5 on a Friday: No Instagram in 2022?

October 22, 2021

1- POD EP: Planner Games from Planners & Wine. I was just excited to hear Meg + Myra talk about what they might use next year!

2- Blog post: I enjoyed this Physician On Fire “Post-Fi Notes Series” post from a physician who saved >$5M without doing anything fancy with real estate. (I have ZERO DESIRE to do anything with real estate, unless you count buying a home — which might be happening soon, by the way — we will see).

3- 2022 without Instagram. I am tempted to take the next year off of Instagram, and if it’s anything like my FB break I suspect that could turn into forever. Question: If you listen to BLP + follow me there, would you still find my posts via other mechanisms? I can’t tell how much the app actually helps others find me. Nothing has ‘gone viral’ yet so I’m pretty sure that’s not in the cards. I am a niche creator . . . what can I say!

The difficulty would be figuring out a way to stay current with planner releases and such, but I think using podcasts + select patreon groups (Amanda’s Favorites, Planners & Wine) would be enough! Plus maybe my content would be more original if I couldn’t always see what others were doing . . .

4- BOOK: I’m really enjoying this one, a bit more than halfway through. I’m hoping to finish this weekend (full disclosure, it is due at the library TODAY — oops. Determined to return Monday!). So right for the season. ALSO: very glad I was born in the 1900s rather than the 1600.

appropriate. Dark, but not gory (at least not yet).

5- WEEKEND: Josh is on call but I will be optimistic and and assume it won’t be too bad! We have a birthday party, a park play date, and the usual kid activities. I have to admit we are living close to the ‘old normal’, just avoiding a few things at this point, and masking basically everywhere indoors.

Hopefully will continue on the downtrend!

Off to run! I am alternating outdoor runs with CG EPIC 1 workouts currently and I like this mix, now that the weather has started to improve!


  • Reply Seppie October 22, 2021 at 7:03 am

    Could you keep your Instagram to post BLP without using it for anything else? This is basically what I do. Once every couple of weeks I schedule posts in advance using creator studio. As I do that, I pop in to check on messages or reactions and spend about 10 minutes scrolling so that I can engage with the posts of others in my field.

    All of this on my computer at a designated time – I don’t have Insta on my phone because when I did the amount of time I spent on it just kept creeping up and up. I usually block the time to schedule posts right up against a meeting so that 10 minutes doesn’t turn into an hour…

    I follow your blog via rss, and if there is a BLP ep I want to listen to, I find out about it that way.

  • Reply Alyce October 22, 2021 at 7:19 am

    Yes, my thought on your earlier real estate post was that you don’t have to “win” at real estate to become rich and have a comfortable retirement. It’s not like you’re a middle class family making 80K/yr and your home is the biggest asset/savings vehicle you have. You guys make enough money to be able to save adequately to reach retirement goals. I personally find that having bought a “cheap” house (relative to the cost of housing in DC, not cheap in terms of the actual cost of the house or average housing costs in America, or compared to my siblings across the south who all bought newer and bigger houses for a fraction of what we paid even though their houses came with basic amenities like a/c and a dishwasher that we did not get), has been the best financial decision in large part because we can still save aggressively for retirement and still enjoy a nice life.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 22, 2021 at 7:45 am

      That is our goal as well!

    • Reply Amy October 22, 2021 at 4:01 pm

      Great point — we think occasionally about moving but in the end, nothing about a nicer house can beat the almost criminally small mortgage we pay every month.

  • Reply Chelsea October 22, 2021 at 7:49 am

    I second the recommendation to use a scheduling app for your posts if you still want to post on Insta. Or just take it off your phone and only use it on your desktop? That might be enough to get what you want out of it without the risk of going into zombie scroll mode. Or use the scheduling app and do planner research on Youtube?

    The thing that frustrates me about all the real estate hoopla is that it’s so selected. You never hear the stories when everything went wrong and people lost money, and there are plenty of them.

    Good luck with buying a new house. My oldest son’s BFF’s mom also had to move because her landlord decided to sell. One of the definite downsides to how high housing prices are right now.

  • Reply Katy Rotman (@katy246) October 22, 2021 at 7:58 am

    I follow your blog via RSS and follow the podcast via Spotify/the podcast app I use at the moment, so the Insta won’t change much for me in that aspect

  • Reply Grateful Kae October 22, 2021 at 8:21 am

    My 2 cents as a faithful reader and listener: In my case, I am subscribed to the podcast, so I see all the new episodes automatically, and I always just usually listen every Monday as a habit. I’m also subscribed to blog posts to my email, so I can’t miss those either. So, I think true “fans” would have zero issue with no IG posts bc they are likely not relying on those anyway. (I see your IG posts about new episodes, but for me it’s just a repeat, since I’ve already usually listened to the episode at that point! I do enjoy when you post other misc. content on IG, though.)

