Deep thinkers on technology's impact on humanity have wondered whether Google is making us stupid (or smart!); whether Facebook making us cads; and whether Twitter is making attention-deficit tsi-tsi flies. But none of that really matters if all of the above are making us blind. And, well, they kind of are!


Nearsightedness has leaped 66 percent in the last 30 years to 42 percent of the population, according to one survey, and some researchers are blaming modern life. It's not just the glowing rectangular screens that have come to take up an almost comical percent of our eye time. It's also the time we're not spending outside, since some scientists think outdoor time means seeing in better light. According to the article in Science News, scientists aren't precisely sure what causes nearsightedness, but "nearsighted eyes tend to be elongated. Natural light might also stimulate dopamine production, which is known to inhibit eye growth, she says, and extra vitamin D from the sun might contribute to regulating eye growth."

The important caveat to make with any study is that it's just one study. Yet I find it somewhat remarkable, and even a little bit frightening, that the human eye, one of evolution's most marvelously complex sculptures, is being undone by a world of glowing rectangles and ubiquitous near-work.

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