Social media addiction

[Initially published on Dec 1, 2016.]

The digital era is here to stay. No matter how much I try to avoid it, I end up using it every day. However, it is time to slow down. I need some change.

The more the digital world is taking over, the more I feel trapped in it. Times are changing and I sure see how useful the World Wide Web is. But does it really pay off? I remember looking for articles about certain motherhood issues on a daily basis when little L was born. Or the Facebook groups I join and feel somewhat grateful for. Or the endless hours of YouTube videos that taught me so much - from coding to cooking to exercising.

It is like we have this constant - and very recent - need to share what we experience as if it makes it more real, when in fact it doesn’t. It is like we, as humans, are evolving a new instinct - the need to pleasure ourselves appreciation from others (with likes and followers). I am no different. Guilty as charged.

Let’s look at Facebook, for instance. I joined it in 2008 after a few weeks of my moving to Norway. Almost no one had it in Portugal. I joined because I was getting to know people from all over the world and all sorts of events were announced and shared there. I only posted a picture of myself 5 years later, and it was not a clear one - only those that really knew me could recognise me. I wanted to avoid posting anything personal for as long as I could.

It was only when I bought my first smart phone, in 2013, that I joined Instagram. This is by far my favourite platform. It provided me my daily dose of artistic inspiration. It feeds my artist-wannabe-persona and I simply cannot get enough. So, back in 2013, I obviously started merging both Instagram and Facebook, which annoyed some people.

Fast-forward to 2015, and my countdown-to-birth posts made it more appealing to family, friends and Facebook-acquaintances. I obviously wanted to avoid posting pictures of my daughter at all costs, but family and friends pressure took over and now my social media is a complete mess and I am not proud of it.

So this December, I am ending my personal Facebook account. Facebook would go back to be a platform for USEFUL information, instead of a thread of selfies, trolls, flashy media articles, and the like. I am done, folks!
But this is just a step! My intention is to declutter my life style, be more in sync with nature, and be more present for my daughter, my husband, my family and my friends.

Every day of December will be used to clean something, even if it is perceived as something tiny. In the end, I will post what I ended up with. The goal is to adopt a more minimalistic life style.

Photoshoot with Camilla Jørvad Photography

[Initially published on Nov 13, 2016.]

These are not our wedding pictures. We just volunteered as models.

Around April this year, Camilla Jørvad was looking for couples for a photoshoot. Because I was just completely in love with her work - and still am -, I asked M if he was in (he is ALWAYS in for everything!!!), I contacted her and she said yes right the next day.

On October 23, we headed to the Scottish Highlands for the whole day. We got rain, wind, sun - the typical very predictable (NOT!!!) Scottish weather. Nothing that a warm cup of coffee and a slice of leftover cake couldn’t fix.

I don’t think she needs more introductions. You can visit her website, facebook, or instagram.

I do not like to share this much of us, but her work needs to be seen.

Thank you so much for this day, Camilla!

Open letter from a nursing scientist

[Initially published on Nov 5, 2016]

Dear conference organisers,

My daughter is a frequent traveller, because I take her anywhere I go. Little L has attended a couple of conferences now, and she enjoys it.

She has attended the ASLO Ocean Science Meeting (OSM) 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA earlier this year. It was an interesting conference, as expected, but of course HUGE. It is so easy to get lost in science if you are not used to such a big conference. But of course my little monkey, even at only 4 months old, managed perfectly.​

She and dad strolled around the city like crazy, and then they would meet me for lunch - I was very happy to have them there, specially during the poster session (I had one poster myself). 

The facilities for parents were ok. There was even a “day care/nanny” service provided. I didn’t need to use it, because I had my own special nanny (daddy), but it will be very useful in other conferences, for sure. The only down side of the ASLO OSM 2016 was the nursing room. Well, I don’t mind nursing anytime nor anywhere, but to be able to express milk I need a plug. Here are my complaints:

1. no one seemed to know where such room was. I only managed to find it out after talking to several people;

2. the location of the room was not ideal. It was so far away from the main entrance, the main conference rooms and the overall activities, that I had to take at least 10 min to get there (if I didn’t get lost on the way).

On the other hand, the second conference little L attended had much better conditions. This was the MASTS Annual Science Meeting (ASM) 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. The room was right next to the posters area, near the entrance and easy to find (with a proper sign!!!). I of course lost much less talks whenever I needed to express the golden liquid.

I acknowledge that MASTS ASM is much smaller than ASLO OSM, but still… I am sure I am not the only nursing mom in science, right? We are planning a few more trips for 2017, and I will bring little L along, of course. So, PLEASE, conference organisers, don’t forget us, ok? =)

Yours sincerely,

Sofia - a nursing scientist

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