The BBC reported today that E-Books “damage health” after a study was conducted by U.S. doctors. Their findings concluded that it took longer to go to sleep with a back lit e-reader, which led to sleep which was found to be of poor quality and being more tired the following morning,
A team from Harvard Medical School compared reading paper books and light-emitting e-readers before sleep.
They found it took longer to nod off with a back-lit e-reader, which led to poorer quality sleep and being more tired the next morning, though they have said the original kindles should be fine.
Lead researcher Prof Charles Czeisler told the BBC News website: “The light emitted by most e-readers is shining directly into the eyes of the reader, whereas from a printed book or the original Kindle, the reader is only exposed to reflected light from the pages of the book.”
He said disrupting sleep in turn affected health.
“Sleep deficiency has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic diseases like obesity and diabetes, and cancer.
“Thus, the melatonin suppression that we saw in this study among participants when they were reading from the light-emitting e-reader concerns us.”
Having said that though, surely reading for hours on end or playing video games for hours on end would have the same effect? Of course, the lighting will cause eye damage, but so will reading a paperback in the evenings in low lighting, due to the fact the eyes have to work a lot harder in order to compensate for the low lighting environment.
Whilst yes, Ebooks and electronic devices are damaging, the same could be said for basically… anything. Have we, as a species become so reliant on technology that common sense has gone out the window?
We are at the point where producers are having to put large warnings on their products for consumers to ensure that they do not overuse the product (in the most obvious of circumstances, such as allowing a toddler to use an iPad for 4 hours solid, every single day) and due to how connected the world is; anyone can access the internet from the click or tap of a button. So much so, that many would rather diagnose their health problems on Google than see a doctor; or would rather contact their families online than speaking to them face to face.
Many probably remember the cliched sayings, “you watch too much TV you will get square eyes” “Too much of a good thing is a bad thing” But at least we had those sayings… I am starting to wonder if Steven Hawking had a point regarding technology; are humans becoming so reliant on it that they are starting to lost the ability to think independently for themselves anymore? Are we losing the most basic codes of holding down a relationship with anyone; that we forget what is actually acceptable behaviour in society? Due to enjoying too much of our technology, are we losing the knowledge who are loved ones truly are? Are we losing touch of the external environment around us?
I personally believe that too much of anything can be bad for you, but by the same token why do people not utelize common sense? We can think for ourselves… believe it or not; the generation before us did have to exist without Google and portable devices and actually knew about one another, and did not have to rely on their loved ones having a Facebook account.