Computer Screens are Hurting Our Eyes; Trees Can Heal Them

Over at Wired, Virginia Heffernan writes about “computer vision syndrome”, the narrowing of vision that reading off flat screens, handhelds and desktops cause without our even realizing it. It can take many forms, from blurred vision and myopia to temporary blindness. A simple antidote is to look at trees that offer the three-dimensional perspective we need:

Not long ago a science writer named Gabriel Popkin began leading tree walks for city dwellers in Washington, DC, whose monomaniacal attention to screens had left them tree-blind. That’s right, tree blindness—and the broader concept of blindness to the natural world—might actually be the real danger screens pose to vision. In 2012, Popkin had learned about trees to cure this blindness in himself and went from a naif who could barely pick out an oak tree to an amateur arboriculturist who can distinguish hundreds of trees. The biggest living beings in his city suddenly seemed like friends to him, with features he could recognize and relish.

…Lately, when I pull away from the screen to stare into the middle distance for a spell, I take off my glasses. I try to find a tree. If I’m inside, I open a window; if I’m outside, I will even approach a tree. I don’t want mediation or glass. The trees are still strangers; I hardly know their names yet, but I’m testing myself on leaf shapes and shades of green. All I know so far is that trees are very unlike screens. They’re a prodigious interface. Very buggy. When my eyes settle after a minute or two, I—what’s that expression, “the scales fell from my eyes”? It’s almost, at times, like that.

Fast Forward

 

Jaci Berkopec

Sally Schneider

pdxfanews.blogspot.com

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

 

…tree blindness—and the broader concept of blindness to the natural world—might actually be the real danger screens pose to vision.

We’re glad there’s such a simple, uplifting cure.

 

Sally Schneider

 

One Response to Computer Screens are Hurting Our Eyes; Trees Can Heal Them

  1. Ellen Rocco 04.03.2018 at 7:23am #

    So simple…

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