In today’s society where technology dominates much of our lives, we often forget the simple pleasure of just picking up a book, smelling that ‘book paper’ smell, and flipping through pages leisurely. Nothing needs to be charged except our imaginations. While it may be easier and more convenient to download the newest books, magazines, and newspapers onto your iPad, kindle, or any other form of technology, it might not be what’s best for you and your eyes.
Technology emits blue light, which is a portion of a visible light spectrum with the shortest wavelength and highest energy. Blue light, particularly, penetrates all the way to the retina of the eye, which isn’t good for you as too much exposure to blue light can damage the light-sensitive cells in the retina. This exposure can eventually lead to macular degeneration. A macular is the small central area of the retina of the eye which controls the sharpness of your vision. This can then lead to permanent vision loss, something none of us ever wants to experience. In addition, blue light contributes to digital eye strain as high energy blue light scatters more easily than other visible light, and it is not as easily focused. Looking at our computer screens and other digital devices that emit significant amounts of blue light can contribute to digital eye strain.
Beside eye strain, an article from PRI states that the more you read on screens, the more your mind shifts toward a “non-linear” reading. This refers to a practice that involves skimming a screen or having your eyes dart around a web page. This article suggests we can adapt to reading on screens a little too well, which inhibits our ability to deep read, something many people do when trying to read something in depth and understand the content.
So our #bebetter52 challenge for you this week? Stop yourself from reading on your tablet or scrolling on your smartphone. Instead, read something non-digitally, whether it be your morning paper, your current book, or your favorite magazine. Maybe, you’ll rediscover your love for paper books, glossy magazines, and that newspaper smell! Hopefully, without the papercuts!