Adam Brody: ‘My wife put a 30-minute time limit on Twitter and my life has changed’

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Adam Brody has a new profile and interview with Wall St. Journal Magazine. I just realized he’s 41, which makes me feel so old, but I guess he was playing a teenager on The O.C. well after he was one. Adam is very much settling into dad life with his wife Leighton Meester and their daughter Arlo, five. (Update: They had their second child in September, a little boy! I’m sorry I missed this.) Adam has a small part in the awesome-looking Promising Young Woman and he’s also promoting his film available soon on demand, The Kid Detective. He gives a day in the life interview to WSJ. I love those because they get celebrities to give details they consider mundane but which I find fascinating. Adam surfs just about every morning and Leighton joins him. He’s very progressive and active on Twitter but has learned to limit his time on it. He comes across like a California dad just chilling and doing family stuff in quarantine. It was a fun read. Plus I love when celebrities talk about the shows they’re watching.

If you have a bad Monday, how do you steer yourself back on course for the rest of the week?
Ideally attack the problem, but it just depends on what the problem is. That said, a big part of our quarantine life is that my wife and I have been surfing our brains out. My wife will come down with our son half an hour, 45 minutes after I’m up and join the party and we will check the surf on our phones. I’ve been off and on a lifetime surfer. My wife’s relatively new to it but is very dedicated. She is going surfing right now.

Aside from surfing, have you guys developed any hobbies or fun ways to stay busy when you’re at home?
Go Fish was big for a while. We’ve stepped it up to Monopoly Junior. A little piano, a little karaoke. [Our daughter] has flirted with wanting to learn to ride a bike without training wheels and then kind of backs away when it gets real. And then a lot of walks through the neighborhood. And a lot of role-playing, me in particular with my daughter. The books we read change too, and that’s fun. Other new hobbies? Honestly, we’re just beach bums.

Have you been reading or watching anything good recently?
All sorts of stuff. I was on Twitter so much up until the election and I enjoy it, I really do, but it’s very addicting. I found myself, as most people, just so pissed off for most of this year and was really happy for about 48 hours after the election and then 48 hours after [that], I was so pissed again. So my wife put a 30-minute time limit on Twitter and my life has changed. I don’t know if I could have concentrated on anything else pre-election anyway, but post-election, I was like, I don’t f—ing need to know what Ted Cruz just said. I can’t let that infuriate me 24 hours a day. [So] I’m back to reading books and I felt my blood pressure lower instantly—I feel a new sense of calm and accomplishment. I was working on a Wright brothers biography. I read this little novel called At Night All Blood is Black that’s this very dark, World War I trenches [story]. I listen to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast, [episodes about] World War I, and I’ve just been fascinated by it since because it just seems like the most hellish place man has ever made. I just launched into The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. Of course, it’s making me think every little ache and pain I have is a tumor.

Shows…. We just finished The Reagans, I enjoyed that. We watched Mank, the Fincher movie, last night. We watched The Crown, The Vow, [and] Moonbase 8, which I thought was kind of sweet, lovely. And then also randomly in the Tim Heidecker–verse, we just did Beef House, which I really like, which is just like a crystal-meth Full House.

[From WSJ]

Last night I watched the first episode of that four part Reagan Showtime documentary he mentioned. It was surprisingly awesome, thank you Valiantly Varnished for recommending it! It’s hard to find a show that my son wants to watch with me and we’re both enjoying that one.

Their life sounds really sweet actually. Just Jared has photos of Adam and Leighton surfing and chilling on the beach! I am really wondering how Leighton gets Adam to only use Twitter for a half hour a day. Is it just a verbal agreement? Because that would never work for me. I have to do “work stuff” on my phone and end up glued to Twitter for an hour or more a stretch. That’s one of my New Year’s resolutions, to use Twitter less, but I’m going to have to install an app that forces me to do that. Also, I really like that they have the kind of relationship where Leighton can say “you’re limited to 30 minutes of Twitter and day” and Adam is ok with it and actually does it. In some contexts that could be controlling, but the way he explained it sounded healthy. I also have a resolution to just sit and read more, because I barely make time for that.

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44 Responses to “Adam Brody: ‘My wife put a 30-minute time limit on Twitter and my life has changed’”

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  1. Anony83 says:

    He was on The OC and not 90210 (I double-checked to make sure he wasn’t on 90210 as well but sorry if I missed that).