    That being said, I’m sure there are some people who don’t listen to every episode and like to pick and choose more (and don’t want to subscribe). And maybe seeing the posts helps remind those types of people that the podcast exists!

    The only way I’d say that IG helps me personally to find new podcasts/episodes is usually through someone sharing a screenshot or post of someone else’s podcast (i.e. “check out this awesome episode I just listened to!” and it catches my attention and then I go try it out. I’ve found various podcasts that I now enjoy this way.).

    The only other thing I would say too is that I personally get a teeny bit turned off when a content producer has an account, posts, but then otherwise has zero interactions with his or her followers…I guess it feels a little bit “fake” or one-sided, maybe? When I see that, I sometimes I feel like, “Well, wait a second. I’m supposed to be all into following YOUR stuff, but then you never respond to any comments or questions from the people who are actually consuming your product and supporting you?” 🤔 But in your case, you have the blog and you are responsive and interactive here (and, currently, on IG too). So it’s a different situation, anyway.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 22, 2021 at 9:16 am

      ooh yeah I totally get that!!!

      maybe that’s a reason NOT to do Insta and instead direct people here (or to my email) to interact!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns October 22, 2021 at 9:10 am

    I use Feedly to follow the blogs I read. I actually never really see your IG posts because I limit myself to 20 minutes/day between FB and IG so I see VERY little content. I mostly just see what my sister posts because that’s how I can see her baby! I went off IG for a good 6+ weeks last year and debated not coming back on. I think it’s probably not adding much to my life in totality? It is a good way to connect with the many friends that live far away. I tried to replicate IG by starting a ‘3 things’ weekly text with 2 good friends that live far away but we ended up being really inconsistent and that habit fell off. I have some private family groups on FB that I use to keep in touch with my large family and I use FB to sell baby stuff which I’m doing a lot of these days! I haven’t felt ready to drop social media completely but limiting myself to 20 minutes total has been a good strategy so far. I will probably drop it down to 15 minutes in 2022. And maybe just keep steadily dropping my usage to maybe 10 minutes/day which is very little! We’ll see. This is good food for thought.

    I liked that doctor post because that is really, in my opinion, how most of us should be saving for retirement. You don’t need to do anything fancy and the biggest thing is having a lot of margin between your income and spending. That is easier for those in higher income jobs like us. But it always amazes me to hear how many people in my industry have nothing saved!! Eeks. And like Alyce said above, owning a house that is very affordable for your area is so key! We don’t think about what we could afford, we thought about what we needed to spend to get what we needed (which was 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms with showers, central air and a 2-car garage – which is a pretty modest list in my opinion but not necessarily easy to find in our area of Minneapolis since many homes were built in the early 1900s). And then we aggressively paid down our mortgage because we value being debt free. That article reminds me how different our life will be than many of our peers since we had kids so late! In our mid-50s, our kids will still be in school – junior high and high school! But we had kids at 37 and 39 since we got married at 36! So the health insurance piece is one of the big reasons that we won’t be able to retire in our 50s since we’ll have our kids on our insurance until we are in our early 60s! And unless there are big chances to insurance, I think it’s best to have an employer-provided plan, especially since I need good insurance with my RA drugs.

    Good luck with your weekend with Josh being on call. I think it will be helpful to have activities out of the house! For me the hardest part of a weekend that includes some solo parenting is being home with the kids. I’d much prefer having somewhere to go/people to see!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 22, 2021 at 9:56 am

      Interesting about paying off mortgage! In theory would feel great, but if interest rate is under 3% and the market is earning 6% on average I think we would just leverage the loan? Psychologically being debt free would feel amazing (which we currently are . . .but we don’t own a home!).

      • Reply Alyce October 22, 2021 at 10:55 am

        You’re right that, generally speaking, paying off a mortgage early doesn’t make sense financially, especally given today’s historically low interest rates. That said, if folks can do it while still investing sufficiently for retirement and while living the life they want to live, if it feels better psychologically to not have a mortgage, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t do it. Sure, they might net more money investing the extra mortgage payments, but I firmly believe that the goal shouldn’t be to accumulate the most money possible, but to have enough money to meet your needs. I know Lisa has said in the past that her and her husband are in the same volatile profession, so maybe that’s a huge factor in paying off their mortgage agreessively so they have more options if they lose a job and it takes a while to find another one, or if their next jobs are lower paid than their current job. The main key, in my opinion, is not paying off the mortgage at the expense of investing enough for retirement.

