to put that time in, just do what you’ve gotta do and get off.

  • Reply Beth @ Parent Lightly March 31, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    I stay on Instagram 99% to follow my younger sister’s house renovations. 🙂 I’m excited to hear the interview with Megan Hyatt Miller. Their podcasts are some of my favorites (Lead to Win and Focus on This) and I use the Full Focus Planner too.

  • Reply Jara C. March 31, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    I deleted Facebook and Instagram (the only two social medias I spend much time on) at the end of February since I’m on dedicated for Step 1, and I’ve been surprised at how much I don’t miss it. I’ve been debating whether or not I’ll add them back (the millennial in me feels like I won’t fit in with others my age if I don’t…), but it’s definitely nice to know that I don’t feel like I’m missing out by not having them!

  • Reply Anon March 31, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    Lots of ways to grow Best of Both Worlds listeners but Instagram is very low on the list. I’m betting this blog, Laura’s blog, and both of your interviews FAR exceed any listeners you get from instagram.

  • Reply Coco March 31, 2021 at 5:51 pm

    i’ve deleted both Inst and FB from my phone a while ago and honestly don’t miss them. if I need to check something i check when i’m on the computer. it’s just a mental break (afraid of deleting it) than real barrier.

  • Reply Katie March 31, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    I use Instagram for my business – I actually teach other business owners how to use it and it’s where I get many of my customers, so I can’t opt out!! I totally struggle with time wasted on the app too – I’ll pick up my phone to do a work task and spend 20 minutes scrolling first instead of getting right to it.
    I find the Instagram Creator Studio is a godsend for when I need to post but really want to stay in the zone and not get distracted. You need to have a professional account, but then you can use it to post and even schedule posts in advance, and it has no newsfeed or anything for you to scroll though. You could use Planoly or Hootsuite or a million other things too, but I like the creator studio because it’s not another thing you have to sign up for.

    I also sometimes use the Instagram website when I need to send someone a message – it still has the newsfeed, but it doesn’t suck me in the same way on the bigger screen.

  • Reply Irene March 31, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    Have you ever tried Connect 4 with G? My youngest plays a little even though he doesn’t really get it. We team up (I tell him where to put the chip) against my older one and they really enjoy it.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 1, 2021 at 7:22 am

      aww that’s so cute! We used to have a Connect 4 but have no idea what happened to it. Maybe I’ll get it again!

  • Reply Diane C. April 1, 2021 at 1:08 am

    I actually appreciate the BOBW Instagram since I don’t subscribe to the podcast (trying to streamline my podcast feed – I know it’s not as advantageous for you, though!). I like glancing at the IG so I can see what episodes I should listen to or catch up on depending on my mood. I also would miss reading all the listener comments if you stopped posting there- your listeners often have such great thoughts and tips; it makes for such a nice sense of community.

  • Reply Marcia (OrganisingQueen) April 1, 2021 at 5:11 am

    I love when you talk about phone usage. I am badddddddd but I realised after doing my actions from “How to break up with your phone” that most of my usage is actually the use of tools (camera, books, etc.). However, my IG usage is still too much and my new goal is 1.5 hours a day of IG/ whatsapp (time suckers). However, what was very annoying is that I was cut off mid-call with a client during a whatsapp call. So I need to amend that for weekdays.

  • Reply Dawn Burke April 1, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    One thing Cal Newport might say–can you access Instagram from your desktop? if so you could “plan” your postings for the podcasts. I’ve heard him suggest this to people who feel like they “need” to have a presence on social media for their work. Also, kudos to you for playing Monopoly–my kids are WAY too competitive and it does not end well–LOL!

  • Reply Tyra April 2, 2021 at 7:35 am

    I’m going to be an outlier here and say that I love instagram. I have my phone set up with a one hour limit per day, and I very rarely hit that. When I do, I know something’s up that I’m trying to avoid in the real world – but otherwise I enjoy the time I spend on it. I’m pretty brutal with my feed though, I unfollow anything that no longer interests me. I love the asthetics of it and I love posting stories!

  • Reply Cecy Mora April 6, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    Just came to quickly mention one small detail regarding Megan dropping her Instagram account, her dad (Michael) is in there promoting the book in full (although he was pretty absent before this and I’m pretty sure he’ll be gone once the book is out), so I guess she doesn’t need to be there as well. Also, for me, I feel the “best” technique I have to control my usage of IG is to cull how many accounts I follow… if it takes me more than 15 minutes to scroll through the feed 2 times a day (because I’m in Australia and I follow people locally and in the US/Canda/UK, mostly) then it’s too much…

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