    Oh Seth Cohen, I had such a crush on him.

  2. kgeo says:

    I think that’s the whole point of having a partner. They see that you’re doing something that is destructive to yourself, and help you put the breaks on it. I don’t know how they implement it, but if my husband does something similar and it starts creeping back in, I’ll just let him know that I’m annoyed his bad habit is affecting our home life and it’s up to him to stop after that. It goes the other way too. Sometimes we need someone to remind us to get out of our own way.

    • Beth says:


      I read this as her suggesting he only go on for 30 mins and him taking the advice, not her enforcing a time limit.

    • Kate says:

      I’ve implemented social media screen time limits for myself to help me focus on work during the day. There is an option to share the limits across other devices on the account (like the kids’ ipads) so I read it that Leighton set an actual limit on their iphones. When you reach the limit you can enter a passcode and choose whether to give yourself 15 minutes, an hour or the rest of the day on that app. If I’ve been wasting time, the first reminder is all I need to put the phone down.

  3. Mignionette says:

    Takes notes and considers implementing the same strategy. I noticed recently that me before an iPhone/ Laptop/ Social media was a very happy outgoing, busy person.

    These days (especially during lock down) I can spend over 40 mins just scrolling through Instagram.

    Edit. He is so right, post election I am less anxious and spend ‘a little’ less time on twitter and then BREXIT…. arghhh….

    • Sarah says:

      I deleted social media apps from my phone for December and it’s been the best decision I’ve made this year.

    • Mich says:

      I forced myself to limit my Twitter time (I don’t do other social media) the week after the election. I was so stressed I was having anxiety chest pains. On the days I break my time limit, my stress levels go right back up.

  4. SamC says:

    I put a time limit reminder on all my social media accounts. Doesn’t always work because there’s a sort of snooze option but definitely helps. Was finding myself wasting hours getting sucked into it, especially Instagram. I give up all social media and celeb gossip up for Lent; it’s amazing how calm I am, and how clean my house is, during that time, lol!

  5. Lexilla says:

    CB, their second child was born! A little boy, and I’d love to know his name.

  6. Kate says:

    My therapist said that using Twitter and other social media sites too much can contribute to anxiety and I have also noticed a big difference in my mental health after reducing my usage. Basically she said to think of it like alcohol, a little is ok but too much can cause issues.

    • Mignionette says:

      ^^ I like this analogy.

    • Janiet says:

      Yes. My therapist also told me to find a way back to reading, something I have loved since I was a child. Always had my head in a book. I have been unable to read since Trump took office, and we discussed this. She said that reading is very good therapy. I struggled to get back into it though. I don’t think it’s all trump, it’s also social media. I’m really trying. Not reading for pleasure is a great loss.

      • lucy2 says:

        I so agree on reading! If you like audiobooks, that might be a step back into it too. I listen to them when I’m cleaning or doing laundry, or sometimes work, depending on what I’m doing.
        Art is a great therapy too, and I need to make more time for it.

      • Big Little Sighs says:

        @Janiet I am the same way! I loved reading as a child. I constantly read as an adult and could lose myself in a good book. Since Trump has taken office I can not read. I have bought 4 books in the past few months and didn’t finish one of them. I want to but it seems like my brain can’t handle it. I am so frustrated.

      • Esmom says:

        Reading is a huge part of maintaining my mental health. I also started to struggle to concentrate after Trump was elected but I go through phases when I really get into a reading groove. I’m on an upswing right now after struggling early in the pandemic. One thing that helped me is to find really escapist books, like Irish detective novels, rather than books that feel more like “work,” which my book club often reads. ITA that losing yourself in a book is such great therapy.

      • Kate says:

        I have also been struggling with reading recently over the last few years.

        @Esmom I love the Tana French books, let me know if you have other Irish detective novel recommendations!

      • Headintheclouds says:

        I got into such a low a year ago for the same reasons and then one day randomly started a Goodreads challenge for 2020 – it’s been the one big joy for me this year!! I’ve loved seeing my tally going up and I’ve got one more book to go this year (have chosen The Age of Innocence) to complete my 40 book challenge. It’s helped me so much feeling calmer, happier and more optimistic about things to come. I know I’ll always have books!

      • Dlc says:

        For anyone struggling with reading, I would suggest short stories. When I am stressed I find I don’t have the concentration for books. I am reading a book of short scary stories right now that I’m really enjoying. It’s called Tiny Nightmares.

