The digital revolution is like a coin that has two sides. On one hand, you have all the information you need at your disposal to decide where you stand and when. And on the other, there are great risks that will affect your health if you do nothing.
Dozens of studies indicate that a component that emits the screen can be lethal to your eyes, none claim otherwise. However, most of us will NOT acknowledge that the warnings are true. We would be terribly mistaken by not recognizing findings of these studies that demonstrate the fact that eyes exposed to toxic light from screens cell death in the neurons of retina occur, which is irreversible, simply because they do not regenerate.
There are at least three mechanisms that prevent us from recognizing this mistake:
1. Gregarious behavior: What everyone does cannot be bad or "so bad"
Most of us believe that it is very difficult for everyone to be wrong all at the same time. The more people think of something, the more likely it would be considered that it is correct. Group behavior is a common characteristic of herbivores (i.e., herd of sheep) that bond together to avoid the predators. This type of gregarious behavior have been noted to cause “bubbles” or economic crises in a society. In one of the first known “bubbles” is when Isaac Newton himself participated in what was called “collective madness,” lost 20,000 sterling pounds, in the bubble called the South Sea Bubble. Upon seeing his own failure, the famous physicist said: "I can calculate the movement of the celestial bodies, but not the madness of the people." In the last real estate bubble, the phrase "Housing will never go down" was partially the cause of a significant madness that led us to the last economic crisis.
In the case of the health hazard from screens, the phrase or reflection we hear is very clear: "If everyone does it, it’s probably not so bad” or “If it was that bad, they would do something about it” or "It is too serious to be true" and so on…These reflections prevent us from acting and cause us to be minimally objective with the irrefutable data that we have in front of us. The problem with not acting or not doing something about it will cost everyone their vision at some point including themselves, their children and relatives.
2. Senses vs Data: We don’t fully understand what is “irreversible” or what it means to be blind by allowing more relevance to our senses rather than to the existing data.
We usually trust what we feel. If something hurts us, we immediately act upon it. However, when something doesn’t hurt, we think it can’t be that bad. This is because we relate the intensity of pain to the intensity of damage. We think, “If something is hurting me a lot, it must be very bad.”
We know that in some cases this may be true, like a broken bone. But we also know that this is not true in all cases, for example in using tobacco. A smoker does not feel pain from smoking, actually the feeling is more of a pleasure, while it is seriously affecting his health.
This type of thought process prevents many from protecting themselves. When fleeing or postponing a problem, we tend to move away from the concept to opt, thinking the irrationality of being a victim, not wanting to face it.
3. The belief that "They will invent something to fix the problem"
This is the most dangerous and a common mistake we think about when analyzing a problematic situation. In most cases, this the usual type of thought: "It may be true that I'm going to lose my vision by using screens. In any case, a small effort to protect myself doesn’t make sense because "surely" they will invent something to solve it. Recall that even Isaac Newton fell into an unfounded belief and made a serious mistake.
The “global experiment” continues however, currently (and luckily) more than 1 million eyes have decided to leave such thoughts behind (and stop guessing) and go forward in living their lives with much less risk. Billions of eyes are still hooked on this “experiment” that can only go wrong for them.
As always, being well-informed makes the difference.
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