9 July 2021, Somewhere in the Metaverse - UplandDood (@Just1Dood)
My recent increase in online presence due to more writing, reading, and chatting has gotten me to think about what I'm about to share with you. If you spend a lot of time online, I highly suggest that you read this.
You can't fight Advancement
If you have not been hiding in a cave over the last decade or so, one thing you'd have noticed is the incredible speed at which technology has advanced.
More and more cars are running on electricity. More and more commerce is happening online. The volume of communication has grown so much over so many different platforms that we need to differentiate whether it's face-to-face or otherwise. Whether one keeps up with technology or not, it's here to stay.
You may not believe it but I've held off owning a cellphone for a long time. I didn't own one even after I started working. I can't recall how long I managed to fend off the onset of this technology but I found out soon enough that it's a losing battle. I realized that once you start work, everyone wants to be able to reach you instantly. Some companies even issue you a cellphone if you do not have one. It's their way of saying - we own you from now on. They want to be able to reach you at all times. If you don't have a cellphone, that would be near impossible to accomplish. The expectations and pressure were just too much to go against. To borrow a phrase I recently read from a fellow writer @Samantha-Smith, I was like paddling upstream without a paddle! It's an exercise of futility. Well, as the saying goes, if you can't beat them, join them. I did exactly that. I got myself a phone and it has become part of my body ever since (though I do change to newer models now and then; the phone not the body). If you look at me closely, you will no longer see five fingers on my right hand. Most of the day you'll see a phone.
The Tech Trinity
My time is now split between my cellphone, my laptop, and my television. All three vie for equal attention. As you and I know, there is no equality in technology. The cellphone always wins. Coming at a close second is the laptop and the television is happy in being in third place.
One Thing in Common
I'm sure you have already noticed. All three of these have one thing in common. They all have a screen that stares back at you. I end up playing chicken with them all day. I end up staring at the screen all day forgetting to blink.
If you are like me, then better pay attention. You and I need to take precautions so that we get to enjoy these technologies for many more years to come.
Insights from History
In order to understand the danger these poses if no precautions are taken, let me take you back to our roots.
Back when we were cave dwellers and later on hunters and farmers, a big part of our day was spent outdoor. Besides using getting more workouts and healthier muscles, we also have healthier eyesight (Note: not based on scientific research but based on UplandDood's unproven "but-makes-a-lot-of-sense" theory. LOL).
You probably understand why healthier muscles but eyesight? My theory is this - whether it's hunting or farming or clubbing another tribe, your eye muscles get exercise. You constantly shift focus. Sometimes near, sometimes far. These movements and focus shifting exercise our eye muscles making them stronger and healthier. If you're an ophthalmologist, do correct me if I'm wrong.
Challenges in the Current Time
Our current activities do not give us a lot of opportunities to do what our forefathers did - no clubbing (Okay, wiseguy. You're right. Some young ones do that on weekends), no farming, and no hunting. Our eyesight for the most part of our waking hours is fixed on a screen not more than 50 centimeters away. Our eyes muscles do not have many opportunities to exercise.
Compound that with the fact that we're staring into a light source for hours on end. Can you imagine staring into a lightbulb for hours? I know it's not the same but I hope you get the picture. I'm not sure if our eyes were created to do that or withstand that kind of long exposure to artificially created lights.
Here's another thing I know. Whether the screen light is good for the eyes or not on extended exposure, one thing is certain. The blue light emitted by all these devices is extremely harmful to our eyes.
While doing some research for this article, I found out that blue lights are everywhere and not all blue lights are bad. I have also discovered that long exposure will result in retinal damage and possibly loss of vision.
The MayoClinic website has this to say about blue light:
The long-term effects may be harmful. Blue light or blue-violet light can be damaging to delicate retinal cells deep in the eye. Additionally, studies have shown blue light is a risk factor for the onset of age-related macular degeneration, which is a progressive condition that can lead to vision loss over time.
Recommendations for You and I
Many of us rely on these devices for our livelihood. Our lives revolve around it. It is indispensable. Is there something that can be done so that we can continue using it for many years to come?
Yes, there is expert advice on what we can do to minimize damage to our eyesight due to long exposure to these devices.
Remember to rest your eyes
This could mean stopping to focus on something far away, such as trees, mountains, etc., or doing some simple exercises.
Three are plenty of apps to help you with that. Just Google "eyesight resting reminder app" and "eye exercises app". You should come across plenty of recommendations. Read up the reviews and choose one that works for you.
Do not use your phone in the dark.
If you do need to use your phones or laptops at night or in a darker environment, install some blue light filter app. Again, just Google "blue light filter app". You'll get plenty to choose from.
Do not use your phone or computers before bedtime
Blue light affects your circadian rhythm. It's our body's internal clock that 'tells' us it's time to sleep and time to wake up. Exposure to blue light tricks our brain into thinking that it's still daylight and we end up having difficulty falling asleep. I wonder if modern insomnia is caused by this.
Very often we take things for granted until it's gone. I have taken my eyesight for granted. This article is as much for as it is to help all take better care of themselves. We need to appreciate, treasure, and take good care of our eyes so that they can continue to provide us images of this wonderful world until our final day.
I hope this has been helpful for you.
Header: Unsplash.com - JESHOOTS.COM
Image 1: Unsplash.com - NordWood Themes
Image 2: Unsplash.com - Coline Haslé
Image 3 Unsplash.com - Jakob Owens
Thank you again for dropping by. Have fun with English. Remember to share your experience in the comment section.
Do drop by to say hi at my following addresses. I promise I'll be at home :)
Publish0x: UplandDood (link takes you to site. You'll have to search for UplandDood to find me)
Another great article delivered with your usual dose of humour. I must remember to turn my blue light filter on again!