why is it unhealthy to stare at phones for long periods of time (like on social media) but healthy to read books?

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why is it unhealthy to stare at phones for long periods of time (like on social media) but healthy to read books?

In: Technology

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it’s just the mental health component of excessive social media use that is bad. A lot of people cannot handle constantly comparing themselves to others and seeing everyone’s life highlights while they scroll through it on a tiny phone. I also believe the human brain cannot handle being exposed to so many people’s lives and feeling a little involved in it.

Instant gratification is one concept related to this question. When reading a book, your brain is engaged in an activity that requires critical thinking and patience. To find out the ending to the book you have to finish it. The brain is ultimately rewarded with the satisfaction of completing the book and interpreting its meaning. This is delayed gratification. Social media is an activity that requires no critical thinking. It rewards your brain every 5 seconds by giving you “stimulating” information rapidly. This is instant gratification. One fear is that we are losing our ability to simply exist in our own skin and we use the instant gratification of phones to distract our minds. Also, it’s possible to have an actual addiction to social media.

A few things. The main ones I can think of are quality, light, and positioning.

Quality: books go through a quality control process. Books have publishers and editors who have the job of making sure the books are good. The language is correct, and the facts are true. Meanwhile, a load of the internet doesn’t have this. So, on average, books are better intellectually than the internet. Obviously there are exceptions. The are a lot of really good, stimulating things online. And there are a lot of books that are pure mince (50 shades of twilight). But on average, books are better (at least historically).

Light: screens can mess up your sleep cycle. They give off blue light (as part of the white light). This tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime, making you less sleepy. This is why looking at screens before bed is bad. Meanwhile, books just reflect the light in the room.

Positioning: phone screens are small. This means we hold them close to look at. This can strain the muscles in our eyes, which can cause damage.

Reading books is far more educational than most phone use. Fiction teaches you empathy, all books help with critical analysis skills and reading comprehension. Crucial life skills.

You can use your phone to learn things the same way, probably by reading books on your phone, but usually that isn’t the case.

Because smart phones are the popular technology. Go back a generation or two and kids were told they’d ruin their eyes from too much reading and they should go outside instead.

Go forward a few generations and people will be told it’s unhealthy to spend too much time on the holo deck and they should be using their phones instead.

Staring at screens is unhealthy for many reasons, it can cause eye fatigue and headaches due to the flickering and blue light emitted by screens, that books do not.

A screen to you looks flacid and constant, but infact if you take a slow motion camera it is actually constantly flickering and emitting “blue” light which is highly fatiguing on the eyes.

Books do not do this at all, as they are, well not screens.

This is why blue light lense glasses are excellent for office workers especially, it blocks out the Blue light and can deter headaches and eye strain.

It isn’t unhealthy to look at phone screens u less its too bright.

This is just something people have said to stop kids looking at screens.

If your screen is too bright then sure, you’re basically staring at a light all day, the same issue with looking at a book that has a very bright light on it. But no there isn’t anything inherently bad about looking at a phone screen

it’s not.

also, reading books does not make you smarter, if you read only dumb books and novels. you’ll learn more in a day on social media than reading war and peace.

Some things being unhealthy about phones are:

a) you are mostly standing and look most of the time down – bad for your neck/shoulders

b) the blue-light like others said before

c) Internet generally and social media specially can result into an addiction

and last but not least: while reading a book you need more focus than reading some ‘inspirational’ quotes on Facebook or watching some self-promoting pseudo-celebrities. (That doesn’t mean there is no knowledge available!)

Oh, and another thing: Almost every time a book uses correct grammar, punctuation and spelling, most of the internet doesn’t (myself with this post included) get proof-read and edited, same for messages.

While reading a book you see and read correct language, most time on the phone you don’t.


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