Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Using Amazon might make you go blind

There is an age-old tradition of parents telling porkies to their children to stop them doing certain things. You all know the kind of lies I’m talking about: “Don’t pull faces because if the wind changes, you’ll stay like that”, “If you watch too much telly you will get square eyes” and the well known “stop playing with it or you’ll go blind”.

Now, I never believed any of these little white lies my mum used to tell me, especially because I had perfect eyesight throughout my teens. However, when I was in my early twenties I suddenly went blind. My eyesight literally vanished overnight. Since then I’ve had to put up with wearing horrible bits of Perspex on my face.

I put it down to the fact that I started working in the web business around that time and sitting in front of a computer screen for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week just put too much strain on my eyes.

This is something that concerns me about these new Kindle things. For those of you who don’t know, the Kindle is a new device that has been developed by Amazon to display e-books and other forms of digital media.

They are already being touted as a replacement for the traditional paperback but will it catch on? Although I am a great one for encouraging technological developments I have to admit to having reservations about these things. Firstly there is the inevitable question mark over eye strain. I personally find it difficult to read too much on a computer because the glare from the screen makes me go cross-eyed. Then there is the problem about power. Assuming they use rechargeable batteries, it is going to be a pain the backside if you are half way through reading an exciting chapter and the screen blacks out.

Given that everything is going down the electronic route now and more and more data is being stored using cloud computing I guess it is inevitable that the Kindle will soon replace books completely. Still, there is something pleasant about holding a big fat paperback book that I will personally miss if the Kindle takes off. Plus I find the old traditional ink on paper much easier on my eyes.

Of course the loss of my eyesight could equally be as a result of reading the old fashioned books. It was around the same time I started working in the web industry that I started reading novels – several a week in fact. This would make my argument about screen glare null and void.

This leaves just one plausible explanation as to why I lost my perfect vision. Maybe they aren’t white lies after all. Perhaps my mum was right all along.

Check out Amazon's Kindle

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