Cloud Watching Is Cool
I was reminded of cloud watching while surfing the internet of all places. Yeah, I need to get out more.
So I decided that I was going to get out more; I was going to go outside and look at the clouds.
Well, that didn’t last long; I should have known better in Alabama.
What Can Watching Clouds Be Good For?
- Connecting with God
- Living in the moment
- Making other people wonder what you are doing
- Getting some vitamin D
- Searching for rainbows that have pots of gold at their end. They are, in fact, always trying to get me lucky charms.
- Increasing our attention spans
I want to talk to you about that last one.
Did You Know Attention Spans are Dwindling?
I had a sneaky suspicion.
According to a study by Microsoft, our attention is worse than that of goldfish:
“The average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish is nine seconds, but according to a new study from Microsoft Corp., people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds, highlighting the affects of an increasingly digitalized lifestyle on the brain.” – Kevin McSpadden
The rest of the is quite sobering: You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish. I enjoyed it, but I couldn’t make it through the whole thing, partially because I had to reboot Windows halfway through reading the article.
Our Attention Can Be Regained
Science says it’s so! (At least, I’m pretty sure it does.) From what I’ve read, our attention is like a muscle – use it and it will grow stronger (or, more accurately – longer. This is not a sex joke, Mike.
(Natasha, that’s too bad because my hopes were high. Or, more accurately, long.)
Start with meditation. This short read (but still longer than 8 seconds) explains how it can be that simple.
Carpe diem! Did you notice that the article mentioned living in the moment? I highly recommend you read Karen Shatafian’s article How to Stop Sleepwalking Through Life.
What better way to meditate than to watch the clouds? What better way to live in the moment than to do some cloud watching? What better way to increase your attention span than to look up?
Not Able to Get the Live Version?
There’s always a reason that going out and getting the real thing isn’t going to work: night, rain, hurricane, clear skies, cold, spiders, prison. I propose some alternatives.
- Watch the video at the beginning of the post.
- I captured these clouds on a rainy day as the clouds were beginning to gather against the backdrop of a stunning blue sky.
- Try cloud watching on YouTube. Here’s a favorite: The Perfect Sunset Storm. (Be careful – it only takes two clicks to go from there to best fails of the week, which is totally distracting, not to mention hilarious.)
Cool Cloud Resources:
- There is a Cloud Spotting app. Sweet!
- There is a whole Cloud Appreciation Society. They even give out badges!
- Take your own time-lapse photography with a tripod and Framelapse. It’s too fun for words.