    • lucy2 says:

      It absolutely does. Like Adam, up to the election I was on it, and then continued a bit after because it does feel addictive – what’s happening, who commented, who liked what I said, blah blah blah. But my feed was all political and news, and I’d leave it always feeling awful. Just angry and full of anxiety.
      I think I’m going to delete my account again and avoid it. Anything really great that gets posted will be highlighted in an article somewhere anyway.

    • wildwaffles says:

      Smart move to limit time on social media. It’s such an emotional drain. My plan is to really cut back on all social media after the Inauguration. Yesterday I went through my Facebook and left all the political one-off groups I was part of and unfollowed a bunch of people, trying to get my feed back to just good friends and family. I gave myself the gift of Book of the Month Club for Christmas with a goal to read one for-reals book a month, not on iPad or audio (it’s too tempting to respond to every little alert or notification). I was reading 65-70 books a year prior to 2016. I plummeted down to like 10 a year for 2017, 2018 and have been slowly clawing my way back. Between the last 4 years, the pandemic, and a 20 year anxiety disorder, I need to make 2021 all about inner peace.

  7. Chloe says:

    They’re cute. And his description of the 48 hour high after Biden was announced the winner is so right on- my exact experience.

  8. Alice says:

    @celebitchy – some phones have a time limiter for apps…i use it for instagram, it really helps!! (For reference I have a samsung s8)

  9. Murphy says:

    I did this to my husband one day last week and he fell asleep before midnight for the first time in months and got the highest sleep score on his fitbit that he’s ever gotten.

  10. Lucy says:

    Well, one of my lockdown binges was actually The OC! And for the very first time too, since I was too young for it when it first came out. Adam sounds so cool here and in other recent interviews I’ve read of him. And I love that he married Leighton! They must be tired of hearing about it but, I mean, they used to be Seth and Blair! 😀

  11. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Yay! Im so glad you’re enjoying the Reagans!

    Adam and Leighton both just seem like very chill people. And I definitely need to take a cue from Adam when it comes to Twitter. Im addicted but it’s not a healthy space to be in for long periods of time.

  12. Esmom says:

    His life really does seem so great, not too different from my own when my kids were little and I will always look back on that time as maybe the very best of my life, playing games and witnessing milestones and just chilling. Although I don’t surf, lol. It is on my bucket list, though, if I can get past my fear of sharks. I loved seeing photos of them surfing recently, so cool.

    I didn’t know too much about him but heard an interview with him maybe 4-6 weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed everything he had to say. He seems really smart and thoughtful, funny and self-deprecating, and a true artist. It definitely made me want to check out more of his work.

    • E.D says:

      Was that his podcast interview with Dax Sheppard?
      I listened to that episode and I found him to be so smart, creative and genuinely interesting.
      I also looked up his IMDB profile after that so I could hunt down some more of his work to watch!

  13. schmootc says:

    I feel like ” I don’t f-ing need to know what Ted Cruz just said” is a motto we should all get behind.

  14. Valerie says:

    I tried doing this, but I kept adding more time! Sometimes I’d abide by it, lol, but usually, I just needed the extra time to keep looking at the things I wanted to see. It’s at night that I have to block myself, or else I stay up looking at stupid shit I don’t even agree with.

  15. Jenn says:

    They were so cute together on Single Parents! I follow her on Instagram and she rarely posts; I get the impression that she stays off for her own sanity. But one day this past year she did post a short video of herself singing a gorgeous version of Edelweiss — in staunch opposition to the president — and it was just marvelous. I like her a lot. They both seem like very sweet, smart, and kind people.

  16. FruitBowlnBerries says:

    I’ve always liked this couple, esp Leighton, who was literally born in jail and overcame having a very challenging mother (she is first cousin to Charlie Hunnam’s partner btw).

  17. Dee Kay says:

    I hated Seth Cohen on the OC, and loved Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl, but they look cute together as a real-life couple and their marriage sounds strong and healthy. I’m not mad that Seth married Blair lol!!!

  18. WintryMix says:

    Confession: I have absolutely no idea who this man is. That being said, he sounds completely delightful! His experience of cutting back on Twitter usage also affirms what I feel in my gut would be true for me too–I can tell it’s raising my anxiety and stress a lot.

  19. Elizabeth says:

    On an iPhone go to Settings>Screen Time>App Limits

    This is a game changer if you cannot self-regulate, like me!