Is the glow from phones, tablets, computers and other devices really bad for our health?
Wherever you are reading this – on the couch or in bed – there is a good chance that you are doing it on some sort of screen. According to a 2022 review, almost everyone upped their screentime during the Covid pandemic, and there is little evidence that use has gone back down. While that may or may not be bad for all sorts of reasons, a concern for many people is blue light, and whether its haunting glow is affecting our bodies in ways sunshine doesn’t. Could it somehow be bad light?
To start with the basics: blue light sits on the short-wave, high-energy end of the visible spectrum, close to the UV rays that can lead to provably harmful effects on the skin and retinas. In itself, this doesn’t mean anything – the sun has been bathing us in blue light since we were hunter gatherers – but concerns arise from the fact that many people stare at blue-light emitting devices for hours at a time, sometimes from mere inches away, often long after the sun has gone down.