Ever heard that thing about how if you sit close to a TV screen, you'll become near-sighted? Remember getting annoyed at your mother or whatever because she kept bitching at you for being close to your TV?
Well, here's the irony about that. It's actually a myth, more or less.
There's rather a lot of these stupid little things that pass on from generation to generation and never get questioned, but this one has a special place in my heart.
You see, folks, as you probably know, I wear glasses. I'm near-sighted. I used to sit right up next to my computer monitor and TV, and I routinely got bitched at for doing so. That totally caused it, didn't it? Right. Proof that sitting too near a screen impairs your vision! That's why nerds wear glasses, it's self inflicted!
But, you see, there's a chicken-and-egg problem here. Most children sit too close to screens and the like because their eyesight is already poor. So whenever I was told to sit away from the screen, I either refused or inched close again because I couldn't make out what was happening on screen. It's very frustrating.
See, what happens is, your eyesight just... goes to pot. It degenerates and you get near-sighted. This is why people get near-sighted, it just happens to you, tough luck. It usually happens in your youth, if it's going to. If you're lucky, it happens when you're very young and just accept glasses or contact lenses.
I was unlucky, and I endured several years of high school hiding the fact that I was incapable of seeing the white/blackboard. I didn't want to admit it, but I was losing eyesight, and I squinted and stared and tried my best to see what was up there, all to no avail. 4 years or so, I went to school like that, and just suffered in blind silence.
Not entirely sure what it was. If I didn't want to have to wear glasses, or if I just didn't want to admit that I was near-sighted. I know for a fact that I was worried about showing up to class wearing glasses; no matter how cool the frames were, I knew for a fact it'd just be an invitation for trouble. My peers were utter fuckwits. So I just put up with being blind, and continued to inch closer and closer to TVs.
I even remember I didn't go to any movie theaters, because I couldn't SEE bugger all on screen.
What escapes me, though, is the exact moment when I decided to give up the charade and get my eyes "tested". At any rate, the reason I was sitting too close to the screens was that my eyesight was already crappy, and that is how it works.
Just one day, eyesight started to go, getting progressively worse. It just happens. If your kid is inching closer to the screen, either they want to be there and it is TOTALLY fine, so leave them alone, or you might want to get their eyes tested. Quickly, before they get to the age where they view the idea of wearing glasses with trepidation.
Because that... whole issue was just the single flippin' dumbest thing I think I've done in my entire life. Going for half a decade to classes where I couldn't see writing if it wasn't 2 feet from my face. Guh.
On a final note? Now that I'm older, I can look back on my youth, or even look at youngsters today, and I realize that the stereotype of "nerds" wearing glasses is very suspect. I remember seeing little athlete-jocks lining up for marathons wearing their frames. Bodybuilders at the gym with dainty prescription lenses.
The truth is, glasses are just things you wear to get the job done; you need to wear them, then wear them. I'm still pretty sure there would've been problems if I wore them in high school, but that wasn't the only reason I was scared to wear them. It was like a sign of weakness. But it's not. It's the manliest thing ever. You need something to help you get shit done? Then you just go ahead and use it. SKADOOSH!
However, I do wonder if there's somewhat of correlation. Glasses CAN make you either timid about physical activity or less effective at them. Some sports are pretty much impossible with them - water polo, anyone? How many "nerds" are only nerds because they were unfortunate enough to have degenerative myopia from a young age and had to wear delicate, expensive prescription lenses?
Again, the chicken or the egg. I wonder...