Debunking Myths About Reading on Screens

2017-09-03T23:15:19+00:00September 3rd, 2017|Categories: Literacy Activities|0 Comments

A guest post by JenB_Reads

The digital transformation age has led to the modernization of many habits and hobbies. One of these is reading, a natural shift considering that more and more people are becoming dependent on digital devices. Instead of reading text from paper, people can now run through various materials on their computers or even their mobile devices.

As with any innovation, initially reading on screens came with many negative connotations. In fact, many naysayers continue to believe in myths about the supposed negative effects of reading using digital devices. Many of these beliefs, however, have since been proven to be false. This article takes a look at some of the aforementioned myths and discusses why they have no basis.

Myth #1: Reading on screen will worsen your eyesight

One of the persistent myths is that spending too long staring at a screen, whether you’re reading or doing anything else, can worsen your eyesight. According to TheJournal.ie, the myth came about when parents said this to their children to try to get them to sleep. The line became repeated so frequently that people eventually took this as fact.

The Conversation reported this has already been debunked, at least, in the case of adults. The amount of radiation emitted by devices isn’t actually harmful. In fact, it’s just visible light that allows you to read what appears on the screen.

However, it should be noted that those who are 10 years or younger can still run the risk of damaging their eyesight because their eyes absorb more blue light than adults. Furthermore, their eyes and their brains are still developing as they get older, so it is possible that lasting damage can occur in cases of prolonged screen exposure. And staring at an object for a period of time can cause the eyes to become strained, so make sure to take a break every now and then while you’re reading, regardless of whether you are doing so from a book or from a digital device.

Myth #2: The text when reading on screen is too small

This argument usually goes together with the first myth. While this may have been true in the past, technological advancements have led to the development of new eBook readers that will allow you to adjust the font size. This means you have the freedom to change the settings to make the text as large or as small as you want, depending on your level of comfort.

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Myth #3: Reading on screen will discourage kids to read

Proponents of paper-based books and other documents will argue that going digital can deter kids from reading. However, pre-school teacher James Ross said in an interview with Tootsa that reluctant readers can be presented with stories across a number of different mediums, such as comics or in digital format, to see which of the formats grab their attention to encourage them to read.

Myth #4: Reading on screen won’t allow you to jot down your own notes

Many fans of reading hardback books say that the reason they don’t want to go digital is that they won’t be able to write down their notes on their books. This is no longer the case, as many apps and various innovative software such as eBook readers, now allow readers to jot down their notes, according to Vearsa’s article on the ‘Ten Myths About eBooks’. They can even place bookmarks and highlight sections if they so wish.

Myth #5: There is only a limited selection of books if you read on screen

While this myth may have been true in the past, this is no longer the case today. More and more publishers are now releasing digital versions of their books because of the increasing number of people using digital devices to read. Various genres are available online, from child-friendly stories to fiction and non-fiction works for adults. What’s more, you no longer have to worry about lugging a lot of books around with you, because everything is saved with a tiny portable device.

Guest post by JenB_Reads

Jen, of JenB_Reads, is a lover of words, which manifests in voracious reading and blogging. While her favorite novel genre is fantasy, she prefers to write lifestyle pieces for her blog.

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