Earth’s atmosphere is made up of several layers: the Troposphere, the Stratosphere, the Mesosphere, the Thermosphere, the Ionosphere, the Exosphere and the Magnetosphere. The layer closest to the earth is called the Troposphere. It extends between 8 to 14.5 Kilometers above the earth, depending on whose statistics you use. We live in the lower part of it and planes fly up to the higher end of it. The Stratosphere is the layer above the Troposphere and it extends to 50 Kilometers. Some planes may also fly in the lower part of it. The Mesosphere, extending to 85 Kilometers above the earth, is where most of the meteors burn up. The Thermosphere, extending to 600 Kilometers above the earth, is where the Satellites orbit the earth. Above that is the Ionosphere extending up to 965 Kilometers, followed by the Exosphere, and the Magnetosphere.
Unless you fly a lot, most of us spend our time down in the lower part of the Troposphere. Frequent flyers spend a lot of time in the upper part of it or in the lower part of the Stratosphere. It’s pretty easy to know where we spend our time physically but the real questions for all of us is: Where do we spend the most mental time? What holds most of our mental real estate?
A fellow blogger, Dawn from Dawn Running Strong, was talking about social media and she shared that she wanted to be “fully present” with her family and friends. I read her post and it really struck a cord with me. The day I post on my blog, I am checking my email more often to see if I need to respond to a comment. My mind is distracted by it and many times, I am not “fully present” with those around me. I think that I am not the only person who struggles with it. Whether you are a blogger or not, it is easy to be distracted by our electronic devices. The picture above is an example of what I am talking about. The people are all standing around together, but they are not “together.” Each one is distracted by what they are looking at on their phones.
Whether it is our blogs, email, facebook, the news, whatever, it is going to take intentionality if we want to be to be “fully present” with those around us. The hardest thing for most of us to do is to step away from our electronic devices and “live” right where we are.
Studies have shown that our electronic devices can be very addicting. There seems to be an inverse relationship to our happiness vs. time spent on social media. Social media doesn’t necessarily mean social in the sense of being truly connected to others. It can actually make us unhappy if we start comparing our lives with others who are posting on Facebook or Instagram.
I enjoy being on the computer, i.e. checking email, WordPress, Facebook and reading the news on a few sites. I just want to be able to compartmentalize them so that when I am with my family and friends, I can be “fully present.” How about you? How do you keep from being addicted to your social media and manage to be “fully present” with those around you?