        • Reply FIRE-bound Couple in Denver October 22, 2021 at 11:13 am

          We paid off our mortgage in our 30’s (no kids, bought a much less expensive house than we could have, still were able to save for retirement, etc) and while it’s not possible for everyone and not always the best choice for those that it’s possible for, it was absolutely the way to go for us. I will say that not having a mortgage payment has helped us sleep at night during the uncertainty of the pandemic. Neither of us have lost jobs, but it was scary out there for awhile. Our emergency fund can go a LOT further without a mortgage payment, and we live in a HCOL area, so for us paying a mortgage made a lot more financial sense than paying rent. The psychological comfort of knowing our home is paid off has been worth it.

        • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns October 22, 2021 at 1:53 pm

          Alyce – good memory! We do work in a volatile industry so that is a big factor in paying off the mortgage. And paying it off wasn’t at the expense of investing. We are lucky to be in the position to do both. For others, it doesn’t make sense to pay off your mortgage if it’s at the expense of investing. It likely all depends on what you value/how much you have to invest/pay down debt. But we paid off our mortgage in our last house and it was truly the best feeling ever to have so little debt/monthly obligations. Equity market valuations was another factor for us – my husband is the equity expert and I’m the fixed income market expert and he’s not overly excited about market valuations right now so we felt like putting money towards debt made more sense for us.

  • Reply YS October 22, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    There was a very interesting article today in the NYTimes about financially well-off families foregoing home ownership and choosing single-family house/home rentals instead. Apparently this sector of real estate is really booming. Anyway, it made me think of this blog. I don’t know if you have access to it (paywall?).

  • Reply Kelsey Wharton October 22, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    I love how thoughtful you are about Instagram and I feel a similar interest/dislike for the medium. Personally I love scrolling through my own feed and seeing peeks into my life and what I captured. Often I am reminded of things I am not sure I would otherwise think of. I love capturing small moments or things in life and taking the time to reflect on them. I truly think it makes me more grateful and present. However, I get overwhelmed consuming so much of what other people share even though I am very intentional about who I follow. What I am trying out is muting nearly everyone I follow. So now I see very few new posts because most of my followers are muted but I can still post and interact with messages and commenters (which I try to be very intentional and not reflexive about). That’s just what I need from that medium right now. Anyway, just an idea for a middle ground that might work for you!

    And for me personally I get your blog posts to Feedly and new episodes in my podcast feed so the Instagram posts aren’t what I use to stay up to date with your content if that is helpful to know!

    • Reply Lani Inlander October 24, 2021 at 8:16 am

      I feel like you have put words (and a plan) to what I was having a hard time expressing about Instagram. As a creator myself, I also have a love/hate relationship with it. I resent the time suck and feel very easily overwhelmed by other people’s self promotion, etc. coming through the feed. However, I love interacting with my own followers and seeing friend’s babies, etc. Muting those one does not want to see is a great solution.
      Sarah, I also subscribe to the podcast and only see your IG posts sometimes. I need to mute more people I don’t want to see so that I can see more of the people (like you!) that I do want to see! I don’t schedule posts but I only hop on to post and respond to followers. That is when I check my feed. I don’t need a time limit because my internal introvert overwhelm clicks in at about the 10 minute mark ;).

      • Reply Kelsey Wharton October 27, 2021 at 3:46 pm

        I’m so glad this idea is helpful! Wishing you the best luck as you find a good balance on IG!

  • Reply Sophie October 22, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    I subscribe to BLP on Apple Podcasts so leaving IG wouldn’t make a difference to me. In fact I don’t find out about any of my podcasts via IG! I think given you have this website to direct people to, it wouldn’t be too much of an issue. I know why you might be concerned, it’s possible some people might miss your eps without it, but we know what Cal Newport would say. Think about the other creative ways you might build your audience using the time you would have spent on Insta!

  • Reply Elizabeth October 22, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    I agree with the posts here and I’d say that the net value of Instagram in your life is negative and for that reason I would just delete it. There are other ways to grow listenership without it, and you have an online platform (here) you can refer people to and interact with people on.

    I just feel if the reason to keep it is solely to grow your podcast and the reason to delete it is improvement to your mental health and overall life, to an outsider it seems a simple and easy choice. I’m also an abstainer rather than a moderator and I’m getting ready to delete Instagram too. It’s just a time drain for me and little to no value add.

  • Reply Elisabeth October 22, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    I’ve never had Instagram. I also don’t have a podcast or blog following…but honestly cannot imagine life with social media. It feels hard/hectic enough without it and there is plenty of distraction/comparison just by reading blogs and other online articles.

    I don’t understand the full allure of Instagram since I don’t use it…but I think a year away from it sounds like it could be liberating (and would make hitting your <100 minutes target much easier)!!

  • Reply Jessica October 23, 2021 at 1:16 am

    I subscribe on my podcast app, go to your blog to read posts, and don’t have an Instagram. Most new podcasts I follow are because the host was a guest on another podcast and I liked their episode.

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